Prince Philip's funeral: Everything you need to know including the 30 guests, Land Rover hearse and Duke's 'last wish'

PRINCE Philip will make his final journey in a Land Rover hearse he designed himself to St George's chapel at Windsor castle this Saturday.

Prince Charles will lead the procession and will be met by 30 guests for the historic occasion.

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In line with the Duke's wishes, he will be laid to rest in a ceremonial – rather than state – funeral.

Action Stations, sounded on naval warships to signal all hands must go to battle stations, will be played at the request of the Duke.

Buglers of the Royal Marines will perform the wartime alert, a tradition sometimes associated with naval funerals, in honour of Philip's active service in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

And the Last Post will be played to signify "a soldier has gone to his final rest".

A senior Palace official said: "Action Stations is a naval tradition and it is an announcement that would be made on a naval warship to signify that all hands, all those serving, on that warship should go into battle stations."

There will be no public procession as a result of the Covid restrictions – which allow a maximum of 30 guests – and the entire service will take place in the grounds of the castle.


Buckingham Palace revealed the list of attendees on Thursday.

Philip's immediate family – including the Queen, Princess Anne, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward – obviously top the list of mourners.

All of the duke's grandchildren and their spouses – including William, Harry, Eugenie and Beatrice – will also be attending.

Three of Philip's German relatives – Bernhard, the Hereditary Prince of Baden; Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse; and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg – are among the attendees.

They are said to be staying with a mutual friend in Ascot, Berkshire, so they can safely be there on Saturday.

The trio are great-nephews and a cousin of Philip – with the duke making it clear he wanted his "blood" family to be included in his funeral arrangements.


The ceremonial arrangements for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral are set to reflect military affiliations and personal elements of his life.

  • 11.00am : The coffin, which will be covered with Philip's personal standard along with his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers, will be moved from the private chapel to the Inner Hall of Windsor Castle by members of The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
  • 2pm: The Lord Chamberlain, the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle and the Dean of Windsor will be present in the Inner Hall.
  •  2.10pm: The Dean will say prayers before leaving by car to St George's Chapel.
  • 2.15pm: Representatives from the services are in place in the Quadrangle to show Philip's special military relationships. The Quadrangle will also be lined by the Household Cavalry and The Foot Guards.
  • Between 2.20pm and 2.27pm: Members of the royal family and Philip's relatives who are not taking part in the procession will leave Windsor Castle by car to make the journey to the chapel.
  • 2.27pm. The Land Rover, upon which the coffin will be placed, enters the Quadrangle via George IV Gate where bands at the site begin to play music. The service chiefs, the Major General commanding the Household Division and his staff leave from the Equerries Entrance and take their position by the State Entrance.The pall bearers take up position either side of the Land Rover and together they move towards the State Entrance.
  • 2.38pm: The coffin is lifted in the Inner Hall
  • 2.41pm: The coffin emerges from the State Entrance and is met by members of the royal family who are walking in the procession. A royal salute is given by the service detachments, the service chiefs, the pall bearers, the Major General commanding the Household Division and his staff give a royal salute. The coffin is placed on to the Land Rover.
  • 2.44pm: The Queen, accompanied by a lady-in-waiting, leaves from the Sovereign's Entrance in the State Bentley as the national anthem is played. The Bentley will pause as it reaches the rear of the procession so the front section of the procession can turn to face the direction of travel.
  • 2.45pm: The procession, which is planned to take eight minutes, sets off.
  • 2.53pm: The Land Rover arrives at the foot of the West Steps of the chapel.
  • 3pm: The National Minute's Silence, signalled by a gun fired by The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, takes place.
  • After the minute's silence, the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury receive the coffin which has been followed by the members of the royal family who have walked in the procession.The Last Post will be sounded by buglers of the Royal Marines from the west end of the Nave.
  • After the service, the Queen and members of the royal family and Philip's relatives will leave the chapel via the Galilee Porch.

Guests will also be banned from singing at the service due to coronavirus rules, but a choir will perform.

The choir of singers will be made up of three lay clerks in St George's Chapel choir and one soprano.

And the singers will be seated away from the congregation-of-30, in line with Covid rules.

The Government website, laying out rules for Covid funerals, states: "If the event is taking place indoors, a single small group of singers is allowed to perform.

"This should be limited to as few singers as possible, with social distancing being maintained at all times. 

However, the Grenadier Guards and others from The Foot Guards, as well as the Royal Marines, the Household Cavalry, Royal Gurkha Rifles and a Royal Naval Piping Party of 1 Chief Petty Officer and 5 Ratings, are just some of those who will be taking part in the grounds of Windsor.

It was revealed by a Buckingham Palace spokesperson that: "Family will be wearing Morning Coat with medals or Day Dress.

"Members of the Royal Family will not be in military uniform."

This comes after the Duke of Sussex had faced the humiliating prospect of being the only senior man in the royal family wearing civvies after losing his honorary ranks.

There was also said to be “serious Navy displeasure” at being dragged into a row over Prince Andrew possibly wearing an admiral’s uniform.

The service will begin with a ceremonial procession, setting off from the state entrance at 2.45pm with the Prince of Wales and members of Royal Family following on foot behind Philip's coffin.

A modified Land Rover – which Philip helped to design – will be used to transport the duke's coffin and before this, it will be serviced, tested and buffed.

The driver will also no doubt be practising for the slow eight-minute procession, which will lead the Prince of Wales and other royals on foot to the west door of the chapel.

Philip's body is currently resting in Windsor's private chapel.

His coffin will be moved to the state entrance of the castle on Saturday by a bearer party from the Grenadier Guards – the elite Queen's Company regiment at Windsor, of which Philip was Colonel for 42 years.

It will be draped with his personal standard, and decorated with a wreath of flowers and his Naval cap and sword.

The hearse will be flanked by pallbearers drawn from the Duke's special relationships, including the Royal Marines.

And the funeral service will begin as the coffin is brought in.

Only members of the Royal Family, plus the Duke's own private secretary, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Dean of Windsor and the pallbearers, will be permitted to enter along with the coffin.

It's certain that the Queen's four children will attend with their four spouses – Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles; Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence; Prince Andrew; and Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex.

Prince Philip's eight grandchildren are also likely to be chosen as a guest at the funeral – Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn.

The Queen, who lost her beloved husband ofmore than 70 years will have to sit alone after arriving in a Bentley with her Lady in Waiting.

It's been revealed that Prince Harry and William won't stand next to each other at the funeral.

They will have Peter Phillips in between them.

Prince William's spouse Kate Middleton is expected to attend as she is a future queen.

Pregnant Meghan Markle, however, remains at home in LA after medics said she shouldn't travel – although Prince Harry has returned for the service.

Other spouses of the grandchildren may also attend to support their loved ones – Mike Tindall, Jack Brooksbank and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.

Ahead of the service, Angela Kelly, the Queen's senior dresser, will prepare the monarch's black mourning ensembles, as will other household staff for the rest of the royal family – along with their necessary black face masks.

The Queen, meanwhile, is being cared for at Windsor by a reduced number of around 22 staff in what has been dubbed HMS Bubble.

She will have to decide whether to deliver a televised message in tribute to her beloved husband.

The Queen has approved Boris Johnson's recommendation to have a period of national mourning starting on Friday April 9 and ending on Saturday April 17.

The Royal Family will also observe two weeks of mourning – and union flags flying at half-mast at royal residences will remain at half-mast until the day after the funeral.

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