Prince Andrew ‘has no intention to distract’ from Prince Philip’s funeral, source claims

Prince William has ‘neither wish nor intention to distract from’ his father Prince Philip’s funeral, a source close to him told MailOnline today as the Queen was forced to decide which rank of military uniform he can wear.

The Duke of York has demanded to go as an Admiral to Saturday’s service, in a move condemned today including by one former Territorial Army officer who blasted it as a ‘hissy fit’ that is ‘not going to go down very well’.

Prince Andrew – who stepped back from public duties over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein 18 months ago – was made an honorary Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy on his 55th birthday in 2015.

The 61-year-old Duke was due to be promoted to Admiral on his 60th birthday last year, but offered to defer it until he cleared his name and returned to public duties. Now Andrew has sparked ructions at Buckingham Palace after he told his mother and senior officials that he wished to attend the funeral as an Admiral. 

The widowed Queen will have to make a decision in the next 24 hours. But a source close to Andrew told MailOnline today: ‘The Duke of York is very keenly aware of Saturday’s funeral being a moment for the Duke of Edinburgh, HM (Her Majesty) and the nation.  He has neither wish nor intention to distract from that. 

‘Speculation on what he may or may not wear is just that, speculation, and no matters of this nature have yet been decided upon. The Duke of York will do what is appropriate to the circumstances – he remains stepped back from royal duties.’

Royal officials are also wrestling with the dilemma of Prince Harry possibly being the only senior male royal not in uniform at the funeral.

Speaking about Andrew, a former Territorial Army infantry officer, who did not wish to be named, told MailOnline today: ‘Wow. I would have thought he had bigger fish to fry than whether he had an extra epaulet on his shoulder.

‘I think it will cause outrage for people – he’s not a popular person. Having a hissy fit that you want to be an Admiral is not going to go down very well. It doesn’t sound great.’

Andrew, who joined the Royal Navy in 1979 as a Seaman Officer and finished his active naval career in 2001, is currently a Vice-Admiral after being awarded the rank on his 55th birthday.

An Admiral ceremonial day coat has three rows of lace on the sleeve, but a Vice-Admiral’s two rows. The Admiral’s shoulder rank board has a crossed baton and sword with four stars, but for a Vice-Admiral there are three stars.

It comes as:

  • Preparations are well under way for Philip’s funeral, which will feature servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF – alongside top military brass – this Saturday at Windsor Castle;
  • The Queen returned to royal duties just four days after Philip’s death, hosting an in-person event to mark the retirement of her household’s most senior official, former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel;
  • Thames Valley Police are carrying out specialist searches around Windsor town, with officers examining street furniture including phone boxes, post boxes, drains and bins as part of the operation;
  • The Queen and her family will wear face masks and socially distance as they gather to say their final farewell – and the Queen may have to sit alone during the service due to social distancing rules;
  • Philip’s funeral could attract one of the largest television audiences of the year, with the record to beat being 25.1million people who watched Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s televised lockdown address on January 4.

While it is not known exactly what uniforms the senior royals will wear on Saturday, at the Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002, Prince Charles wore a Rear Admiral dress uniform, Prince Andrew wore a Royal Naval Commander uniform, and Princess Anne wore honorary Rear Admiral dress. 

All three had, and still have, honorary military titles – along with Prince William – so will all once again be allowed to wear military uniform this weekend. William wore a Blues and Royals uniform to Harry’s wedding in May 2018.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex stands with Prince Edward and Prince Andrew as the brothers wear ceremonial dress at a service of commemoration to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan, at St Paul's Cathedral in London in March 2015

Sophie, Countess of Wessex stands with Prince Edward and Prince Andrew as the brothers wear ceremonial dress at a service of commemoration to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan, at St Paul's Cathedral in London in March 2015

Sophie, Countess of Wessex stands with Prince Edward and Prince Andrew as the brothers wear ceremonial dress at a service of commemoration to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan, at St Paul’s Cathedral in London in March 2015

Prince Harry (left) has a Blues and Royals military uniform which he wore when he married Meghan at Windsor Castle in May 2018. The choice of attire was significant because it was a major's uniform as opposed to that of a general - despite him being Captain General of the Marines. His brother Prince William also wore a Blues and Royals frockcoat uniform for the event

Prince Harry (left) has a Blues and Royals military uniform which he wore when he married Meghan at Windsor Castle in May 2018. The choice of attire was significant because it was a major's uniform as opposed to that of a general - despite him being Captain General of the Marines. His brother Prince William also wore a Blues and Royals frockcoat uniform for the event

Prince Harry (left) has a Blues and Royals military uniform which he wore when he married Meghan at Windsor Castle in May 2018. The choice of attire was significant because it was a major’s uniform as opposed to that of a general – despite him being Captain General of the Marines. His brother Prince William also wore a Blues and Royals frockcoat uniform for the event

Prince Charles and Prince William wear ceremonial uniform next to the Queen on the balcony at Buckingham Palace in 2015

Prince Charles and Prince William wear ceremonial uniform next to the Queen on the balcony at Buckingham Palace in 2015

Prince Charles and Prince William wear ceremonial uniform next to the Queen on the balcony at Buckingham Palace in 2015

Prince Andrew in ceremonial dress at a service to mark the centenary of the RAF in London on July 10, 2018

Prince Andrew in ceremonial dress at a service to mark the centenary of the RAF in London on July 10, 2018

Prince Harry in a normal suit at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020

Prince Harry in a normal suit at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020

Prince Andrew in ceremonial dress at a service to mark the centenary of the RAF in London on July 10, 2018 (left); and Prince Harry in a normal suit at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020 (right)

Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence in military dress at a Jutland commemoration in South Queensferry on May 28, 2016

Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence in military dress at a Jutland commemoration in South Queensferry on May 28, 2016

Princess Anne and Timothy Laurence in military dress at a Jutland commemoration in South Queensferry on May 28, 2016

Princess Anne arrives at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes on the Isle of Wight today

Princess Anne arrives at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes on the Isle of Wight today

Princess Anne arrives at the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes on the Isle of Wight today

Sophie, Countess of Wessex arrives at Windsor Castle today after Prince Philip died at the age of 99 last Friday

Sophie, Countess of Wessex arrives at Windsor Castle today after Prince Philip died at the age of 99 last Friday

Sophie, Countess of Wessex arrives at Windsor Castle today after Prince Philip died at the age of 99 last Friday

Soldiers from the Welsh Guards rehearsing for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

Soldiers from the Welsh Guards rehearsing for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

Soldiers from the Welsh Guards rehearsing for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

Soldier from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) rehearsing for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

Soldier from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) rehearsing for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

Soldier from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) rehearsing for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

A soldier from the The Life Guards rehearsing for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

A soldier from the The Life Guards rehearsing for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

A soldier from the The Life Guards rehearsing for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

It comes as it was reported last night that William had spoken on the phone to Harry.

The estranged brothers have barely spoken for a year and any attempts to break the ice after Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview have not been productive. 

Kensington Palace declined to comment but royal sources said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wished the focus of the week to be on honouring the Duke of Edinburgh’s memory.  

Harry lost his military titles after quitting royal duties. As a former Captain with the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals), Harry is only permitted to wear a morning suit with medals, unless officials can find a way round the issue.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment last night, saying only: ‘Funeral arrangements are being finalised and we will announce them accordingly.’ 

A source said any final decision on what uniforms are worn would rest with the Queen. 

Andrew stepped down from public duties in November 2019 ‘for the foreseeable future’ over his friendship with Epstein in the wake of the disastrous Newsnight interview he had hoped would clear his name.

