Prince Philip funeral: Royal Family has ‘not been able to say goodbye to Duke of Edinburgh in the way they’d hoped or planned’- latest updates

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  • Prince Philip obituary 1921-2021

  • Minute-by-minute: The funeral timings

  • How to watch Prince Philip’s funeral

  • What to expect at the ceremony

  • Prince Philip’s custom-made Land Rover hearse design unveiled ​

  • The Order of Service: follow from home

  • What the funeral tells us about Prince Philip

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said the Royal Family have not been able to say goodbye to Prince Philip “in the way they’d hoped or planned”.

Justin Welby said the public will “never fail to admire” the Queen’s composure in the wake of her husband’s passing.

Speaking ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral service at Windsor Castle this afternoon, he said: “The Royal Family just kept to the rules and that means they’ve gone through what millions of others have gone through which is not really being able to say goodbye in the way they’d hoped or planned.

“We can never fail to be admiring of the way Her Majesty behaved.”

There will be no eulogy or sermon at the afternoon funeral service at St George’s Chapel, and no members of the Royal Family will give readings.

Millions across Britain and around the world are expected to watch the ceremony.

Follow the latest updates below.

10:06 AM

Minute’s silence to be held at 3pm today

A minute’s silence will be held across the nation in honour of Prince Philip, the Royal Family has announced.

The Dean of Westminster and the Archbishop of Canterbury will conduct the funeral service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

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10:02 AM

Prince Philip’s great niece remembers as ‘idol’ for younger generation

The Duke of Edinburgh’s great niece, whose brother is in Windsor for his funeral on Saturday, has remembered Philip as an “idol” for the younger generation of their family.

Speaking from Munich, Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg told the BBC: “To all of us, he was an idol, he was somebody to look up to, we had enormous respect for him and it was always very exciting when he came to visit, and he came often.

“And this has become clear to me in the week since he’s died – the way he lived his life, his motto, which was an unwritten motto for us, this discipline, this selflessness, this lack of ego, but also his sense of humour always underlying all of that.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip with their great grandchildren - Duchess of Cambridge
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip with their great grandchildren – Duchess of Cambridge

09:50 AM

Well-wishers travel across the country to pay tribute at Windsor

A mother and daughter travelled across the country to pay their respects to Prince Phillip in Windsor today.

Emma Pegram, 41, and Jean Harrison 74, both previously lived in the Windsor area for more than 30 years.

They had to get up at 6.30am to drive about 88 miles to Windsor from Bournemouth.

Emma said: “We feel an affiliation to the town because we lived here for so long. He was very popular, he was a great ambassador for the town and for the country.

Her mother Jean said they had also made their journey to support the Queen.

“We are very loyal to her. We feel she has done so much for the country. We are here even more so for her than Phillip.”

Visitor on the Long Walk avenue near Windsor Castle  - Reuters
Visitor on the Long Walk avenue near Windsor Castle – Reuters

09:44 AM

How hands-on Prince Philip influenced his children and grandchildren

Despite a turbulent childhood marked by the absence of his father, Prince Philip played a key role in life of his children and grandchildren.

09:34 AM

Five facts you may not know about Prince Philip

From an evacuation as a baby to his decorated time in the Royal Navy, The Duke of Edinburgh lived a remarkable life.

  1. Prince Philip was born on a kitchen table in Corfu at villa ‘Mon Repos’ (the Greek royals’ summer home) on June 10, 1921.

  2. After his uncle, King Constantine I, was forced to abdicate, an 18-month-old Prince Philip was evacuated from Greece on the British Navy ship, HMS Calypso.

  3. In 1937, Prince Philip’s older sister Cecile, who he was particularly close to, died in a plane accident.

  4. The Prince first met the Queen when he was 14 – and she was eight – at the wedding of his cousin, Princess Marina of Greece to the Duke of Kent, in 1934.

  5. During the Second World War, Prince Philip was decorated for his service with the Royal Navy.

Read the full list here

09:24 AM

Where the military units will be positioned in Windsor Castle

Military personnel will line the route of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral procession.

More than 730 members of the Armed Forces will take part at Windsor Castle, including 42 from the Royal Navy, with which Prince Philip served between 1939 and 1951; 96 from the Royal Marines; 507 from the Army and 89 from the Royal Air Force.

