Windsor Castle was the scene of a spectacular display of pomp and pageantry today as the Queen laid her beloved husband to rest after 73 years of ‘unwavering loyalty’.
Thousands of members of the public lined the streets of Windsor to honour Philip in defiance of Buckingham Palace’s call to stay away due to Covid rules, as police threw a ‘ring of steel’ around the commemorations.
Inside the castle bailey, the Duke of Edinburgh’s casket was covered in his personal standard and carried his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers as pallbearers lowered him on to his extraordinary self-designed Land Rover hearse.
The Queen arrived as the national anthem played and the royal Bentley stopped next to her husband’s coffin, where she poignantly paused for a moment of reflection as cannons fired and bells tolled in remembrance of the duke as hundreds of troops watched on.
Her Majesty was then driven to St George’s Chapel with a lady in waiting, before being sat alone at the front of the church where she stood alone and bowed her head during the national minute’s silence.
Following behind the coffin was the royal procession, led by Philip’s children Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. The grandchildren, including Prince William and Prince Harry, followed but the feuding brother by their cousin Peter Phillips.
The Queen had decided that no royals should wear military uniform after Prince Andrew demanded to dress as an Admiral and Prince Harry was stripped of his titles. They were allowed to wear their medals, however.
Massed military bands stood still as the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin past by in a Land Rover that he had built himself
The Foot Guards Band are seen marching ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle
Members of the military march ahead of the funeral service at Prince Philip’s Windsor home
The detachments of service personnel from the military units the duke had a special relationship assembled on the green of the castle’s quadrangle – while lining its edge are troops from the Household Cavalry and the Foot Guards
Troops stood with their heads bowed as the Land Rover, upon which the coffin will be placed, was driven into the quadrangle while military bands played music selected by the duke
The duke’s coffin could be seen draped with his personal standard, which pays tribute to his birth heritage as a Prince of Greece and Denmark, his family name and his Edinburgh title
Prince Philip’s coffin has emerged from Windsor Castle as the Royal Family joined the Queen in mourning her husband at his funeral.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s casket was covered in his personal standard and carried his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers as masked pallbearers carried his coffin onto his extraordinary self-designed Land Rover hearse
Prince Philip’s coffin is loaded onto the Land Rover during his funeral service at Windsor Castle this afternoon
The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin is loaded onto the back of his handmade Land Rover before being taken to St George’s Chapel
Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Peter Phillips, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Earl of Snowdon David Armstrong-Jones and Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence follow Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin during the Ceremonial Procession
The Queen is officially seen in public for the first time since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, leaving Windsor Castle to attend Philip’s funeral
The Queen arrives behind her husband’s coffin as his funeral began this afternoon
Prince Charles looked griefstricken as he followed his father on the final journey to church
William and Harry walked together into the church but had Peter Phillips, the duke’s eldest grandchildren, at the centre
The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex, who have a troubled relationship, did not walk shoulder to shoulder with their cousin Peter Phillips between them
The Royal Family’s procession was led by Prince Charles and Princess Anne who looked emotional following the casket
Prince Charles looked emotional next to his siblings with his children following behind
Prince Philip’s coffin carried by pallbearers from the armed forces on an extraordinary day of pomp and ceremony
he Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with His Royal Highness’s Personal Standard is carried to the purpose built Land Rover
The coffin is carried up the world famous steps of St George’s Chapel on its final journey
St George’s Chapel, the scene of Harry and Meghan’s wedding and other happier occasions, contained only 30 guests for the Duke’s funeral
Queen Elizabeth had to sit alone inside St George’s Chapel for her husband’s funeral service due to coronavirus restrictions
Philip’s coffin had his standard, navy cap and a sword given to him by the Queen’s father when they married 73 years ago
Prince Charles blinks away tears as he follows the coffin into the church with his brothers behind him
A tearful Prince Charles watches as his father’s body is carried to the altar, as he is supported by his wife Camilla
The Queen walked from the church with Dean David Connor after the emotional state occasion
Harry and William walked back to the castle in the spring sunshine with Kate, speaking for the first time in a year
Hundreds of people watched as the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery processed along the Long Walk up to Windsor Castle from midday.
Dozens of riders, wearing black, gold and red uniforms and carrying three guns, rode up to Cambridge Gate where tributes to the duke have been laid throughout the week.
Members of the regiment fired minute guns from the east lawn of Windsor Castle as Philip’s coffin was taken from the castle to the chapel.
Drains and rivers surrounding the castle were scoured for security threats and in London all roads around Buckingham Palace have been closed off.
Dozens of police – some armed – and security officers are on duty, patrols are being carried out in parks surrounding the Palace and a police helicopter hovers above.
Security was on high-alert, with police snipers placed on roof tops and armed officers patrolling the streets.
The Foot Guards Band are seen marching into position ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle today
Members of the military arrive for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh in Windsor Castle, Berkshire
Thousands of people gathered in Windsor today for Prince Philip’s funeral – although crowds were much smaller than usual due to Covid regulations
Professor Chris Imafidon (second from left), outside Windsor Castle, who says he met the Duke on a few occasions, has spoken of his dismay that crowds cannot gather in the same numbers as usual
London Black Cab taxi drivers observe a minute’s silence for the Duke of Edinburgh at the end of the Mall this afternoon
A carriage moves through Windsor Great Park towards Windsor Castle, which has been a royal residence for hundreds of years
Britain’s Sophie, Countess of Wessex arrives for the funeral service of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh inside St George’s Chapel
Household staff assemble outside Windsor Castle while soldiers bow their heads as Prince Philip’s coffin passes by
Royal Navy personnel have played a major role in today’s commemorations, in a nod to Philip’s service
Covid-19 regulations have reduced the scope of the service with public elements cancelled, mourners reduced from around 800 to just 30, and all guests wearing face masks and sitting apart
Members of the armed forces gather outside St George’s Chapel, where the ceremony took place to honour Prince Philip
Philip’s coffin was carried on a custom-built Land Rover Defender hearse designed by the duke and modified over 16 years
Members of the Lifeguards march into position at Windsor Castle prior to the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral today
Soldiers of The Coldstream Guards marching ahead of the Prince Philip’s funeral
Airmen of the Royal Air Force marching through the Windsor Castle bailey prior to the ceremony this afternoon
Postboxes were sealed, rubbish bins were checked and experts went down into drains to check for threats as part of the intense security ring.
One officer earlier told MailOnline they were expecting ‘thousands’ of people to arrive at other Royal palaces.
He added: ‘The funeral may be in Windsor but we’re expecting a lot of people to turn up at Buckingham Palace, as they have been through the week.
‘The sun is out and people have been very moved by Philip’s death. There’s lots of media here and we have to make sure things run smoothly because the eyes of the world are on us.’
Thames Valley Police has put a range of visible and covert security measures in place, including automated number plate checks, CCTV and barriers to prevent attacks using vehicles, as well as armed and mounted officers on patrol.
Military personnel enter the gates to Windsor Castle as the procession continues
The military bands parade on the day of Prince Philip’s funeral as the procession continues
Marching bands began moving down the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park and into the Norman castle from around midday
Members of the Royal Marines and the Foot Guards line the route of the procession at Windsor Castle
Members of the military marching in the Engine Court ahead of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh in Windsor Castle
Members of the military march before the funeral service of Britain’s Prince Philip. Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, died on April 9 aged 99
Sir David Attenborough seen walking with his daughter Susan Attenborough in Windsor just before the funeral of Prince Philip
Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, looks on as she heads to the funeral of her close friend and confidante Philip
William and Kate leave Kensington Palace ahead of their first meeting with Prince Harry for more than a year following the turmoil of Megxit
Princess Eugenie of York arrives for the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain’s Prince Philip this afternoon ahead of the ceremony
The Queen will follow her husband’s coffin on his Land Rover hearse down from the castle to the chapel in her State Bentley
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrives at St George’s Chapel on the grounds of Windsor Castle on the day of the funeral of Prince Philip
The Highlanders march before Prince Philip’s funeral service
Prince Philip’s hat and gloves are pictures on the seat of a carriage during the procession
Members of the military march outside St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery arrive at Windsor Castle in preparation for the Gun Salute on the palace grounds
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery arrive at Windsor Castle in preparation for the Gun Salute
Images reflecting and celebrating the life of HRH Prince Philip are displayed on the large screen at Piccadilly Circus
Some 700 members of the military will take part in a parade this afternoon
The Foot Guards Band are seen marching ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip
The Foot Guards Band are seen marching at the funeral of Prince Philip
A military band plays outside St George’s Chapel ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral
Members of The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery arrive at Windsor Castle as crowds watch on
A man pays his respects by raising his bowler hat as members of The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery arrive
Hundreds of people in the town of Windsor took part in a national minute’s silence in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh as his funeral began.
Crowds lining the high street outside the walls of Windsor Castle and along the Long Walk fell silent at 3pm in remembrance of the nation’s longest-serving consort.
People held Union flags, partners wore matching hats and others clutched bunches of flowers.
Commemorations were disrupted shortly after, when a topless protester ran past crowds and jumped on to a statue of Queen Victoria before being removed by police officers.
The woman, who was without a top or bra, ran into the road shouting “save the planet” when members of the public began clapping following the silence.
People had arrived steadily in the town throughout Saturday morning to pay their respects to the duke.
Some were seen wearing custom face masks bearing Philip’s image.
Members of the Household Cavalry and Life Guards (left) and the military (right) marched outside St George’s Chapel
Philip’s favourite carriage arrives at Windsor, with his hat and gloved in his seat in a poignant scene
A dismounted detachment of The Life Guards and The Blues & Royals of The Household Cavalry arrive at Windsor Castle
Members of The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery are pictured on the day of the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip
A man raises a bowler hat to the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery as they ride past on the Long Walk
The Kings Troop and their artillery arrive for the funeral, with the ceremonial event involved 700 members of the armed forces
The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery move along The Long Walk towards the castle ahead of the procession this afternoon as crowds amassed
The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery enter into Windsor Castle
A lone soldier walks from the main castle down towards St George’s Chapel at an eerily deserted Windsor
People gather for the funeral service of Prince Philip. One woman holds up a sign as social distancing is ignored
Members of a military band march into position at Windsor Castle in Windsor ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral today
The Foot Guards Band are seen marching into position ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip. Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years, died on April 9 aged 99
The Military procession proceeds through the grounds of Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip following his death at 99
The Foot Guards Band marching before the funeral. Only 30 guests are at the funeral but the ceremonial event involved 700 members of the armed forces
While much of the typical pageantry has been pared back, Buckingham Palace says the funeral will still reflect Philip’s life of service and the plans he himself spent years fine-tuning
Members of the military stand guard in formation on the grounds of Windsor Castle as the Royal Standard fag flutters on the day of funeral
The Household Cavalry would normally be flanked by huge crowds of mourners, but today only a sea of flowers surrounded them
Hundreds of people kept apart from each other as they gathered to watch a procession in Windsor
Police kept an eye on the crowd as people started to flock to Windsor
A Corgi dog wearing a Union Jack bandana is seen near Windsor Castle on the day of the funeral
Coronavirus restrictions meant that fewer people were able to visit the town to mark the occasion but residents praised the royal family for “setting an example” by limiting numbers during the ongoing pandemic.
Road signs in the area warned: “Avoid all non-essential travel and do not gather at royal residences,” though some visited briefly to lay tributes to the duke.
Sasha Spicer, 52, who wore a Union flag poncho, said Philip had been a “fantastic role model” and that she felt sorry for the Queen.
“I’ve come down to pay my respects, say rest in peace and thanks for service to the country and that we’ll miss you,” she said. “He was a lovely fella.”
Ms Spicer said she was “impressed” by the crowds who had come to the town on the day of the funeral.
“He was a fantastic role model and someone who was known for his banter. Quite a character.
“The Queen is going to miss him…they were best friends. I feel for her.”
At midday scores of people gathered in the sunshine to watch as the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery processed along the Long Walk up to Cambridge Gate.