The Queen joined by members of the Royal Family after Trooping the Colour at Buckingham Palace in June 2019, including the Prince William and Kate with their children, Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Camilla, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Peter and Autumn Phillips and their children Savannah and Isla

The Queen joined by members of the Royal Family after Trooping the Colour at Buckingham Palace in June 2019, including the Prince William and Kate with their children, Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Camilla, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Peter and Autumn Phillips and their children Savannah and Isla

The Queen joined by members of the Royal Family after Trooping the Colour at Buckingham Palace in June 2019, including the Prince William and Kate with their children, Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, Camilla, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Peter and Autumn Phillips and their children Savannah and Isla

Prince Andrew leaving Windsor Castle yesterday, hours before it was reported that the Queen is being forced to decide which rank of military uniform the Duke of York can wear to his father's funeral after he demanded to go as an Admiral

Prince Andrew leaving Windsor Castle yesterday, hours before it was reported that the Queen is being forced to decide which rank of military uniform the Duke of York can wear to his father's funeral after he demanded to go as an Admiral

Prince Andrew leaving Windsor Castle yesterday, hours before it was reported that the Queen is being forced to decide which rank of military uniform the Duke of York can wear to his father’s funeral after he demanded to go as an Admiral

The Duke and Duchess of York leave the Windsor Castle estate yesterday, ahead of Prince Philip's funeral this Saturday

The Duke and Duchess of York leave the Windsor Castle estate yesterday, ahead of Prince Philip's funeral this Saturday

The Duke and Duchess of York leave the Windsor Castle estate yesterday, ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral this Saturday

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle lay a wreath at Los Angeles National Cemetery on Remembrance Sunday last November

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle lay a wreath at Los Angeles National Cemetery on Remembrance Sunday last November

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle lay a wreath at Los Angeles National Cemetery on Remembrance Sunday last November

The Duke of Sussex displayed various decorations on his military uniform at the Royal Albert Hall last March. He wore a scarlet Mess Jacket featuring silver-embroidered rank badges of a star above a crossed sword and baton on each shoulder strap

The Duke of Sussex displayed various decorations on his military uniform at the Royal Albert Hall last March. He wore a scarlet Mess Jacket featuring silver-embroidered rank badges of a star above a crossed sword and baton on each shoulder strap

The Duke of Sussex displayed various decorations on his military uniform at the Royal Albert Hall last March. He wore a scarlet Mess Jacket featuring silver-embroidered rank badges of a star above a crossed sword and baton on each shoulder strap

Armed police on patrol outside Windsor Castle today following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh aged 99 last Friday

Armed police on patrol outside Windsor Castle today following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh aged 99 last Friday

Armed police on patrol outside Windsor Castle today following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh aged 99 last Friday

Preparations being made for TV and radio broadcasters outside Windsor Castle today to cover Philip's funeral this Saturday

Preparations being made for TV and radio broadcasters outside Windsor Castle today to cover Philip's funeral this Saturday

Preparations being made for TV and radio broadcasters outside Windsor Castle today to cover Philip’s funeral this Saturday

The prince joined the Royal Navy in 1979 as a Seaman Officer and finished his active naval career in 2001. 

What military titles do Charles, William, Edward, Andrew and Anne hold?

Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Edward, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne will all be in military dress because they hold honorary roles. These are as follows:

PRINCE CHARLES

  • Colonel – Welsh Guards
  • Colonel-in-Chief – Parachute Regiment; Royal Dragoon Guards; Army Air Corps; Royal Gurkha Rifles; The Queen’s Dragoon Guards; and Mercian Regiment
  • Royal Honorary Colonel – Queen’s Own Yeomanry
  • Royal Colonel – The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland; and 51st Highland, 7th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • Honorary Air Commodore – Royal Air Force Valley
  • Honorary Commodore – Her Majesty’s Coastguard
  • Commodore-in-Chief – Aircraft Carriers; and Plymouth, Royal Naval Command

PRINCE ANDREW

  • Vice-Admiral – Personal Aide-de-Camp to the Queen
  • Colonel – Grenadier Guards
  • Colonel-in-Chief – 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s); Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling) 83rd and 87th and Ulster Defence Regiment); Small Arms School Corps; and Yorkshire Regiment (14th/15th, 19th and 33rd/76th Foot)
  • Royal Colonel – Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • Honorary Air Commodore – Royal Air Force Lossiemouth
  • Commodore-in-Chief – Fleet Air Arm

PRINCE EDWARD

  • Royal Honorary Colonel – Royal Wessex Yeomanry; and London Regiment
  • Commodore-in-Chief – Royal Fleet Auxiliary
  • Royal Colonel – 2nd Battalion, The Rifles
  • Honorary Air Commodore – Royal Air Force Waddington

PRINCESS ANNE

  • Colonel-in-Chief – King’s Royal Hussars; Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29/45 Foot); Royal Corps of Signals; Royal Logistic Corps; and the Royal Army Veterinary Corps
  • Colonel – Blues and Royals
  • Royal Colonel – Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland; 52nd Lowland, 6th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • Royal Honorary Colonel – University of London OTC
  • Commandant-in-Chief – First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps)
  • Honorary Air Commodore – RAF Brize Norton; and the University of London Air Squadron
  • Commodore-in-Chief – HMNB Portsmouth
  • Chief Commandant – Women in the Royal Navy

PRINCE WILLIAM

  • Commodore-in-Chief – Royal Navy Submarine Service; and Scotland
  • Honorary Air Commandant – RAF Coningsby
  • Colonel – Irish Guards 
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The Navy established a policy in 2009 that means the prince is promoted in line with his still-serving peers to mark his continued contribution to the service. 

He became a Rear Admiral on his 50th birthday, a Vice-Admiral on his 55th, and had been due to become an Admiral on his 60th last year before forgoing the promotion. 

Andrew’s stance is likely to add to what must be an extremely distressing and stressful week for the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family.

‘People have opinions and there are ongoing discussions about the right course of action,’ a source said.

The rank of Admiral is the highest rank to which a serving officer in the Royal Navy can be promoted, although members of the Royal Family can be made Admiral of the Fleet.

Significantly, while many of Andrew’s charitable patronages have deserted him, he has not been stripped of his military positions and titles yet.

He has been accused by one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Guiffre, of having sex with her twice when she was just 17. Andrew has strongly denied all accusations. 

He has kept a generally low profile since being forced out of public life, but in recent days talked of the ‘huge void’ his father’s passing had left in the Queen’s life.

There have been reports he hopes to rehabilitate his image and make a return to public life.

As for William and Harry, broadcaster Andrew Neil told ITV’s This Morning today: ‘They’ve spoken on the phone, of course they can’t meet face to face because Harry is in quarantine having come in from Los Angeles.

‘I don’t know whether it will lead to anything or not. I mean, frankly I think it’s a sideshow. What Harry and William do is up to them – if they want to speak, fine, if they don’t that’s fine too – I don’t really care, one way or the other.

‘What I don’t want to happen is it to overshadow the Duke’s funeral and to overshadow the Queen. All thoughts this week should not be with Harry or William, all thoughts should be with the Queen. That’s the beginning and the end of it. She’s the one that matters, not these two.’

Meanwhile the Queen has returned to royal duties just four days after the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

On Tuesday, the 94-year-old monarch hosted her first in-person event since Philip’s passing on Friday to mark the retirement of her household’s most senior official, former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel.

Her return to work comes as preparations are under way for Philip’s funeral, which will feature servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF – alongside top military brass – this Saturday at Windsor Castle.

It was announced at the weekend the monarchy and their households would observe two weeks of royal mourning, with members of the family ‘continuing to undertake engagements appropriate to the circumstances,’ a royal official said.

The Earl Peel had overseen arrangements for the duke’s funeral – known as Operation Forth Bridge – before handing responsibility to his successor, former MI5 spy chief Baron Parker, just over a week before Philip died peacefully at Windsor Castle.

In overall charge is Andrew Parker, Baron Parker of Minsmere, who took up his new role on April 1, following the Earl Peel’s retirement after more than 14 years in the post.

The Lord Chamberlain oversees all senior appointments in the household, is the channel of communication between the sovereign and the House of Lords and ensures co-ordination between Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.

During a ceremony held at Windsor Castle, the Queen accepted her former royal aide’s wand and insignia of office.

Senior members of the Royal Family follow the coffin of the Queen Mother on its way to her funeral in Westminster Abbey in London in April 2002. From left: The Duke of York, Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Royal, and Earl of Wessex

Senior members of the Royal Family follow the coffin of the Queen Mother on its way to her funeral in Westminster Abbey in London in April 2002. From left: The Duke of York, Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Royal, and Earl of Wessex

Senior members of the Royal Family follow the coffin of the Queen Mother on its way to her funeral in Westminster Abbey in London in April 2002. From left: The Duke of York, Prince of Wales, Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Royal, and Earl of Wessex

Members of the Royal Family attend the funeral of Earl Mountbatten in September 1979, including the Queen, Queen Mother, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward

Members of the Royal Family attend the funeral of Earl Mountbatten in September 1979, including the Queen, Queen Mother, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward

Members of the Royal Family attend the funeral of Earl Mountbatten in September 1979, including the Queen, Queen Mother, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward 

How Britain will have first royal ceremonial funeral for nearly 20 years

The last royal ceremonial funeral held in the UK was the late Queen Mother’s in April 2002 at Westminster Abbey.