Prince Philip's funeral procession: Military positions
Prince Philip’s funeral procession: Military positions

09:14 AM

Large police presence in Windsor ahead of funeral service

Crowds of royal supporters were nowhere to be seen in Windsor on Saturday morning despite the sunshine.

A large police presence was in place to prepare for possible crowds but people largely stayed away ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

Police officers on patrol outside Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral service this afternoon - Toga Akmen/AFP
Police officers on patrol outside Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral service this afternoon – Toga Akmen/AFP

Road signs in the area warned: “Avoid all non essential travel and do not gather at royal residences.”

A few members of the public visited briefly to lay flowers.

Jack Carson, 34, who lives locally, placed a bunch near Windsor Castle and said: “I’m going to watch the funeral service from home but I thought it would be nice to come down this morning to lay some flowers down.

“Philip was a fantastic public servant and will be missed by the people in this town.”

08:50 AM

Poet laureate marks passing of Prince Philip with elegy

The Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage, has written a poem to mark the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Entitled The Patriarchs – An Elegy, the poem was published on the day of Philip’s funeral on Saturday.

Read below:

EMBARGOED UNTIL 17 APRIL 00.01 Prince Philip/Simon Armitage poem
EMBARGOED UNTIL 17 APRIL 00.01 Prince Philip/Simon Armitage poem

08:41 AM

Archbishop of Canterbury calls for public to ‘pray for Royal Family’

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for the public to pray for the Royal Family ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral service today.

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08:34 AM

Why William and Harry will not wear military uniform to Prince Philip’s funeral

Members of the Royal family will not wear military uniform at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral today after the Queen decreed that they should don morning coats with medals or day dress instead.

The move – which breaks with centuries of royal tradition – has been made in order to present a united family front at today’s carefully-choreographed ceremony at Windsor Castle.

Members of the Royal family in military dress at the Sovereigns Parade, Sandhurst - IJO
Members of the Royal family in military dress at the Sovereigns Parade, Sandhurst – IJO

The 94-year-old monarch’s decision followed intense discussions over who should appear in uniform after the Duke of Sussex faced the prospect of being the only senior royal not in military dress despite twice seeing active service in Afghanistan.

Read the full story here

08:23 AM

Members of public visit Windsor in tribute to Prince Philip

One man who felt compelled to come in person to pay his respects was Kaya Mar, an artist who used to run a gallery close to the castle.

Mr Mar, 64, had brought with him a large portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh he painted in the days following his death.

“I wanted to bring it here as a mark of respect,” he said. “I really liked Prince Philip. He was a nice man, a good public servant. For some sections of the media he was a punch bag for the things he said, but everyone will miss him now.

Artist Kaya Mar paid tribute to Prince Philip in an oil painting - Reuters
Artist Kaya Mar paid tribute to Prince Philip in an oil painting – Reuters

08:14 AM

Disabled woman says Duke of Edinburgh’s award transformed her life

A woman with cerebral palsy has said the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award taught her she can “do what anyone else can do”.

Myah Richards, 21, has spastic diplegia, meaning she requires help from carers and uses a wheelchair or walking frame to get around.

 Myah Richards, 21, who has spastic diplegia, and took part in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award - PA
Myah Richards, 21, who has spastic diplegia, and took part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award – PA

She was introduced to the DofE award while at Lonsdale School in Stevenage, which teaches students with physical and neurological impairments, and she found that taking part changed the way she saw herself.

“It’s taught me that, yes, I’m disabled, but I can do what anybody else can do,” she said.

“My disability is not me, it’s just part of me.”

08:07 AM

‘Difficult to stifle a tear’ during funeral rehearsal, says military commander

One of the country’s top military commanders, who was present at the rehearsal for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on Friday, has said it was “difficult to stifle a tear” when he heard the hymns which will be played at the ceremony.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, Commander of Strategic Command, who has met the duke several times, said: “I was standing at the rehearsal yesterday and you hear those first notes of Nimrod, and the hairs go up at the back of your neck, you get a lump in your throat.

“It’s difficult to stifle a tear as you think about the duke and the impact on the royal family and the whole nation – and you stand there a little stiffer, a little straighter, determined to do right by him.”

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07:58 AM

‘Very few people’ took offence to Prince Philip’s remarks

A former press secretary to the Queen said “very few people” took offence to remarks made by the Duke of Edinburgh.

