Archbishop of Canterbury urges public not to speculate about Queen’s wellbeing during Prince Philip’s funeral

Leah Sinclair
·2-min read

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said he hoped the nation would offer their prayers and condolences to the Queen during the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, rather than speculate on her wellbeing.

Prince Philip’s funeral will take place on Saturday, just over a week after his death on April 9 at the age of 99.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Welby said "we really have to avoid judging from anything external.”

"She is the Queen. She will behave with the extraordinary dignity and extraordinary courage that she always does,” he said.

"And at the same time, she is saying farewell to someone to whom she was married for 73 years.”

Mr Welby added that he thinks that this is a “very, very profound thing in anybody’s life.”

“I hope the whole nation if they believe in that, they pray for her, and if they don’t, they sympathise in their hearts, offer their condolences to her and they hope for her to find strength in what must be an anguished moment."

In line with government restrictions, only 30 family members are expected to attend the service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and some will follow the procession on foot.

On the day of the funeral, which starts at 3pm, a minute of silence will be held across the country to mourn Prince Philip.

The funeral service will be televised, with BBC One broadcasting the service from 3pm.

ITV News previously announced it will cover the funeral on Saturday with Prince Philip – A Royal Funeral, which will be presented by Tom Bradby and Julie Etchingham from Windsor.

The duke’s death came less than a month after he was discharged from hospital on March 16 and returned to Windsor Castle to stay with the Queen.

It has been reported he died with the Queen by his side and spent his final days reading in the sun.

Palace sources said he was “calmer and quieter” during his last days at Windsor Castle and spent his time reading, writing letters and talking to loved ones on the phone.

In the days prior to his death, the duke had little appetite but mealtimes were changed so he could dine with the Queen when he felt well enough.

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