Her three eldest grandchildren – Charles, Andrew and Anne, as well as the Duke of Edinburgh – all wore uniform in line with their respective honorary military positions.

Prince Edward, along with the young Princes William and Harry, was in a morning suit as he had, until shortly before his grandmother’s death, been running his own film production business and did not receive any honorary military appointments until several years later.

This was in contrast to the funeral of Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister, that same year at St George’s Chapel, as it was classed as a private event and all of the family wore morning suits.

Saturday’s funeral will see all of the Queen’s children – now accompanied by Prince William – in military uniform, apart from Prince Harry, it is believed. 

Andrew has not been stripped of his military titles like his nephew. When he was promoted to the position of vice-admiral, his appointment was announced in the London Gazette.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said it had been ‘approved by the Queen in line with long-standing convention covering military promotions’ for royals.

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The official engagement was recorded in the Court Circular – a daily list of the events attended by the Queen and her family.

It said: ‘The Earl Peel had an audience of The Queen today, delivered up his Wand and Insignia of Office as Lord Chamberlain and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order and took leave upon relinquishing his appointment as Lord Chamberlain, when Her Majesty invested him with the Royal Victorian Chain.’

The Queen recently conferred a prestigious honour on the Earl Peel, making him a Permanent Lord in Waiting.

Meanwhile, as part of security preparations, Thames Valley Police are carrying out specialist searches around Windsor town, with officers examining street furniture including phone boxes, post boxes, drains and bins as part of the operation.

The force said it has put a range of visible and covert security measures in place for Saturday, when the duke is to be honoured with a ceremonial royal funeral at St George’s Chapel.

It will be a royal funeral like no other, with the Queen and her family wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to say their final farewell.

The Queen may have to sit alone during the service due to social distancing rules, the Telegraph has reported. She is staying at Windsor with a reduced number of around 22 staff, in what has been dubbed HMS Bubble.

The duke’s long-standing close aide, his private secretary Brigadier Archie Miller Bakewell, will be one of the few, and possibly only, non-royals invited to attend the historic occasion inside St George’s Chapel.

As a member of HMS Bubble, he may be the only person eligible to sit with the Queen. It is thought Philip’s funeral could attract one of the largest television audiences of the year.

The biggest TV audience so far saw 25.1 million people watch Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s televised address on January 4 announcing a new national lockdown, while 13.9 million viewers tuned in for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with US broadcaster Oprah Winfrey last month.

Broadcasters have yet to confirm their plans for Philip’s funeral, but the BBC and ITV are likely to devote several hours to the event, including the ceremony at 3pm.

Harry and William ‘will be reunited for the first time on the morning of Philip’s funeral’: Kate is ‘set to act as peacemaker’ after the brothers ‘spoke on the phone while the Duke of Sussex isolates at Frogmore Cottage’

  • The brothers are believed to have already spoken on the phone since Harry landed at Heathrow last weekend
  • Harry believed to be self-isolating at Frogmore Cottage, Windsor, so he can be close to the Queen and funeral
  • The Queen returned to work as she hosted retirement ceremony for former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel
  • It comes after death of husband of 73-years Prince Philip at the age of 99 on Friday, at home at Windsor Castle
  • As tributes flooded in from across the country, the family announced a two-week period of royal mourning 
  • But in a move that typifies the Queen’s deep sense of duty, the monarch, 94, returned to work on Tuesday 

By Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter For MailOnline

Prince William and Prince Harry will not meet in person until their grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday with Kate Middleton helping them put on a ‘unified’ front for the Queen, it was revealed today.

The brothers are believed to have already spoken on the phone since Harry landed at Heathrow ahead of seeing each other face-to-face for the first time in a year at Windsor Castle this weekend.

The Duchess of Cambridge is said to be willing to act as ‘peacemaker’ between the brothers, who have vowed to set aside their rift and try to reset their strained relationship to honour the memory of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Harry described Kate as the ‘big sister I never had’ when she became engaged to William 11 years ago – but the siblings’ relationship became fractured following his decision to emigrate to the US and be interviewed by Oprah Winfrey with his wife Meghan Markle. 

The Sussexes accused the Royal Family of racism, with Harry claiming William is ‘trapped’ and saying Prince Charles cut him off financially. Kate was also accused by Meghan of making her cry in a row over bridesmaids dresses in the bombshell TV interview last month, but Kate is said to be pushing for the brothers to make up.

Saturday’s funeral will certainly remind the brothers of their shared grief at another royal funeral more than two decades ago – when, as young boys, both walked behind their mother Princess Diana’s coffin in 1997. 

Harry is now in quarantine, but can attend the funeral in line with government rules that make exceptions for such occasions. Meghan, who is pregnant with their second child, was advised by her doctor not to make the long trip. 

A royal source told the Daily Telegraph: ‘They know it is not about them on Saturday – it is about honouring their grandfather’s memory and supporting their grandmother. I would be extremely surprised if that wasn’t front and centre of both their minds. They will be keen to spend time together as a family, in the same time zone for once.’ Another insider said: ‘The entire focus is on the Queen. No exceptions. A family unified.’ 

The brothers will meet face-to-face for the first time in more than a year on Saturday. The brothers also plan to unveil a sculpture in memory of Diana in the gardens at Kensington Palace, together this summer.  

In two statements with very different tones released 30 minutes apart on Monday, Prince William praised his grandfather’s lifetime of service to ‘Queen, country and Commonwealth’ before Harry declared: ‘He was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end’.

William’s words focused on duty, continuing Philip’s work and the need to support the Queen, with some royal watchers pondering if this was, in part, a criticism of his brother who quit as a frontline royal and emigrated to the United States with his wife.

Harry is understood to have chosen to self-isolate at Frogmore Cottage at Windsor Castle where the Queen is based, rather than at Kensington Palace where his brother lives with his wife and three children.

Prince William and Prince Harry are expected to see eachother for the first time in a year just hours before Saturday's funeral - with the Duchess of Cambridge helping them be 'united' (pictured together in 2016)

Prince William and Prince Harry are expected to see eachother for the first time in a year just hours before Saturday's funeral - with the Duchess of Cambridge helping them be 'united' (pictured together in 2016)

Prince William and Prince Harry are expected to see eachother for the first time in a year just hours before Saturday’s funeral – with the Duchess of Cambridge helping them be ‘united’ (pictured together in 2016)

Harry and William have fallen out in the past year but have spoken this week and plan to spend time together this weekend to repair their relationship, with Kate Middleton said to be acting as peacemaker ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip (pictured together at the Trooping The Colour parade in 2014

Harry and William have fallen out in the past year but have spoken this week and plan to spend time together this weekend to repair their relationship, with Kate Middleton said to be acting as peacemaker ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip (pictured together at the Trooping The Colour parade in 2014

Harry and William have fallen out in the past year but have spoken this week and plan to spend time together this weekend to repair their relationship, with Kate Middleton said to be acting as peacemaker ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip (pictured together at the Trooping The Colour parade in 2014

It came as the Queen stoically returned to royal duties yesterday, four days after the death of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, and within the official period of eight days of mourning. 

The monarch, 94, hosted a retirement ceremony for the former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel on Tuesday. 

It comes after her husband of 73-years, Prince Philip, passed away aged 99 on Friday at Windsor Castle.

As touching tributes flooded in from across the nation for the duke, including flowers left at residences such as Windsor and Buckingham Palace, the family announced a two-week period of royal mourning.

But, in a move that typifies the Queen’s deep sense of duty, she returned early to bid farewell to Earl Peel – a key royal aide who is retiring after 14 years of service.

Earl Peel was the Lord Chamberlain, which is the most senior officer role in the royal household. He had been overseeing arrangements for the duke’s funeral – known as Operation Forth Bridge. 