Speaking to Sky News, Charles Anson said: “The occasional jokes were often very much enjoyed by those to whom he was speaking, I think he rarely offended all that much.

“I think Prince Philip’s way of breaking the ice of making a joke including people in a conversation, he was marvellous in that respect.

“It was Prince Philip who introduced an informal remark and sometimes a joke, but actually when you look back on it very few people took offence, most people could see his sense of humour and knew he was well meaning.

07:46 AM

Prince Philip had ‘very clear affection for military’, says head of navy

Admiral Tony Radakin, the First Sea Lord, said the Duke of Edinburgh held a “very clear affection” for the military that was reciprocated.

The chief of the naval staff told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “It is (a naval send-off at the duke’s funeral) but I think it is much bigger than that.

“I really do think that for all of us in the military, today is about a royal funeral and it is about playing our part in that, but it is for the Royal Air Force, the British Army and the Royal Navy, and to reflect our dignity and respect and the affection we all had for Prince Philip, and the very clear affection that he had for all of us.”

Detailing his “remarkable” long-held connections with the navy, Admiral Radakin recalled how the duke was evacuated out of Greece at aged 18 months on HMS Calypso before later going on to embark on a “distinguished” career in the service.

Prince Philip was the Captain General of the Royal Marines for 64 years, from 1953-2017 - Jennie Burn/MOD
Prince Philip was the Captain General of the Royal Marines for 64 years, from 1953-2017 – Jennie Burn/MOD

07:35 AM

Step forward, Prince Edward: the future Duke of Edinburgh

One of the inevitable results of Prince Philip’s sad death is a shake-up in the House of Windsor.

And Prince Edward, who will in time become the Duke of Edinburgh, is bound to take on a more prominent role in supporting the Queen and, in time, her successor, Prince Charles.

Prince Edward and his family spoke movingly in public following the death of his father, Prince Philip  - PA
Prince Edward and his family spoke movingly in public following the death of his father, Prince Philip – PA

Prince Philip may not have been in the royal line of succession. But his importance to the monarchy was paramount – and his death leaves a huge gap to be filled.

The title of Duke of Edinburgh has now been automatically inherited by Prince Charles.

But, in a sign of the affection of the Queen and Prince Philip for their youngest son, it will be passed on to Prince Edward on the sad day of the Queen’s death.

07:24 AM

Why the Duke of Edinburgh was an unlikely feminist hero

What the Prince achieved was something rather radical: for this war hero recreated himself as the perfect royal ‘wife’.

Her Majesty did matters of state, he oversaw the family; she wore the Crown, he the trousers – plus a metaphorical apron.

A hands-on parent, he spent as much time with his children as possible, teaching them to ride, swim, sail, shoot, fish, play polo, go-kart and paint, while taking pains to introduce them to the fact that they were “not anonymous”.

Prince Philip and the Queen with their children on the ground of Balmoral - AFP
Prince Philip and the Queen with their children on the ground of Balmoral – AFP

The Duke styled himself as an adviser, rather than some tyrannical pater familias, and was happy to take on traditional wifely activities such as interior design while the Queen got on with the job.

Read the full story

07:12 AM

Queen will be ‘under extraordinary pressure’ during funeral

Lord Chartres, a former bishop of London, said the Queen would be under “extraordinary pressure” during the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral as she mourns her husband in public.

The retired Church of England bishop, who was understood to be close to Philip, told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “I hope that today people really will be sending up a prayer for the Queen and for the other members of the royal family.

“Having to grieve in public is an extraordinary pressure and something that most of us would not really want to do.

“But it is part of their life and their world, and I hope today, and I’m sure, that people won’t forget the personal dimension in the formal ceremonies.”

The couple during their visit to the Pacific island of Tuvalu in 1982 - PA
The couple during their visit to the Pacific island of Tuvalu in 1982 – PA

07:02 AM

How Prince Philip’s DNA solved a Russian Romanov murder mystery

It was the mystery that captured the imagination of the world, as a Russian Imperial dynasty was ruthlessly executed before details of their disappearance obfuscated for decades.

In 2018, the true story of how the Duke of Edinburgh helped piece together the murders of Tsar Nicholas II and his family was told by the Science Museum in an exhibition detailing how his DNA provided the key.

