Troops prepare for final salute

Crowds today gathered to watch as members of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery rode to Windsor Castle in preparation for the Duke of Edinburgh‘s funeral. 

Dozens of riders carrying three guns rode along the Long Walk up to Cambridge Gate where tributes to Prince Philip have been laid following news of the Duke’s death last Friday.

His funeral will take place at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle at 3pm on Saturday. It is understood a reduced guest list will be in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions which limit numbers to 30. 

Members of the King’s Troop – a ceremonial unit of the British Army – will fire minute guns from the east lawn of Windsor Castle as the duke’s coffin makes its final journey from the castle to St George’s Chapel. 

Photographs captured soldiers from the Household Division Foot Guards Regimental Band marching outside Windsor Castle

Photographs captured soldiers from the Household Division Foot Guards Regimental Band marching outside Windsor Castle

Photographs captured soldiers from the Household Division Foot Guards Regimental Band marching outside Windsor Castle

Members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ride their horses into the grounds of Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 15

Members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ride their horses into the grounds of Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 15

Members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ride their horses into the grounds of Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 15

Members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, flanked by police officers, ride their horses outside Windsor Castle, after Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, died at the age of 99

Members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, flanked by police officers, ride their horses outside Windsor Castle, after Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, died at the age of 99

Members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, flanked by police officers, ride their horses outside Windsor Castle, after Britain’s Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, died at the age of 99 

Prince Philip's funeral will take place at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle at 3pm on Saturday. It is expected a reduced guest list will be in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions which limit numbers to 30

Prince Philip's funeral will take place at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle at 3pm on Saturday. It is expected a reduced guest list will be in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions which limit numbers to 30

Prince Philip’s funeral will take place at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle at 3pm on Saturday. It is expected a reduced guest list will be in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions which limit numbers to 30

The guns will fire for the duration of the procession, and the Curfew Tower Bell will toll.

Scores of Britons, some sitting with picnic lunches, watched on today as the riders rehearsed for Saturday’s procession.  

They began at Combermere Barracks and entered the Long Walk from Albert Road, with photographs also capturing soldiers from the Household Division Foot Guards Regimental Band marching outside Windsor Castle.  

Members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment were later pictured on horseback near to the Berkshire palace as they rehearsed for the procession, which will be televised live on BBC One from 12.30pm on Saturday.

Elsewhere today, sailors and Royal Marines were seen standing at attention as they took part in rehearsals for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at HMS Collingwood in Fareham, Hampshire.

Sailors and Royal Marines during rehearsals for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at HMS Collingwood in Fareham today

Sailors and Royal Marines during rehearsals for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at HMS Collingwood in Fareham today

Sailors and Royal Marines during rehearsals for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at HMS Collingwood in Fareham today

Sailors stand to attention as they take part in rehearsals for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral, which will take place on Saturday

Sailors stand to attention as they take part in rehearsals for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral, which will take place on Saturday

Sailors stand to attention as they take part in rehearsals for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, which will take place on Saturday

Soldiers in ceremonial dress arrive at Windsor Castle, after Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, died at the age of 99

Soldiers in ceremonial dress arrive at Windsor Castle, after Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, died at the age of 99

Soldiers in ceremonial dress arrive at Windsor Castle, after Britain’s Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, died at the age of 99

Members of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery rehearse on the Long Walk in front of Windsor Castle today

Members of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery rehearse on the Long Walk in front of Windsor Castle today

Members of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery rehearse on the Long Walk in front of Windsor Castle today

Military on horseback inside the gates of Windsor Castle during rehearsal preparations are seen taking place ahead of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh funeral

Military on horseback inside the gates of Windsor Castle during rehearsal preparations are seen taking place ahead of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh funeral

Military on horseback inside the gates of Windsor Castle during rehearsal preparations are seen taking place ahead of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh funeral

A full military procession and members of the Royal Family will accompany Prince Philip’s coffin as it makes its final journey from Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel at the weekend.  

Details of the invited guests are yet to be announced but it is expected that the majority of the reduced guest list will be members of the royal family.  Prince Harry will be among those to attend, but pregnant Meghan Markle will not travel from the US following medical advice. 

The Armed Forces have been 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.

Soldiers in ceremonial dress arrive at Windsor Castle as rehearsals for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral took place today

Soldiers in ceremonial dress arrive at Windsor Castle as rehearsals for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral took place today

Soldiers in ceremonial dress arrive at Windsor Castle as rehearsals for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral took place today

Military on horseback make their way up The Long Walk towards Windsor Castle during rehearsal's for Prince Philip's funeral

Military on horseback make their way up The Long Walk towards Windsor Castle during rehearsal's for Prince Philip's funeral

Military on horseback make their way up The Long Walk towards Windsor Castle during rehearsal’s for Prince Philip’s funeral

Members of the public watch as the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery move up the Long Walk, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, during a rehearsal for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh

Members of the public watch as the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery move up the Long Walk, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, during a rehearsal for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh

Members of the public watch as the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery move up the Long Walk, Windsor Castle, Berkshire, during a rehearsal for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke's funeral will take place at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle at 3pm on Saturday. It is understood a reduced guest list will be in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions which limit numbers to 30

The Duke's funeral will take place at St George's Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle at 3pm on Saturday. It is understood a reduced guest list will be in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions which limit numbers to 30

The Duke’s funeral will take place at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle at 3pm on Saturday. It is understood a reduced guest list will be in attendance due to Covid-19 restrictions which limit numbers to 30

A soldier in ceremonial dress seen through a door at Windsor Castle today as rehearsals took place for Prince Philip's funeral

A soldier in ceremonial dress seen through a door at Windsor Castle today as rehearsals took place for Prince Philip's funeral

A soldier in ceremonial dress seen through a door at Windsor Castle today as rehearsals took place for Prince Philip’s funeral

Soldiers from the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) are reportedly working to prepare a 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 was revealed today that members of the Royal Family will not wear military uniform at Philip’s funeral. It is understood the Queen has decided that senior royals attending the service should instead be in civilian clothing.  

The move means the Duke of Sussex will not have to face being one of the only close family members who is not in uniform at Saturday’s service. 

Prince Harry lost his honorary military titles after deciding to step down as a senior working royal. 

Reports also suggest that the Duke of York, who spoke of his father as being ‘the grandfather of the nation,’ had been considering wearing an admiral’s uniform.

Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties following controversy over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2019.      

He was due to be promoted to Admiral in 2020 to mark his 60th birthday but this did not go ahead following the fallout from his disastrous Newsnight appearance.

The no-uniform rule has been described as ‘the most eloquent solution to the problem,’ a military source told The Sun.

The decision is a break with tradition for ceremonial royal funerals and will contrast with the strong military presence which will be on show to honour Philip, who served with distinction in the Second World War.

Protocol suggests that Harry, who did two tours of Afghanistan, can only wear a suit with medals at royal functions. 

As plans were finalised for the funeral, the royal family released a touching photo of the Queen and the duke surrounded by their great-grandchildren.

The previously unseen image shows the Queen and the duke sitting with the youngsters on a sofa during a family get-together and with the little ones appearing on best behaviour.

The Duchess of Cambridge captured the moment on her camera in 2018 when the Queen and Philip’s seven great-grandchildren were at Balmoral.

A number of other images showing the duke with members of the royal family – including his son the Prince of Wales – were posted on official royal Twitter accounts. 

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