Public urged not to leave flowers for Philip and donate to charity instead

Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter
·2-min read

Members of the public have been urged not to leave floral tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh at royal residences to prevent crowds forming during the pandemic.

The royal family has asked people to consider making a donation to charity instead, Buckingham Palace said on Twitter.

The new memorial pages dedicated to the duke on the website suggested donations could be made to organisations of which Philip was patron.

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“There is no official arrangement for giving donations in memory of The Duke of Edinburgh,” it said.

“However members of the public who wish to make a donation as a tribute to His Royal Highness are encouraged to give to a charity of their choosing or one of the charities or organisations which The Duke of Edinburgh supported in his public duties.

“Over the course of his life, The Duke of Edinburgh was patron or president of some 992 organisations, with special interests in scientific and technological research and development, industry, the welfare of young people, conservation and the environment and the encouragement of sport.”

The Government has also warned people to continue following coronavirus rules in the wake of Philip’s death on Friday morning, and not gather at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said: “Although this is an extraordinarily difficult time for many, we are asking the public not to gather at royal residences and continue to follow public health advice, particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel.

“We are supporting the royal household in asking that floral tributes should not be laid at royal residences at this time.”

A vast sea of flowers was left by mourners following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997, both outside Buckingham Palace and her former home Kensington Palace.

With England gradually easing itself out of a national lockdown amid the Covid-19 crisis, both the Government and royal family are keen to avoid anything that attracts crowds.

Royalty – Death of Diana, Princess of Wales – Kensington palace, London
Flowers outside the gates of Kensington Palace for Diana in 1997 (David Giles/PA)

But hundreds of people have already travelled to Windsor Castle, where the duke died at the age of 99, while others have left floral tributes at Buckingham Palace.

The pandemic is to have a major impact on the carefully laid plans for Philip’s funeral, with the public elements of the final farewell to the Queen’s consort not able to take place in their original form.

A source said: “The Covid-19 pandemic will impact the arrangements and members of the public are encouraged not to gather in crowds, and to commemorate privately instead.”