Dozens of riders, wearing black, gold and red uniforms and carrying three guns, rode up to the gate where tributes to the duke have been laid throughout the week.
‘Thousands’ of well-wishers are expected to descend on the Royal palaces this afternoon to pay their respects despite the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral taking place at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, one officer told MailOnline. Pictured, armed officers gather outside Windsor Castle
Police officers keep watch using binoculars from a rooftop window as security ramps up for the funeral
A young girl dons yellow wellington boots as she observes the procession at Windsor Castle
People wait by barriers outside Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip
As with all royal events, there was a tight security operation and police divers were pictured searching a drain near the grounds
Police officers on a rooftop keeping watch over the surrounding area as part of the ring of steel security operation
Dozens of police officers marched through Windsor’s town centre today as patrols were launched ahead of the funeral
The regiment fired minute guns from the east lawn of Windsor Castle as Philip’s coffin was taken from the castle to St George’s Chapel.
Earlier, members of the public expressed their sadness that crowds could not gather in the town, and said the country was “missing out” on fully commemorating the duke’s death.
Windsor resident Ian Mawhinney, 56, said that it had been a “sombre few weeks” in the town but that the royal family were “setting an example” by limiting numbers.
“I think it’s really important to mark the event. It’s been a very sombre time for the town,” he told PA.
“Living in Windsor, you realise how much they do for the community and the country.
“You sense the loss more here. It’s been a very sombre few weeks.
“I’m quite torn about the measures. I think the country is missing out on something.
“I think the royal family are setting an example.
“Having a small event is not what they would have wanted but they will adapt and…honour (Philip) in their own way.”
Professor Chris Imafidon, from Essex, who says he met Phillip on several occasions, said: “He has done so much for this country, there should be a big public celebration of his life.
“People have been asked not to come, so I think it will be a quiet atmosphere, I just feel so sad.”
Police officers outside Windsor Castle were instructed to tell mourners to move on ahead of expected crowds for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at St George’s Chapel
Bored security guards in Windsor have been pictured standing in groups of 16 as they chat in the sunshine with instructions to ask any gathering groups to keep moving due to Covid restrictions
Armed police patrol the grounds outside Windsor Castle to ensure no security threats are made
Police officers stand guard outside Windsor Castle to help disperse any gathering crowds
Thelma O’Donnell, a nanny, was one of the people who ignored advice not to go to Windsor for the funeral.
Mrs O’Donnell, who was with her husband Thomas, wanted to record the scenes around the castle on her phone to put on Facebook so that her family in The Philippines could see them.
She said: ‘My family and I loved Prince Phillip. He has always been part of our lives and we will miss him.
‘I wanted to pay my respects in person, but we will go back to our home near Heathrow in time and watch the funeral on television.’
Her husband added: ‘We heard that people were being asked to stay away. But we don’t live that far and we just wanted to see what it was like a Windsor before we go and watch on TV. We have nothing but respect for the royal family.‘
James Louizou, 24, from Manchester was with his girlfriend Eliza and said they had arrived in London last night for a weekend in the capital.
He said: ‘We have come here because we thought it would be quite a spectacle. There are actually very few people here. We might have been better off watching the funeral on TV. But the castle is amazing to see.’
At lunchtime, the Long Walk was virtually empty with only around 100 locals in the area.
In Windsor town centre, locals made the most of the shops reopening, but were expected ’to come to a standstill’ at 3pm in a minute’s silence for Prince Phillip.
In London, all roads around Buckingham Palace (pictured) have been closed off, dozens of police – some of them armed – are on duty, private security guards stand outside, officers patrol surrounding parks and a police helicopter hovers above
Some members of the public did visit Windsor this morning, despite being urged by Buckingham Palace to stay away
Despite the absence of spectators, security was on high-alert, with police snipers placed on roof tops and armed officers patrolling the streets. Postboxes were sealed and rubbish bins were checked as part of the security ring
Experts say GCHQ could even be listening in to ‘chatter’ around the world online and on phones, looking out for any spikes in conversations about the funeral.