The Queen (pictured in March) today stoically returned to royal duties four days after the death of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh , official documents have revealed

The Queen (pictured in March) today stoically returned to royal duties four days after the death of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh , official documents have revealed

The Monarch hosted a retirement ceremony for former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel (pictured with the Queen in 2013) on Tuesday

The Monarch hosted a retirement ceremony for former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel (pictured with the Queen in 2013) on Tuesday

The Queen (pictured left in March) stoically returned to royal duties yesterday, four days after the death of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh. The Monarch hosted a retirement ceremony for former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel (pictured with the Queen in 2013) on Tuesday

It comes after her husband Prince Philip (pictured with the Queen in June last year) passed away, aged 99, on Friday, at Windsor Castle

It comes after her husband Prince Philip (pictured with the Queen in June last year) passed away, aged 99, on Friday, at Windsor Castle

It comes after her husband Prince Philip (pictured with the Queen in June last year) passed away, aged 99, on Friday, at Windsor Castle

As touching tributes flooded in from across the nation for the Duke, including flowers left at residences such as Windsor and Buckingham Palace (pictured), the family announced a two-week period of royal mourning

As touching tributes flooded in from across the nation for the Duke, including flowers left at residences such as Windsor and Buckingham Palace (pictured), the family announced a two-week period of royal mourning

As touching tributes flooded in from across the nation for the Duke, including flowers left at residences such as Windsor and Buckingham Palace (pictured), the family announced a two-week period of royal mourning

While floral tributes stacked-up at the gates of Buckingham Palace, Britons also attended the gates of Sandringham House in Norfolk to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh

While floral tributes stacked-up at the gates of Buckingham Palace, Britons also attended the gates of Sandringham House in Norfolk to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh

While floral tributes stacked-up at the gates of Buckingham Palace, Britons also attended the gates of Sandringham House in Norfolk to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh 

William Peel, great-great-grandson of founder of the modern Tory party  

William Peel, 3rd Earl Peel, is a great-great-grandson of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, one of the founders of the modern Conservative party. 

The businessman served as a hereditary Tory peer from 1973 to 2006 when, on appointment to Lord Chamberlain, he became a crossbench member of the Lords. 

He attended Ampleforth College in Yorkshire before the University of Tours in France and the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester. 

He was a member of the Prince’s Council, which advises the Duchy of Cornwall, from 1993 to 2006.  

Lord Peel was also a member of the Nature Conservancy Council, a since dissolved Government conservation agency, from 1991 to 1996. 

He married Veronica Thompson in 1973 and they had two children together before they divorced in 1987.

Two years later, Lord Peel married Charlotte Soames, daughter of Lord Soames and his wife, Mary Churchill, daughter of Sir Winston Churchill.

They have one child, Lady Antonia Peel, born in 1991. 

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Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, recently said his mother is bearing up stoically and the family have been rallying round to support her.

And Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has pledged to uphold his grandfather’s wishes and continue to support the Queen and ‘get on with the job’.

It was announced at the weekend the monarchy and their households would observe two weeks of royal mourning, with members of the family ‘continuing to undertake engagements appropriate to the circumstances,’ a royal official said.

The Princess Royal, Prince Anne, took part in her first official event since the death of her father.

She joined, via video-link, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s Spring Conference in her role as the organisation’s patron.

The Earl Peel, who has now left his role as the royal family’s top aide, had overseen arrangements for the duke’s funeral before handing responsibility to his successor, former MI5 spy chief Baron Parker, just over a week before Philip died peacefully at Windsor Castle.

The Lord Chamberlain’s Office, led by the Queen’s Comptroller Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon, is tasked with the practical side of the day.

But in overall charge is Andrew Parker, Baron Parker of Minsmere, who took up his new role on April 1, following the Earl Peel’s retirement after more than 14 years in the post.

The Lord Chamberlain oversees all senior appointments in the household and is the channel of communication between the sovereign and the House of Lords.

The position also ensures co-ordination between Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.

During a ceremony held at Windsor Castle, the Queen accepted her former royal aide’s wand and insignia of office.

The official engagement was recorded in the Court Circular – a daily list of the events attended by the Queen and her family.

Earl Peel (pictured) has retired after 14 years in the post

Earl Peel (pictured) has retired after 14 years in the post

The Lord Chamberlain's Office, led by the Queen's Comptroller Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon, is tasked with the practical side of the day. But in overall charge is Andrew Parker (pictured), Baron Parker of Minsmere, who took up his new role on April 1, following the Earl Peel's retirement after more than 14 years in the post

The Lord Chamberlain's Office, led by the Queen's Comptroller Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon, is tasked with the practical side of the day. But in overall charge is Andrew Parker (pictured), Baron Parker of Minsmere, who took up his new role on April 1, following the Earl Peel's retirement after more than 14 years in the post

The Lord Chamberlain’s Office, led by the Queen’s Comptroller Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon, is tasked with the practical side of the day. But in overall charge is Andrew Parker (pictured), Baron Parker of Minsmere, who took up his new role on April 1, following the Earl Peel’s (pictured left) retirement after more than 14 years in the post

It said: ‘The Earl Peel had an audience of The Queen today, delivered up his Wand and Insignia of Office as Lord Chamberlain and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order and took leave upon relinquishing his appointment as Lord Chamberlain, when Her Majesty invested him with the Royal Victorian Chain.’ 

The Queen recently conferred a prestigious honour on the Earl Peel, making him a Permanent Lord in Waiting.

The Armed Forces are stepping up preparations for the duke’s funeral which will feature servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF – alongside top military brass.

The Queen ‘understands’ why pregnant Meghan Markle hasn’t flown from US for Prince Philip’s funeral 

The Queen reportedly told pregnant Meghan Markle she ‘understands’ why the duchess has not flown from the US with Prince Harry to Britain to attend Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday.

Meghan, who lives in an £11million mansion in California, allegedly ‘wanted’ to attend the service for the Duke of Edinburgh but had been advised against making the 10-hour flight by her physician.

Her husband Harry is staying at Frogmore Cottage, the couple’s former home in the grounds of Windsor Castle, to quarantine for five days before attending the funeral at St George’s Chapel. 

Amid claims in the US that the duchess skipped it to avoid being ‘centre of attention’, a source in California has insisted that the 94-year-old monarch told Meghan she ‘understands’ why she did not come.

Revealing she and Harry were ‘in contact with the Queen’ after Philip’s death on Friday, the source also told People magazine that it was ‘always a given that Harry would return to England for his grandfather’s passing’ and that Meghan had ‘expressed condolences’ when speaking with the grieving monarch. 

Harry landed at London Heathrow Airport via a BA flight from LA at the weekend, making this journey his first back to Britain since his and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Meghan, who accused the royal family of racism in the explosive TV interview, is pregnant with Harry’s second child – a daughter. She is remaining in the US with their one-year-old son Archie.

 

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Soldiers from the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) are reportedly working to prepare the special Land Rover – that the duke helped design – which will carry his coffin on Saturday.

Lieutenant General Paul Jaques, who served with REME, said about the duke, his unit’s former colonel-in-chief: ‘He was engaged with us and used to visit us probably once or twice every single year since 1969.

‘And he had an enormous passion for all things engineering. In his own words ‘If it wasn’t invented by God, it was invented by an engineer’.

It comes amid reports that the Queen may have to sit apart from family members at her husband’s funeral – due to strict Covid rules.

Current guidelines mean anyone attending a funeral must stay at least two metres apart from those outside their household, except when in a support bubble.

However the Queen is not eligible to be in a support bubble, because she technically does not live on her own – and is supported by a team of royal aides dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’.

As other members of the Royal Family are living in other royal residences, it means the Queen will likely have to sit at least two metres away from relatives at the funeral, according to the Telegraph

Royal sources confirmed to the paper that the Queen would be alone at the funeral service, unless a member of the Windsor bubble joins her. 

Meanwhile, the Queen will likely have to wear a mask at the funeral, while royals could be banned from singing hymns due to Covid restrictions, reports the Sun

Updated national guidance, issued by the Government, said communal singing should not go ahead at funerals to prevent the spread of Covid.

Choirs are still allowed, but members must be kept to as few as possible and should remain socially distanced. 

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said tonight: ‘We have made it very clear that the service will be Covid compliant.’ 

More details of the funeral, set to take place at George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, are to be announced on Thursday. 

Meanwhile, reports in the Daily Express today suggest that the Queen will spend more time at Windsor following the death of Prince Philip.

The Queen has reportedly told royal sources that she now feels ‘most comfortable’ living within the walls of the Berkshire fortress – known to be her favourite royal residence. 

Even prior to Prince Philip’s death the Queen had been spending more and more time at Windsor – and has been sheltering there for much of the pandemic.

It is believed Buckingham Palace will be used in more of an office role going forward, the Express adds.

Ahead of Saturday’s funeral, Prince Harry flew into London’s Heathrow Airport without his heavily-pregnant wife Meghan Markle ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral on his first visit to Britain since quitting royal duties and the couple’s bombshell Oprah interview. 

Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London. Harry is back in London ahead of his grandfather's funeral this Saturday

Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London. Harry is back in London ahead of his grandfather's funeral this Saturday

Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London. Harry is back in London ahead of his grandfather’s funeral this Saturday

Queen carries on: Grieving monarch ‘will still conduct state opening of Parliament on May 11’ 

The Queen will not delay returning to work after her husband’s funeral and plans to attend the state opening of Parliament next month, MailOnline can reveal today.

Her Majesty will attend the ceremonial event in the House of Lords without her husband Prince Philip and will be supported by her son Prince Charles at Westminster on May 11 instead.

She has entered an eight-day period of mourning following the death of her husband at the age of 99 – and thereafter a further official period of 30 days for the Royal Family, after which the Queen will make a full return to public life and duties.

The monarch has overseen every one of the constitutional set pieces since taking the throne in 1952, apart from in 1959 and 1963 when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward respectively.

While the Duke of Edinburgh only missed the event once, 12 months before he retired in 2018, when he was hospitalised.

Today a well-placed Westminster source has said the Queen is still planning to conduct the state opening of Parliament on May 11. There had been speculation that she might not attend in person amid the pandemic and after the loss of Prince Philip. But one source said: ‘She is still coming, with Charles.’

It came as the Royal Family released more tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh, from officers at Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where the Queen’s husband was awarded the King’s Dirk for the best all-round cadet of the term, as well as a prize for the best cadet in college.

 

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The Duke of Sussex was reportedly seen leaving his £11million California mansion on Saturday night in a black Cadillac Escalade to board an early-hours flight from LA, and disembarking a BA plane in chinos, a jacket and black face mask at the west London airport around 10 hours later at 1.15pm GMT on Sunday. 

Harry was met by security off the plane and put into a black Range Rover, before he was reportedly driven to Kensington Palace.

The Sun has claimed he is quarantining at the Christopher Wren-designed Nottingham Cottage, where Harry proposed to Meghan Markle in 2017. It is just a few yards from the apartment where his brother William lives with his family.

The Sunday Times has claimed that he will stay at Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle, so he can be close to his grandmother.

After Megxit, Frogmore was handed to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, who had their first child in February, but they are understood to split their time between the cottage and Kensington Palace.

Harry can leave quarantine after five days rather than 10 if he provides a negative test under the Government’s Test to Release scheme.

However, he will be allowed to attend Philip’s funeral regardless, as official guidelines state those coming in from abroad can leave isolation ‘on compassionate grounds’.

It comes as family members paid touching tributes to the duke. 

The Royal Family’s Twitter page shared a picture with the Queen and Prince Philip along with a moving quote from the monarch about her husband from a speech she made celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in 1997.

In the speech, looking back at their then 50 year marriage, she said: ‘He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.’

Grandchildren, Prince Harry and Prince William also paid tribute in statements released thirty minutes apart. 

Prince William praised his grandfather’s lifetime of service to ‘Queen, country and Commonwealth’ before Harry declared: ‘He was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end’. 

If you were William, could you forgive Harry? In the circumstances of their grandfather’s funeral, it’s the noble thing to do… but AMANDA PLATELL fears the brothers’ rift is beyond repair

If we could turn back time – by even a year – the sight of Princes William and Harry walking side by side behind their beloved Grandpa’s coffin at his funeral on Saturday would have been both heart-rending and heart-warming.

A nation would remember the day nearly a quarter of a century ago that these once inseparable boys followed in the wake of their mother Diana’s coffin – united forever, we thought, in grief and loss and love. An unbreakable bond.

Yet break that bond has. It has been shattered by Harry’s swift and unexpected departure from his royal duties to live in the US, and by the incendiary interview he and his wife gave to Oprah Winfrey in California as ‘Grandpa’ lay gravely ill in hospital.

There is hope now of reconciliation between William and Harry, with many believing that the duke’s death will grant them the common ground to rebuild their once rock-solid relationship; that this funeral will bring Diana’s once inseparable sons together again, just as she would have wished.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey last month

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey last month

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey last month

That as the elder, William should be the bigger man, extend the olive branch and excuse Harry and Meghan for all the pain they have caused the Royal Family by publicly branding at least one of them as racist in the interview with Oprah.

There are those who feel William should even find it in himself to forgive Harry, to move on, to forget all the wild, unfounded accusations levelled at him, his wife and the rest of the Royal Family.

As a Christian who believes in the sanctity of forgiveness as the cornerstone of our faith, I would dearly love that to happen. 

Yet if I were William – who, let’s not forget will one day become the Supreme Governor of the Church of England – I would have to ask myself: Can I really find it in myself to forgive Harry’s betrayal? Are some wounds just too deep?

Harry knew exactly what he was doing when he and Meghan secretly plotted to leave the UK just months after their wedding, demanding a new deal from the Queen to reduce their royal duties yet keep the privileges and titles and personal protection. 

All while pursuing a multi-millionaire celebrity lifestyle in California and living in the pocket of Netflix.

Yes, the same company which produced the hit TV series The Crown – a fantastic and often cruel representation of the royals, portraying the Queen as cold and out-of-touch and Prince Philip as a blundering buffoon.

Harry knew he would be badly letting down his brother William – also father to a young family – increasing not just his burden of duty but also the sheer amount of public engagements he would have to carry out in Harry’s absence.

He knew he was breaking that bond with his brother, yet he did it anyway. For, as Harry said in that interview, it was his new family – not the Royal Family – that now came first.

Yet, like his grandfather and grandmother, William never complained, never explained. 

Only once has he publicly defended his family from Meghan’s accusations, in an uncharacteristic and clearly furious response to a journalist who asked if her claims were true.

Prince William and Prince Harry attending the European premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017

Prince William and Prince Harry attending the European premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017

Prince William and Prince Harry attending the European premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the Royal Albert Hall in 2017

Through gritted teeth he replied: The Royal Family is ‘very much not racist’.

Harry must have known that what his wife was to tell the world in that interview would make the Royal Family look cold, remote and unwelcoming. 

As we saw, Harry was utterly complicit in his walk-on role – especially when it came to the as yet unspecified claims of racism.

Perhaps even more unforgivable is that Harry allowed his wife to traduce his sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, on more than one occasion.

Those of us who have come to love and admire our future queen were furious. Imagine how betrayed her husband must have felt! Harry had committed an unpardonable sin allowing Kate to be attacked. 

For, make no mistake, there is seldom any forgiveness between brothers when the sisters-in-law fall out.

Naturally, both men are utterly protective of their wives.

One can only imagine how upset Kate would have been when Meghan claimed in front of around 50million viewers worldwide that she had not made her cry at a fitting for her bridesmaid dress in 2018 – that it was Kate who had made her cry.

Meghan also claimed that she was suicidal when she was five months pregnant with son Archie and that the royals refused to make Archie a prince.

She claimed to have repeatedly asked the palace for advice, only to be ignored.

Prince Philip, Prince William, Charles Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles, walk during the funeral service for Princess Diana

Prince Philip, Prince William, Charles Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles, walk during the funeral service for Princess Diana

Prince Philip, Prince William, Charles Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles, walk during the funeral service for Princess Diana

The Queen was characteriscally chilly in her response, stating famously that ‘some recollections may vary’. 

But the House of Windsor has been left reeling and there is no doubt that the interview created deep anger and anxiety at a time when the family were preparing to say their final goodbyes to Prince Philip.

What sorrow Harry and Meghan’s words must have brought the Queen as her lifelong partner, her rock, was seriously ill in hospital.

And what brother could forgive another who justified his actions by saying that if Grandpa died they would postpone the interview? Not cancel. Simply delay! As it happened, the Duke did return home from hospital for a few weeks to die beside his beloved Lilibet.

Had Diana lived, perhaps she would have knocked some sense into Harry’s head, befriended Meghan, smoothed the path of conciliation between her two once inseparable sons.

Would she have seen the early warning signs, as women often do, and brokered peace before this modern day War of the Waleses had even began?

I feel great sadness for William and Kate now as they plan for Prince Philip’s funeral. To them he was a man they revered and loved, and they have pledged their life to serve in his honourable footsteps.

On top of all that, they will have to greet and smile at the brother who, with his wife, turned his back on that path and caused them so much pain.

Funerals are supposed to bring families together but, as many of us know, they can often rip them apart. Such sadness exacerbates pains inflicted, imagined or real.

Emotions are heightened; we cling to those we know we can trust. And for William and Kate, they are most unlikely to trust the man who allowed the contents of one of their recent conversations to be shared with America via TV anchor Gayle King.

Yet, still, I feel sorry for Harry, walking alone on that final march, knowing what damage he has inflicted – not just on his brother, but on the Queen and grandfather he adored and grieves for.

The boys may walk side by side on Saturday – just as they did with the Duke of Edinburgh, their father and uncle, all those years ago at their mother’s funeral. But I fear now that their hearts might as well be a million miles apart.

Meghan’s friends revealed this week that she and her husband were ‘ready to forgive’ the Royal Family for their treatment of her.

Sadly, I fear it will be many, many years – if ever – before William or Kate can forgive them.

Perfecting a fitting send-off for Philip: Soldiers from the Household Cavalry, Coldstream Guards and Royal Regiment carry out rehearsal drills as preparations step-up for funeral

  • British soldiers take part in rehearsal drills today at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey
  • Soldiers from Life Guards, Blues and Royals, Welsh Guards, Coldstream Guards are all involved in funeral
  • Armed guards and wardens continue to patrol outside Windsor Castle as preparations are made to streets 
  • Flowers continued to be laid outside castle and Thames Valley Police are carrying out specialist searches

Soldiers took part in rehearsal drills today ahead of Prince Philip‘s funeral this Saturday as mourners continued to gather outside royal residences to pay their respects following his death five days ago aged 99.

Members of the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals, which make up the senior Household Cavalry regiment, took part in rehearsals on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey.

Soldiers from the Welsh Guards, the Coldstream Guards, and the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) were also involved in practice sessions ahead of the funeral at Windsor Castle.

Armed guards and wardens continued to patrol outside Windsor as preparations were made to the streets outside including signs referred to the coronavirus pandemic, saying: ‘Don’t let your guard down.’

Media companies were busy setting up tents for broadcasting facilities ahead of Saturday while flowers continued to be laid outside the castle, as well as at Buckingham Palace in London where police were monitoring crowds.

Thames Valley Police are carrying out specialist searches around Windsor town, with officers examining street furniture including phone boxes, post boxes, drains and bins as part of the operation.  

Members of the Household Cavalry, The Blues and Royals rehearse in Woking today ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral

Members of the Household Cavalry, The Blues and Royals rehearse in Woking today ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral

Members of the Household Cavalry, The Blues and Royals rehearse in Woking today ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral

Soldier from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) rehearse in Woking today ahead of Philip's funeral

Soldier from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) rehearse in Woking today ahead of Philip's funeral

Soldier from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) rehearse in Woking today ahead of Philip’s funeral

Military personnel rehearse for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright today

Military personnel rehearse for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright today

Military personnel rehearse for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright today

A member of the Coldstream Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for the Duke's funeral

A member of the Coldstream Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for the Duke's funeral

A member of the Coldstream Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for the Duke’s funeral

Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking today

Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking today

Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking today

Soldiers from the Welsh Guards rehearse on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

Soldiers from the Welsh Guards rehearse on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

Soldiers from the Welsh Guards rehearse on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

A member of the Coldstream Guards prepares his uniform in Woking today ahead of rehearsals for Philip's funeral

A member of the Coldstream Guards prepares his uniform in Woking today ahead of rehearsals for Philip's funeral

A member of the Coldstream Guards prepares his uniform in Woking today ahead of rehearsals for Philip’s funeral

A member of the Household Cavalry, The Life Guards prepares her uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for the funeral

A member of the Household Cavalry, The Life Guards prepares her uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for the funeral

A member of the Household Cavalry, The Life Guards prepares her uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for the funeral

The bugler leading The Last Post at Philip's funeral, Sergeant Bugler Jamie Ritchie, I/C Corps of Drums, Royal Marines, ahead of a rehearsal for the service on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

The bugler leading The Last Post at Philip's funeral, Sergeant Bugler Jamie Ritchie, I/C Corps of Drums, Royal Marines, ahead of a rehearsal for the service on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

The bugler leading The Last Post at Philip’s funeral, Sergeant Bugler Jamie Ritchie, I/C Corps of Drums, Royal Marines, ahead of a rehearsal for the service on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey, today

 

One Royal Navy commander said the magnitude of being involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral has not quite sunk in for members of the military.

Philip’s close association with the military will be on show at his ceremonial funeral this weekend, with elements of the Royal Navy, RAF and Army present during an eight-minute procession in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

The duke had a distinguished career in the Navy, and while he gave up active service in 1951 he remained closely connected to the Navy and other military organisations throughout his public life.

Lieutenant Commander Hywell Morgan, commanding officer on HMS Magpie, is among hundreds of military personnel rehearsing this week for the funeral at Army Training Centre Pirbright, near Woking, Surrey.

Looking ahead to Saturday, he said: ‘It’s a slightly nerve-racking experience really. I don’t think the magnitude of it has quite sunk in. 

Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) rehearse for the Duke's funeral in Woking today

Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) rehearse for the Duke's funeral in Woking today

Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) rehearse for the Duke’s funeral in Woking today

A soldier from the Household Calvary Life Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for Philip's funeral

A soldier from the Household Calvary Life Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for Philip's funeral

A soldier from the Household Calvary Life Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for Philip’s funeral

A soldier from the Coldstream Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing for the Duke's funeral in Woking today

A soldier from the Coldstream Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing for the Duke's funeral in Woking today

A soldier from the Coldstream Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing for the Duke’s funeral in Woking today

A soldier from the Household Calvary Life Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing in Woking for the funeral today

A soldier from the Household Calvary Life Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing in Woking for the funeral today

A soldier from the Household Calvary Life Guards prepares his uniform before rehearsing in Woking for the funeral today

Soldiers from the Welsh Guards rehearse on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking today

Soldiers from the Welsh Guards rehearse on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking today

Soldiers from the Welsh Guards rehearse on the Drill Square at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking today

Soldiers from the Household Calvary, Life Guards prepare their uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for the funeral

Soldiers from the Household Calvary, Life Guards prepare their uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for the funeral

Soldiers from the Household Calvary, Life Guards prepare their uniform before rehearsing in Woking today for the funeral

A soldier from the The Life Guards is pictured during rehearsals in Woking today for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral

A soldier from the The Life Guards is pictured during rehearsals in Woking today for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral

A soldier from the The Life Guards is pictured during rehearsals in Woking today for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral

Soldiers from the Household Calvary, Life Guards and the Blues and Royals prepare their uniform in Woking today

Soldiers from the Household Calvary, Life Guards and the Blues and Royals prepare their uniform in Woking today

Soldiers from the Household Calvary, Life Guards and the Blues and Royals prepare their uniform in Woking today

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Broadlands on November 18, 2007. The Duke died last Friday aged 99

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Broadlands on November 18, 2007. The Duke died last Friday aged 99

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Broadlands on November 18, 2007. The Duke died last Friday aged 99

‘It’s an incredible privilege to be involved given the connection between the unit I currently command and the Duke of Edinburgh’s own command back in the early 1950s.’

Duke of Edinburgh Award launches new fund in memory of Prince Philip 

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has announced it is launching a new fund in memory of Philip, who founded the charity.

It said the Living Legacy Fund will give a million more young people in the UK the chance to achieve a DofE Award over the next five years.

The fund will help to establish new centres, train thousands more leaders and volunteers, and provide targeted help to young people who need specialist support to complete their award, the charity said.

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In July 1950, Philip was promoted to lieutenant commander and given his first command of HMS Magpie – a name that lives on in the current Navy fleet.

Lieutenant Commander Morgan, from the Rhondda Valley in South Wales, said: ‘There’s definitely a sense of following in the footsteps of greats, even though our vessels are considerably different in scope and size.’

