The funeral service for Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, will be held on April 17, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday. The palace also confirmed that Prince Harry is planning to attend.
The service for Philip, who died aged 99 on Friday, will be held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, preceded by a national minute of silence. There will be no public access nor public procession beforehand.
The number of mourners will be limited to 30, with Buckingham Palace stressing that the service will be held in line with COVID-19 restrictions, meaning members of the royal family including the Queen will be expected to wear a mask.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson confirmed that Harry, who moved to Los Angeles after giving up royal duties, is planning to attend the funeral, but his pregnant wife Meghan Markle has been advised not to travel by her physician.
Britain and royals in mourning
Across the United Kingdom on Saturday, the British military fired gun salutes from land and sea on Saturday to mark the death of Prince Philip.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s children, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, meanwhile, travelled to Windsor Castle on Saturday to visit with their mother. The Queen and Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, had been married for over 73 years.
Edward and his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, spent about an hour at the castle, and Sophie told reporters “the Queen has been amazing” as the couple left Windsor in a Land Rover. Andrew waved at crowds as he left.
Prince Charles, the Queen’s oldest child and heir to the throne, visited his mother on Friday, shortly after Buckingham Palace announced Philip’s death.
WATCH | Prince Philip honoured
In a tribute program aired by the BBC on Friday, all four of Philip’s children remembered him as someone who had encouraged and supported them.
Charles described his father’s life as an “astonishing achievement,” while Edward said his father had a tough job that was carried out with the most “extraordinary flare.”
In honour of the prince, the armed forces, including artillery units in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, and some warships, fired Death Gun Salutes at noon local time.
Royal Navy ships HMS Diamond and HMS Montrose took part in the ceremonies to honour the Duke of Edinburgh, who served as a naval officer during the Second World War and held the office of Lord High Admiral.
The U.K. defence ministry said that batteries would be firing 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday in various cities and from the naval warships.
Gun salutes also marked the deaths of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965.
Pandemic means more low-key farewell
Authorities were encouraging people to watch the gun salutes online or on television from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mourners are again leaving flowers in front of Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, a day after Philip’s death was announced. Earlier, bouquets left there on Friday had been removed and were placed in the back of a van as palace officials have been encouraging people not to come to either location amid the pandemic.
Small groups of people gathered Saturday morning near the front gates of the palace, where the Union Jack flies at half-mast.
The BBC reported that palace organizers had been working on contingency plans to avoid attracting mass gatherings in the event of the duke’s death.
In keeping with Philip’s wishes, he will lie in rest at Windsor Castle before his funeral is held.
All federal buildings in Canada, including the Peace Tower in Ottawa, will have flags lowered to half-mast until Philip’s funeral, it was announced Friday.
WATCH | Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has died: