queen-mourning

Why the Queen is unlikely to wear a veil to Prince Philip's funeral

The monarch and her family will wear black to the service

Gemma Strong

Having lost her beloved husband of 73 years, the Queen is preparing to say her final goodbyes to Prince Philip at his funeral on Saturday.

And while the service will be a small affair with just 30 attendants, the outfits worn by the family will still conform to strict mourning traditions.

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Perhaps the most famous example of royal mourning attire is Queen Victoria, who famously wore black clothing for the rest of her life following the 1861 death of her husband, Prince Albert.

MORE: How long will the Queen wear black following Prince Philip's death?

READ: Prince Philip's final portrait: secret detail revealed by royal artist

The Queen is unlikely to follow suit but she will certainly wear dark mourning clothes on the occasion of Prince Philip’s funeral. Her ensemble is not expected to include a black veil, however.

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Princess Elizabeth with her mother and sister at King George VI's state funeral in 1952

Traditionally, black veils are only worn at the funeral of a sovereign, and as such, the Queen, her mother, grandmother Princess Mary and Princess Margaret all appeared in long black veils at King George VI's state funeral in 1952.

MORE: Royals will not wear military uniform at Prince Philip's funeral

The wearing of black clothing to show mourning at a funeral has long been accepted as the correct etiquette, especially in western cultures. It is also considered a sign of respect for the deceased and their loved ones.

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The monarch dressed in black mourning attire for the Queen Mother's funeral

Members of the royal family are known for their ability to perfect a dress code, and there are a number of wardrobe stipulations they must adhere to.

READ: Queen Margrethe of Denmark makes poignant decision following Prince Philip's death

For example, when travelling to another country, the royals must pack a black ensemble with them in case someone in the family should pass away. This is to ensure that when they arrive back in the UK, they are dressed in black to reflect mourning.

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Princess Elizabeth changed into a black dress and hat before disembarking the plane

In February 1952 when her father, King George VI, died, the-then Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip were in Kenya. Upon hearing the news, the royal couple quickly returned to Britain – but before Elizabeth could disembark the royal plane, a black dress was swiftly taken onboard for her to change into. Since then, every family member will pack a black outfit in their luggage.

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