When it comes to ceremonies surrounding the British Royal family, both the joyous and somber ones are always ornate affairs. From weddings, to coronations, to official visits to other parts of the world, birthday parties, get-togethers, and sadly, funerals, they're almost always large-scale events. However due to the time and global circumstances of Prince Philip's death, the long-standing Royal consort will have modified plans for his burial.
What are the funeral plans for Prince Philip?
On Saturday, April 17, Philip's service will be held at Windsor Castle — but in a manner that is atypical for the royal family, CNN reports. It will be "colorful and steeped in tradition," however, it will also be a "low key" affair.
This is mostly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has still put the kibosh on many large-scale in-person gatherings, even one as official as the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The College of Arms has stated that Philip's body will not be placed in an area accessible to the public. This means that traditional "viewing" periods afforded to royals post-mortem aren't going to happen in an effort to curb folks from congregating en masse and possibly spreading COVID-19 further. The public has also been asked to refrain from giving flowers and other gifts of tribute in his honor to the royal family at this time.
There were a large spike of English coronavirus cases that have ultimately leveled off toward the end of March, and it seems that the royal family is keen on doing its part in ensuring that it stays that way.
As of now, the U.K. limits the number of people who can attend a funeral to 30 persons. This means that immediate family members and those closest to Philip will be primarily attending his funeral.
Prince Harry is expected to appear at the service, while his wife, Meghan Markle, will not. She is pregnant, and her doctor reportedly advised her not to make the long journey from California.
Philip's children are all expected to attend, and it remains to be seen which of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren are able to attend as well.
Until the day of the funeral, Philip's body will be in a private chapel at Windsor Castle.
Will Prince Philip's funeral be on TV?
Though there will only be a small number of people who attend the service in-person, Philip's funeral will be televised. Most royal events have been filmed in recent decades, from weddings to anniversary celebrations to funerals.
It will air on the BBC.
The event will begin at 2:40 BST, when the coffin is placed in a Land Rover. This is in homage to Philip's preference for driving himself from Windsor Castle to St. George's Chapel.
Because he was a midshipman for the Royal Navy, his body will be accompanied by a group of Grenadier guards along with other heads of the military.
At 2:45 p.m. BST, a procession around the Windsor Castle grounds will take place. It will be followed by the actual service, which will start at 3 p.m. BST (which is 10 a.m. EST).
In non-COVID times, the procession would have been a larger-scale public event. Instead, the chain of events is in line with safety precautions and with Philip's own wishes.
Following the service, Philip's body will be interred at the Royal Vault at St. George's Chapel. He will be moved to his final resting place at the memorial chapel once Queen Elizabeth II passes away.