The Government’s Rule Of Six puts police officers in a difficult position as they try to control the crowds and Royal fans have been told not to attend any part of the events that make up the funeral due to Covid restrictions.
They have also been asked not to lay flowers because it could encourage crowds and lead to a super-spread of the coronavirus.
Buckingham Palace instead invited well-wishers to sign a book of condolences – but only online, to avoid crowds and queues.
Despite this, local florists opened early this morning as they braced themselves for a hectic day.
Florist Bridge Banks Harvey, 36, who was one of the first well wishers to arrive at Buckingham Palace this morning, said: ‘I’m opening up my shop early because I’m expecting a lot of customers. I came to the Palace to pay my respects before things get busy.’
Police officers troop through the town of Windsor and take up positions on the estate this morning ahead of Philip’s funeral
In Windsor police patrols will also be stepped up to enforce Covid rules, which bans large gatherings
Armed police officers move through the media pack outside Windsor Castle on the morning of Prince Philip’s funeral
Security, police and the media currently vastly outnumber the public in the Long Walk and in the streets around the castle as trains from Waterloo and Paddington roll empty into Windsor
From the Queen to Mike Tindall: Funeral guest list
Here is the full list of guests who will attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday:
- The Queen
- The Prince of Wales
- The Duchess of Cornwall
- The Duke of Cambridge
- The Duchess of Cambridge
- The Duke of Sussex
- The Duke of York
- Princess Beatrice
- Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
- Princess Eugenie
- Jack Brooksbank
- The Earl of Wessex
- The Countess of Wessex
- Lady Louise Windsor
- Viscount Severn
- The Princess Royal
- Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence
- Peter Phillips
- Zara Phillips
- Mike Tindall
- Earl of Snowdon
- Lady Sarah Chatto
- Daniel Chatto
- Duke of Gloucester
- Duke of Kent
- Princess Alexandra
- Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden
- Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse
- Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
- The Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Scroll down to the bottom of this article for a more detailed look at who has been confirmed as attending
She revealed she last week sold out of flowers as thousands of mourners left floral tributes to Prince Philip.
Ms Banks Harvey, who works at Pulbridge and Gould Florist in Victoria said: ‘People have been very moved by Philip’s death and want to remember him.’
Officers will be patrolling Buckingham Palace and Westminster for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
Police have asked the public not to gather by royal residences, to avoid meeting in large groups, to minimise travel and to make a donation to charity instead of laying floral tributes.
Sam Welsh, 68 who laid a bunch of yellow roses said: ‘Philip was alright, he did a good job and made me laugh. I just wanted to honour his memory and pay respect to his life.
‘He was a good bloke and I’m sure we’ll all miss him but not as much as the Queen Mother, who I really loved.
‘With Philip gone it’s going to be tough for the Queen. I hope she copes OK because she’s got a difficult job.’
A member of staff at Windsor’s train station told MailOnline the usual crowds have not turned out for the funeral today.
They added: ‘Whenever there is a Royal occasion here, you get people sleeping overnight and certainly by 9am every train is packed. Today there hasn’t been a single person who has passed through here to stand outside the castle.’
Those who did travel to Windsor Castle to lay tributes today were asked to remove any wrapping from flowers and warned they would be removed at the end of the day.
The first floral tribute, at Buckingham Palace was laid by Claudia, 10 who was accompanied by her mother Chesma, 40.
Chesma revealed that she and her daughter set off from their East London home shortly after 6am and had laid yellow tulips.
She said: ‘We only moved to the UK from India 10 years ago but in that time we’ve come to love the Royal family. They represent this nation and we wanted to pay our respects to Prince Philip.’
Claudia said: ‘I really wanted to come here because I feel sorry for the Queen. She’s going to miss Prince Philip a lot as we all will.’
The mother and daughter revealed that they had decided to arrive early so that they could avoid any crowds and return home to watch the funeral on TV.