He described the last few days as a ‘baptism of fire’, adding: ‘I don’t think the magnitude has quite sunk in for me personally, I think for some of the others as well.

‘But as we line up ready to march off on Saturday I’m sure it will sink in, and the true impact of just the scale of that event will sink in.’

Pirbright was chosen for rehearsals due to its proximity to Windsor and the infrastructure that allows for regular Covid-19 testing and accommodation.

The majority of the personnel gathered today were in their barrack dress as they practised parading and bands rehearsed music in a large space on the site. 

Captain Gemma Darrington, operations officer for 27th Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps, spoke of the importance of the rehearsals being Covid compliant.

She said organisers are ‘making sure we were doing everything that society would do and making sure our people are as safe as possible’, adding that personnel have been subject to Covid tests and social distancing is enforced.

‘Everything is made more difficult by Covid. Simple things – normally you can accommodate 1,000 people here, but that’s been reduced to 500 people, and so key for us is keeping bubbles as small as possible, so if anyone does contract it it’s affecting as few people as possible.

Children lay flowers among the tributes left near Windsor Castle today following the death of Prince Philip last Friday

Children lay flowers among the tributes left near Windsor Castle today following the death of Prince Philip last Friday

Children lay flowers among the tributes left near Windsor Castle today following the death of Prince Philip last Friday

A warden walks in front of police officers who stand guard outside Windsor Castle today, three days before Philip's funeral

A warden walks in front of police officers who stand guard outside Windsor Castle today, three days before Philip's funeral

A warden walks in front of police officers who stand guard outside Windsor Castle today, three days before Philip’s funeral

People stand outside Windsor Castle today in front of flowers left in memory of Prince Philip following his death aged 99

People stand outside Windsor Castle today in front of flowers left in memory of Prince Philip following his death aged 99

People stand outside Windsor Castle today in front of flowers left in memory of Prince Philip following his death aged 99

A well-wisher arrives to deliver a floral tribute to Windsor Castle today in memory of the late Duke of Edinburgh

A well-wisher arrives to deliver a floral tribute to Windsor Castle today in memory of the late Duke of Edinburgh

A well-wisher arrives to deliver a floral tribute to Windsor Castle today in memory of the late Duke of Edinburgh

Members of the public look at Windsor Castle and take pictures outside today following the death of Prince Philip last week

Members of the public look at Windsor Castle and take pictures outside today following the death of Prince Philip last week

Members of the public look at Windsor Castle and take pictures outside today following the death of Prince Philip last week

Children stand outside Windsor Castle as they look at flowers placed at the gates in memory of Prince Philip

Children stand outside Windsor Castle as they look at flowers placed at the gates in memory of Prince Philip

Children stand outside Windsor Castle as they look at flowers placed at the gates in memory of Prince Philip

Armed police patrol outside Windsor Castle today, nearly a week after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99

Armed police patrol outside Windsor Castle today, nearly a week after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99

Armed police patrol outside Windsor Castle today, nearly a week after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99

A worker installs Covid-19 information signs depicting Coldstream Guards wearing face coverings at Windsor Castle today

A worker installs Covid-19 information signs depicting Coldstream Guards wearing face coverings at Windsor Castle today

A worker installs Covid-19 information signs depicting Coldstream Guards wearing face coverings at Windsor Castle today

Wardens stand outside Windsor Castle today as preparations continue inside for Prince Philip's funeral this Saturday

Wardens stand outside Windsor Castle today as preparations continue inside for Prince Philip's funeral this Saturday

Wardens stand outside Windsor Castle today as preparations continue inside for Prince Philip’s funeral this Saturday

A well-wisher wheels a floral tribute to Prince Philip through the streets of Windsor before arriving at the castle today

A well-wisher wheels a floral tribute to Prince Philip through the streets of Windsor before arriving at the castle today

A well-wisher wheels a floral tribute to Prince Philip through the streets of Windsor before arriving at the castle today

‘Again, you want to reduce that spread. It is just that detailed planning of how you get everyone in here in that Covid-compliant manner and safely.

‘It’s a huge honour. I don’t think we’ve really had time to think about it, and the magnitude of the event that we’re supporting, because we have been very busy.

‘But I very much look forward to taking that time on Saturday when the service is going ahead and take the time to think about the royal family, and what they’re going through, and really paying our respects in that way.

‘But absolutely, we know we’re playing a part in history here and we do feel very privileged to be in that role.’ 

One cafe worker in Windsor said the Duke of Edinburgh was a ‘big part of the community’, and is expecting the Berkshire town to be ‘very busy’ on the day of Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral at St George’s Chapel. 

Tone Mendez, who has worked at the nearby Clairmont’s cafe for 12 years, said he may be working from 3am that day due to an expected influx of visitors.

But the 39-year-old, originally from Portugal, said the cafe in the High Street has been ordered by the local council not to put any tables outside.

Authorities have already warned well-wishers not to visit the town on the day of the funeral due to concerns over the potential transmission of Covid-19.

Members of the public make their way along the Long Walk at Windsor Castle today as people leave floral tributes to Philip

Members of the public make their way along the Long Walk at Windsor Castle today as people leave floral tributes to Philip

Members of the public make their way along the Long Walk at Windsor Castle today as people leave floral tributes to Philip

Well wishers leave floral tributes outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire today following the death of Philip last week

Well wishers leave floral tributes outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire today following the death of Philip last week

Well wishers leave floral tributes outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire today following the death of Philip last week

A pedestrian walks under a sign asking people not to gather at royal residencies as Windsor Castle is also seen today

A pedestrian walks under a sign asking people not to gather at royal residencies as Windsor Castle is also seen today

A pedestrian walks under a sign asking people not to gather at royal residencies as Windsor Castle is also seen today

A worker carries social distancing signs in the shape of soldiers outside Windsor Castle today

A worker carries social distancing signs in the shape of soldiers outside Windsor Castle today

A worker carries social distancing signs in the shape of soldiers outside Windsor Castle today

A Windsor Castle warden stands outside the royal residence today as preparations continue for Philip's funeral

A Windsor Castle warden stands outside the royal residence today as preparations continue for Philip's funeral

A Windsor Castle warden stands outside the royal residence today as preparations continue for Philip’s funeral 

Tents are set up for television broadcast journalists to work from near Windsor Castle today ahead of Saturday's funeral

Tents are set up for television broadcast journalists to work from near Windsor Castle today ahead of Saturday's funeral

Tents are set up for television broadcast journalists to work from near Windsor Castle today ahead of Saturday’s funeral

Workers move flowers left as tributes to inside the grounds of Windsor Castle today as mourners continue to gather

Workers move flowers left as tributes to inside the grounds of Windsor Castle today as mourners continue to gather

Workers move flowers left as tributes to inside the grounds of Windsor Castle today as mourners continue to gather

Members of the media work near Windsor Castle today ahead of the funeral being broadcast around the world this weekend

Members of the media work near Windsor Castle today ahead of the funeral being broadcast around the world this weekend

Members of the media work near Windsor Castle today ahead of the funeral being broadcast around the world this weekend

Three portraits are seen in a gallery window near Windsor Castle today following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh

Three portraits are seen in a gallery window near Windsor Castle today following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh

Three portraits are seen in a gallery window near Windsor Castle today following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh

A tribute is seen in a pub window near Windsor Castle today ahead of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh this Saturday

A tribute is seen in a pub window near Windsor Castle today ahead of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh this Saturday

A tribute is seen in a pub window near Windsor Castle today ahead of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh this Saturday

A mounted regiment of the British Army exercises their horses along The Long Walk leading to Windsor Castle today

A mounted regiment of the British Army exercises their horses along The Long Walk leading to Windsor Castle today

A mounted regiment of the British Army exercises their horses along The Long Walk leading to Windsor Castle today

Preparations being made for TV and radio broadcasters outside Windsor Castle today ahead of the funeral this Saturday

Preparations being made for TV and radio broadcasters outside Windsor Castle today ahead of the funeral this Saturday

Preparations being made for TV and radio broadcasters outside Windsor Castle today ahead of the funeral this Saturday

Wardens and a police officer stand outside Windsor Castle today as preparations continue ahead of Philip's funeral

Wardens and a police officer stand outside Windsor Castle today as preparations continue ahead of Philip's funeral

Wardens and a police officer stand outside Windsor Castle today as preparations continue ahead of Philip’s funeral

‘This weekend we received a letter from the council saying we’re not allowed to put any tables from Friday night until six o’clock on Saturday,’ Mr Mendez said.

