The Queen to enter eight-day mourning period following death of Prince Philip as funeral is arranged

·4-min read
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The Queen will now enter an eight-day period of mourning following the death of her beloved husband Prince Philip.

Buckingham Palace today confirmed the Duke of Edinburgh passed away this morning at Windsor Castle, aged 99.

In the next month, the royal family will enter a period of mourning while a ceremonial funeral is arranged and a burial.

In a break with tradition, there is not due to be a lying in state for the Duke of Edinburgh.

During a royal lying in state, the coffin is draped in a royal flag, usually a personal standard, and rests on a catafalque – a decorated platform, covered in purple cloth, flanked by military guard around the clock.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic a lying in state has become unthinkable, not that this would have displeased the duke.

“He doesn’t see himself as important enough for that,” an aide once said when asked about the duke’s opinions on lying in state.

In 2002, an estimated 200,000 people turned out to pay their respects to the Queen Mother, filing slowly past her coffin, which lay in state for more than three days in Westminster Hall.

Queues stretched at their longest across Lambeth Bridge and all the way along the South Bank to Southwark Cathedral, with people being warned to expect a wait of up to 12 hours at peak times.

In the next eight days, the Queen will not carry out any duties - in either public or private.

Any laws that need to be given the Royal Assent of affairs of state will not be put to her to approve.

Following the eight days, there will be a further official period of Royal Mourning for 30 days.

Buckingham Palace will be preparing for a funeral at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. The most senior officer of the royal household, Lord Chamberlain, will be in charge of arrangements.

The palace will be preparing to reveal the details of how the plans have been configured in light of the pandemic.

The Duke of Edinburgh is expected to be given a ceremonial royal funeral rather than a state funeral, which are usually reserved for the sovereign.

According to protocol, as the Queen’s consort, Philip is to be honoured with a ceremonial royal funeral, as the Queen Mother was in 2002.

At some point in the next few days, the Duke of Edinburgh will be moved to Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London. This is where Princess Diana was before her funeral in 1997.

In normal times, the funeral itself would be held in Windsor, while a military procession would take place in London from St James’s Palace, down Marlborough Road and up The Mall.

Members of the military would lead the procession, with the royal family and household walking behind - but the Queen would be expected to go straight to Windsor.

At Wellington Arch, there would be a royal salute before a ceremonial transfer sees with the coffin moved to a Land Rover hearse or car and taken to Windsor.

It is not known how much of normal procedure will be able to take place due to the pandemic.

A ceremonial funeral would be in-keeping with Philip’s wishes as he did not want a state ceremony.

Meanwhile, Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said a quiet send-off for the duke would be shame, but Philip – who disliked a fuss – was never one for pomp and pageantry.

Mr Little told the PA news agency: “Clearly they have planned for a Covid funeral and I know that Philip’s would be a pretty understated royal funeral compared to that which would be held for his wife.

“But in the midst of a pandemic, it’s going to be pared back so much.”

He added: “It will be behind castle walls atWindsor and we won’t get to see much of it at all.

“It will be a great shame that he has to have such a quiet send-off.

“But, in saying that, he didn’t want all the pomp and pageantry anyway so I suppose in a way it would suit his purpose.”

The Duke of Edinburgh will most likely be buried in Frogmore Gardens, which are located in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were laid to rest in Frogmore Gardens.

Union flags will fly at half-mast around Britain in respect of the Duke.

The Queen will likely make a televised address at some point.

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