A man carrying flowers walks next to Windsor Castle, where at 3pm Prince Philip will be laid to rest
In Windsor police patrols will also be stepped up to enforce Covid rules, which bans large gatherings
Wardens stand outside Windsor Castle on the day of the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip
An armed police officer stands guard at the entrance to Windsor Castle
Thames Valley Police said it has put a range of visible and covert security measures in place for Saturday
Armed Police Officers pictured on patrol outside Windsor Castle today
Chris Davies, 39 left his home in St Neots, Cambridgeshire with his son Christopher, 12 at 7am to pay his respects.
Chris, who was in the Royal Navy for 12 years, said: ‘I wanted to pay my respects to a fellow naval man. I love the Royal family and had a lot of respect for Prince Philip. We came down on the train early so that we can get home to watch the funeral on TV.’
Christopher said: ‘My dad’s told me a lot of stories about the navy and has brought me up to respect the Royal family. I wanted to come to pay my respects.’
Chris revealed that he was one of the Queen’s guards for her Jubilee celebrations in 2000.
He added: ‘I’ll always remember Prince Philip for his gaffes and sense of humour. He was quite a character, had a tendency to put his foot in it and will be missed.’
Eight-year-old Jack Slater was one of the few to lay flowers this morning at Windsor Castle.
Accompanied by his parents Emma and Stuart, he said he got up early this morning from his home in nearby Slough to lay down the flowers.
He said: ‘I wanted to pay respects to Philip. Because he’s died. ‘
Mrs Slater said: ‘We wanted to come here early, put some flowers down, and leave because of all the covid problems. We also wanted to respect what the Royal Family asked for, that people stay away. We will watch it at home on television.’
This is the funeral procession for tomorrow’s funeral, where William and Harry will not stand next to eachother with the Queen following behind in her car
Publican Robert Gillespie, 62, who runs the Two Brewers Pub next to the castle, has decorated his establishment in red white and blue flowers to mark the Prince’s death.
He said: ‘I used to see him when he would drive his horse and carriage down here from the Royal Mees towards the Long Walk and he would always give me a wave.
‘I’ll be closing the pub tomorrow or the day of his funeral also to pay respects to him.’
Only a small number of guests will attend the service later today, with even the Prime Minister stepping aside to make way for an additional family member under the tight rules on numbers.
Funerals of senior royals are years in the planning, with each operation named after a different bridge. The Queen is thought to be London Bridge and the duke is Forth Bridge.
Last night the Palace shared a touching unseen picture of the Queen with her husband, who died peacefully at the castle on Friday last week at 99
The overwhelming majority of people will watch the funeral from their homes, with the BBC, ITV and Sky all broadcasting live
Flowers and condolences from around the Windsor Estate have been moved inside the Castle precinct
Those who did travel to Windsor Castle to lay tributes today were asked to remove any wrapping from flowers and warned they would be removed at the end of the day
Children leave a floral tribute to Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh, ahead of his funeral
Insignia belonging to the Duke of Edinburgh, the British Empire Collar and Grand Masters Badge, and the British Empire Breast Star and Badge, placed on the altar in St George’s Chapel
The Order of Merit, the Royal Victorian Chain, and Full Size Medal Group
A golden glow fell over the grounds of Windsor Castle this morning as dawn broke on the day HRH Prince Philip will be laid to rest
The security operation is focusing on preventing risks and ’embarrassment’, particularly controlling unauthorised access to the castle.
But police and security services will be alert to any incidents that could prevent a threat – from accidents, public disorder and crime to terrorist attacks.
The potential for knife attacks, shootings and the ability to plant bombs have all been considered.
But officers may be particularly ‘alive’ to threats drones could pose in disrupting or attacking the ceremony and can draw on technology to try to scupper their flight path or even call in the military.
Richard Aitch, director of operations for firm Mobius International, which offers security services for governments and private companies, said there could be a focus on covert tactics to avoid overshadowing the sombre mood of the day.
He believes that even in a pandemic, the security operation for an event like this would be ‘huge’, with the cost running ‘into the millions’.
What are the key timings for Prince Philip’s funeral?