‘It is a big shame. It will be lovely to put all the tables out and people just sit there on (a) sunny day. But they probably think the town is going to be very busy and, for safety reasons, we’re not allowed to put tables outside.’  

He said the last time such a rule was imposed was for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May 2018, when thousands lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the royal couple.

Asked about his expectations for Saturday, Mr Mendez said: ‘I believe it’s going to be very, very busy. I’ve been hearing things around that they are going to shut Windsor, but I don’t know if it’s true or not.’

Mr Mendez said lockdown had meant a ‘tough few weeks’ for the cafe, but the last few days have been ‘quite intense’. He added: ‘Windsor is packed now. Every weekend is going mental now,. And we expect to be more busy this weekend.’

The duke’s funeral will take place entirely behind the walls of Windsor Castle, with members of the public urged not to visit the historic market town to try to watch the proceedings.

John Story, mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, previously said: ‘It is a very difficult time for people and people have very strong feelings, but we have to ask everyone to put theirs and the health and safety of others at the top of their list of priorities and not come in to Windsor.’

When he initially learned of Philip’s death from his daughter, Mr Mendez said he thought it was ‘a joke’ but when he saw ‘a lot of people walking by with flowers’ he knew it was ‘real’.

He added: ‘He’s a big part of the community of Windsor. We see him in the Long Walk riding his horses… at the market he’s there talking to people. He’s a very nice person to deal with. But now he’s gone, it’s a shame.’

Thames Valley Police have also advised people to respect the Royal Household’s wishes and Government advice by not visiting royal residences or gathering in public to protect against coronavirus transmission.

Additional officers are due to be patrolling Windsor town centre. The UK is officially in a period of national mourning for the next week, up to and including Philip’s funeral on Saturday afternoon. 

The service at St George’s Chapel will be like no other, with the Queen and her family wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to say their final farewell amid Covid-19 restrictions.  

Members of the public leave tributes to the Duke Of Edinburgh outside the gates of Buckingham Palace in London today

Members of the public leave tributes to the Duke Of Edinburgh outside the gates of Buckingham Palace in London today

Members of the public leave tributes to the Duke Of Edinburgh outside the gates of Buckingham Palace in London today

Police officers and well wishers gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace today to pay tribute to Prince Philip

Police officers and well wishers gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace today to pay tribute to Prince Philip

Police officers and well wishers gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace today to pay tribute to Prince Philip

A police officer speaks with members of the public through the gates at Buckingham Palace in London today

A police officer speaks with members of the public through the gates at Buckingham Palace in London today

A police officer speaks with members of the public through the gates at Buckingham Palace in London today

A cyclist walks past tributes to Prince Philip outside Buckingham Palace today following the Duke's death last Friday

A cyclist walks past tributes to Prince Philip outside Buckingham Palace today following the Duke's death last Friday

A cyclist walks past tributes to Prince Philip outside Buckingham Palace today following the Duke’s death last Friday

A member of the Queen's Guard crosses the street to Buckingham Palace in London today as funeral preparations continue

A member of the Queen's Guard crosses the street to Buckingham Palace in London today as funeral preparations continue

A member of the Queen’s Guard crosses the street to Buckingham Palace in London today as funeral preparations continue

The Union Flag at Buckingham Palace flies at half mast today as a tribute to Prince Philip following his death last week

The Union Flag at Buckingham Palace flies at half mast today as a tribute to Prince Philip following his death last week

The Union Flag at Buckingham Palace flies at half mast today as a tribute to Prince Philip following his death last week

Buckingham Palace is pictured from Green Park today as mourners continue to gather at the royal residence in London

Buckingham Palace is pictured from Green Park today as mourners continue to gather at the royal residence in London

Buckingham Palace is pictured from Green Park today as mourners continue to gather at the royal residence in London

People sit outside Kensington Palace in West London today as the world continues to mourn the death of Prince Philip

People sit outside Kensington Palace in West London today as the world continues to mourn the death of Prince Philip

People sit outside Kensington Palace in West London today as the world continues to mourn the death of Prince Philip

The statue of Queen Victoria at Kensington Palace is pictured today as the Royal Family continue their period of mourning

The statue of Queen Victoria at Kensington Palace is pictured today as the Royal Family continue their period of mourning

The statue of Queen Victoria at Kensington Palace is pictured today as the Royal Family continue their period of mourning

Philip’s wishes are the driving force behind the funeral plans, and on the day his coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design.

Princess Eugenie releases a poignant tribute to her ‘dearest grandpa’ Philip

Princess Eugenie has paid a heartfelt tribute to her ‘dearest Grandpa’ the Duke of Edinburgh, pledging to look after ‘Granny’ the Queen for him.

Eugenie, one of the duke’s eight grandchildren, recalled fond memories being taught to cook, paint and what to read by Philip, who died on Friday aged 99.

Princess Eugenie, 30,  has penned an emotional tribute to Prince Philip. They are pictured at the Epsom Derby in 2017

Princess Eugenie, 30,  has penned an emotional tribute to Prince Philip. They are pictured at the Epsom Derby in 2017

Princess Eugenie, 30,  has penned an emotional tribute to Prince Philip. They are pictured at the Epsom Derby in 2017

Looking back on happier days, the princess, 31, who just weeks ago gave birth to her first child, began her message to the duke on Instagram with: ‘Dearest Grandpa, We all miss you. You would be so touched by all the tributes that have been shared with me the past few days. 

‘People remember sitting next to you at a dinner, or shaking your hand once, who remember you saying hello in passing, or remember how much their DofE award meant to them.

‘I remember learning how to cook, how to paint, what to read. I remember laughing at your jokes and asking about your spectacular life and service in the navy.

‘I remember incinerating the sausages and you swooping in to save the day. I remember your hands and your laugh and your favourite beer. I will remember you in your children, your grandchildren and great grandchildren. Thank you for your dedication and love for us all and especially Granny, who we will look after for you. With all my love Eugenie.’

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This will be followed by Prince Charles and senior royals on foot. The coffin will be covered by the duke’s personal standard together with his naval cap and sword and a wreath of flowers.

Only 30 people – expected to be the Duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend as guests, but the Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her doctor not to travel to the UK for the funeral.

Mourners coming from outside England are required to self-isolate for the first full ten days after they arrive, but are allowed to leave on compassionate grounds to attend a funeral of a close family member.

The Duke of Sussex, who is in quarantine at Frogmore Cottage after travelling from the US, could also be released from quarantine if he gets a negative private test on day five under the Test to Release scheme.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has given up his seat at the funeral to allow a family member to attend. While all public elements of the funeral – to take place entirely in the grounds of the castle – have been cancelled, it will be televised.

As the funeral procession makes its way through the grounds of the castle, Charles will be joined by senior royals – but not the Queen – walking behind the coffin and followed by Philip’s household, the most senior figure his private secretary Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell.

The route of the procession will be lined by representatives from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF and the Service chiefs will walk ahead of the coffin, with the cortege led by the Band of the Grenadier Guards.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, are expected to officiate at the service. 

The duke died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday. On Saturday, gun salutes were fired across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea in tribute. 

The royal family has appealed to people who wish to pay their respects in person to stay at home instead.

The Queen may have to sit alone during the service due to social distancing rules, the Telegraph has reported. She is staying at Windsor with a reduced number of around 22 staff, in what has been dubbed HMS Bubble. 

It is thought Philip’s funeral could attract one of the largest television audiences of the year.

The biggest TV audience so far saw 25.1 million people watch Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s televised address on January 4 announcing a new national lockdown, while 13.9 million viewers tuned in for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with US broadcaster Oprah Winfrey last month.

Broadcasters have yet to confirm their plans for Philip’s funeral, but the BBC and ITV are likely to devote several hours to the event, including the ceremony at 3pm.  

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  1. look at the resenftul whining of the HBOS staff on here !

    your bank FAILED – it proved unequal to the task of running a financial institution taking other people’s money in a proper and responsible manner.

    a Receiver should have been appointed to keep sticky fingers out of the till.

    the contempt for HBOS customers comes through loud and clear. You think bank customers should behave in a more rational manner with their money ? You mean: change their bank ?

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