Human Interest

The funeral Prince Philip designed for himself

By Patricia Rodríguez

London, Apr 16 (EFE).- The British royal family is preparing for the funeral of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who is to be laid to rest in the Gothic St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

The ceremony will follow the current guidelines in place for the Covid-19 pandemic.

The funeral has been designed in accordance with the Duke’s wishes, from the music played by the choir to the personalized military Land Rover that will transport the coffin.

The reduced audience of 30 people was selected from the original list of over 800, had there not been a global pandemic. Queen Elizabeth II will be seated alone for the funeral of her late husband.

On this occasion, the family will forgo the usual military attire traditionally worn at royal funerals, apparently, so that Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth II and Philip’s grandson, and Andrew, their son, will not be left out. Both were stripped of honorary military titles when they stepped down from royal duties.

Prince Harry and his brother William, the Duke of Cambridge, will not walk side-by-side during the procession. Their cousin, Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips, will walk between the two brothers.

The funeral will nonetheless reflect Philip’s military history.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 on Friday, the head of the UK Armed Forces Nick Carter said: “It’s obviously been slightly affected by Covid, but nonetheless it will reflect military precision.”

“I think people will realize that this is a life worth looking into and I think they will be surprised by what he achieved and what he did in his 99 years,” he added.

The three main branches of the British Armed Forces — the Navy, the RAF and the Army — have been practising for the funeral all week.

The Duke enjoyed a distinguished career in the British Navy and although he left active duty in 1951, he remained closely connected and linked to military life.

Philip died on 9 April at the age of 99. He was married to Queen Elizabeth II for over 70 years, making him the longest-serving British royal consort. EFE


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