The comfort of family and friends nearby can be invaluable during times of grief, but at the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, will likely have to be seated by herself. Due to ongoing COVID restrictions in the UK, a maximum of 30 people are allowed at the ceremony. And for anyone not in the same household, social distancing of two meters (around six feet) is required (via Telegraph).
The Duke’s private secretary, Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, is on the funeral mourner’s list and because he was a member of the household at Windsor Castle, he would be the only one in attendance who would be eligible to sit with the queen (via Telegraph). Miller-Bakewell was one of Prince Philip’s closest advisors, having worked for him since 2010, and he’ll be the only non-royal in attendance (via Royal Central).
If the queen does end up sitting alone, it will, of course, be a poignant visual reminder that she’s without her husband of 73 years.
Queen Elizabeth was in her own household bubble
Laws regarding the pandemic in the UK allow some households to mix, but not all. Adults living alone or single parents with kids under the age of 18 can form a support “bubble” with another household (via BBC). Because the queen doesn’t live alone, she wasn’t eligible to create a bubble with another household (via Telegraph). She was, in essence, in her own bubble with 22 staff and her husband — a bubble that the Windsor Castle Master of the household referred to as the “HMS Bubble” (via Vanity Fair).
While Prince Philip planned out his own funeral in advance, COVID restrictions forced those plans to be altered and the service will be scaled back (via Town & Country). The only way for a glimpse of the funeral will be via television, as there’s nothing that will be available to the public. As a royal spokesperson confirmed, “People turning up at Windsor [on] Saturday will not be able to see anything” (via Town & Country).
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