What are the plans for Prince Philip’s funeral? | Prince Philip

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The Duke of Edinburgh has died at Windsor Castle at the age of 99. Plans for his funeral will be affected by Covid regulations in England, with organisers said to be “desperately anxious” not to stage anything that attracts mass gatherings. Here is what we know so far.

What day will Prince Philip’s funeral take place?

A date is yet to be announced but it is expected in the coming days. Under pre-pandemic plans, it had been due to take place within about 10 days of his death. It will not be a state funeral, in line with the duke’s wishes. In a statement announcing the death on Friday morning, the palace said further announcements would be made “in due course”.

Where will it take place and what will happen beforehand?

The duke’s funeral is expected to be held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, as planned. However, there will be no lying in state – something that would have involved thousands of members of the public queuing to view his coffin.

It is not yet known whether his coffin will be transported to the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, London, as originally planned. Arrangements will most likely be put in place for members of the public and others to sign a digital book of condolences.

What arrangements were previously in place?

Under what is codenamed Operation Forth Bridge, thousands of people would have been expected to flock to London and Windsor to pay tribute. Some people would probably have camped out overnight to get the best vantage points for a military procession of Philip’s coffin on the day of his funeral.

Hundreds of members of the armed forces would have been called on to line the streets in honour of the duke, along with thousands of police officers to keep control of crowds and protect the members of the royal family taking part.

The funeral will still have a significant military component but armed forces numbers are likely to be much fewer. Preparations are expected to centre on Windsor Castle, without a military procession in London or any processions through Windsor.

What are the Covid-19 regulations around funerals?

Under national lockdown restrictions in England, which are gradually easing, funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Those present must also socially distance if they do not live together or share a support bubble. However, these rules are under review and the government has said they “may be updated in line with the changing [coronavirus] situation”.

What about public attendance?

The biggest change to the plans will be the lack of crowds. Officials will want to avoid anything that carries a risk of spreading coronavirus, including mourners using public transport. But police will want to avoid the appearance of heavyhandedness in dispersing those who do turn up at Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace to pay tribute, especially on the back of controversies over policing at the vigil for Sarah Everard and recent protests in Bristol and London.

The public will be able to tune into extensive programming by broadcasters including the BBC. A memorial service could be held at a later date after Britain has dealt with the worst public health crisis for a generation.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: What are the plans for Prince Philip’s funeral? | Prince Philip

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