The ceremonial arrangements for Prince Philip’s funeral today will reflect military affiliations and personal elements of his life. The congregation will wear masks for the service and members of the royal family will be wearing morning coat with medals or day dress. Philip has been lying at rest in the private chapel in Windsor Castle. Here is a timeline of events:
- 11am: The coffin, which will be covered with Philip’s personal standard along with his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers, will be moved from the private chapel to the Inner Hall of Windsor Castle by members of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
- 2pm: The Lord Chamberlain, the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle and the Dean of Windsor will be present in the Inner Hall.
- 2.10pm: The Dean will say prayers before leaving by car to St George’s Chapel.
- 2.15pm: Representatives from the services are in place in the Quadrangle to show Philip’s special military relationships. The Quadrangle will also be lined by the Household Cavalry and The Foot Guards.
- 2.17pm. The band of the Grenadier Guards will be in Engine Court.
- Between 2.20pm and 2.27pm. Members of the royal family and Philip’s relatives who are not taking part in the procession will leave Windsor Castle by car to make the journey to the chapel.
- 2.27pm. The Land Rover, upon which the coffin will be placed, enters the Quadrangle via George IV Gate where bands at the site begin to play music. The service chiefs, the Major General commanding the Household Division and his staff leave from the Equerries Entrance and take their position by the State Entrance. They will face the Land Rover. The pall bearers take up position either side of the Land Rover and together they move towards the State Entrance.
2.38pm: The coffin is lifted in the Inner Hall.
- 2.40pm: Members of Philip’s household take up their positions in the procession and the bands stop playing music.
- 2.41pm: The coffin emerges from the State Entrance and is met by members of the royal family who are walking in the procession. They will not be wearing uniforms. A royal salute is given by the service detachments, the service chiefs, the pall bearers, the Major General commanding the Household Division and his staff give a royal salute. The coffin is placed on to the Land Rover.
- 2.44pm: The Queen, accompanied by a lady-in-waiting, leaves from the Sovereign’s Entrance in the State Bentley as the national anthem is played. The Bentley will pause as it reaches the rear of the procession so the front section of the procession can turn to face the direction of travel.
- 2.45pm: The procession, which is planned to take eight minutes, sets off. The firing of minute guns by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from the East Lawn and the sound of the Curfew Tower Bell will form the backdrop as members of the royal family who are already at St George’s Chapel stand to view the procession. The Queen will be received by the Dean of Windsor who will show the mourners at the service, including those who have been watching the procession, to their seats. A royal salute is given by the Windsor Castle Guard as the coffin passes the Parade Ground. The Band of the Grenadier Guards will stop playing and march through into Denton’s Commons as the procession approaches. The Rifles Guard of Honour, positioned in Horseshoe Cloister, will give a royal salute and the national anthem will be played. The service chiefs, the Major General commanding the Household Division and his staff will halt on the north side of the West Steps and turn to face the coffin.
- 2.53pm: The Land Rover arrives at the foot of the West Steps of the chapel. A Royal Navy piping party will sound once the Land Rover stops and the pall bearers take their positions. The coffin will be carried up the steps and halt on the second landing as members of the royal family take their positions on the steps.
- 3pm: The National Minute’s Silence, signalled by a gun fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, takes place. After the minute’s silence, the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury receive the coffin which has been followed by the members of the royal family who have walked in the procession. As the doors to St George’s Chapel close to the sound of Carry On being played, the Land Rover, service chiefs, realm defence advisers, bodyguards, military knights of Windsor, along with representatives of services, will leave in silence during the funeral service. After the National Minute’s Silence, the coffin is placed on the Catafalque in the Quire and members of the royal family who have walked in the procession will take their places for the service which is set to last 50 minutes and will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor. The Dean will give the commendation as the coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault. A lament will then be played by a Pipe Major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The piper will walk from the North Quire Aisle to The Dean’s Cloister. The Last Post will be sounded by buglers of the Royal Marines from the west end of the Nave. After a period of silence, the Reveille will be sounded by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry from the west end of the Nave. The buglers of the Royal Marines will sound Action Stations and this is at the specific request of The Duke of Edinburgh. The Archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce the Blessing, after which the national anthem will be sung by the four singers present.
- After the service: The Queen and members of the royal family and Philip’s relatives will leave the chapel via the Galilee Porch.