The Romanov family - seven members of whom were murdered after the Russian Revolution
The Romanov family – seven members of whom were murdered after the Russian Revolution

The Duke, who offered a blood sample to experts attempting to identify bodies found in unmarked graves in 1993, provided a match with the Tsarina and her daughters, related through the maternal line, proving once and for all their fate.

The research by that team, known in detail only to scientists until recently, was put on display for the first time, with graphs of the Tsar’s own DNA exhibited alongside details of the Duke’s contribution of five cubic centimetres of blood.

Read the full story

06:49 AM

Prince Philip’s ‘unfussy’ funeral service ‘reflects the man’, says royal biographer

Royal biographer Robert Hardman said the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral plan “very much reflects the man”.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today, Mr Hardman said: “It is reduced but I don’t think it is any way diminished – the core elements are there.”

He added that it would be a service that “very much reflects the man – very unstuffy, unfussy”.

“You won’t hear a eulogy or any great address – it is very much what he wanted but all the way through it are those echo of his naval career which shaped him,” Mr Hardman said.

Prince Philip's funeral and military procession in pictures
Prince Philip’s funeral and military procession in pictures

06:42 AM

How the Queen and Prince Philip’s enduring love story captured the hearts of a nation

For a young Princess Elizabeth, it must have seemed like her own personal fairytale: a prince, dazzling in good looks and charm, with eyes only for her.

She fell in love at first sight. He, a little older and more worldly, was not far behind.

Their romance was the talk of the town, their wedding captivated a nation, their marriage an unqualified success.

It began not at a royal ball or state function, but on a tennis court.

Prince Philip, chosen as a cadet at Dartmouth Naval College to dine with the visiting Royal family in 1939, was tasked with entertaining two small princesses, first with a train set on the nursery floor and later – once his patience was at an end – on the court.

Read the full story

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip enjoy a walk during their honeymoon at Broadlands, Romsey, Hampshire - Hulton Archive
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip enjoy a walk during their honeymoon at Broadlands, Romsey, Hampshire – Hulton Archive

06:34 AM

Princes William and Harry to be reunited before funeral

The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex will be reunited behind closed doors at Windsor Castle on Saturday before laying their beloved grandfather to rest.

Members of the Royal family – including Prince William and Prince Harry – will gather in the State Entrance Hall before the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin emerges from the State Entrance at 2.41pm.

Assuming the brothers have not arranged a private meeting earlier on Saturday morning, it is the first time they will see each other in the flesh in over a year.

It will also mark their first face-to-face meeting since Harry and his wife Meghan gave an interview to the US chat show host Oprah Winfrey last month, suggesting an unnamed royal had queried Archie’s skin tone as well as describing William as “trapped” in the monarchy.

Read the full story here.

06:12 AM

What Prince Philip’s funeral tells us about him

The Duke of Edinburgh distilled his own personality into a stripped-down funeral service by choosing simplicity, tradition and piety over sentimentality, extravagance or vanity.

Prince Philip, a deep and devout religious thinker, believed his funeral should glorify God, rather than himself, insisting there should be no eulogy, or even a sermon.

The Queen once remarked that her husband did not “take easily to compliments”, and even in death he made sure there would be no opportunity for acclamation.

Read the full story

Prince Philip's funeral - April 17
Prince Philip’s funeral – April 17

05:46 AM

‘Philip adored his Lilibet. He loved her deeply’

The Duke of Edinburgh did not like talking about himself and he certainly didn’t want to be drawn on his relationship with the Queen. He accepted that the main purpose of his life after 1952 was “to support Her Majesty as best I could”, but was not going to discuss his ‘feelings’ about her with me or anyone else.

When I asked him to tell me about the chemistry between them, he harrumphed, “What sort of a question is that?” When (rather bravely I think) I tried to press him on the matter, he wouldn’t put it in his own words but pointed me towards another quotation.

Read more from biographer Gyles Brandreth

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, celebrating 30 years reign while visiting Balmoral, Scotland, 6th February 1982 - Hulton Royals Collection
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, celebrating 30 years reign while visiting Balmoral, Scotland, 6th February 1982 – Hulton Royals Collection

05:00 AM

‘He played peek-a-boo with my son’: Telegraph readers stories

From chance encounters, to an ice breaking one-liner at a charity event or a snatched conversation amid the frenzy of a Royal walkabout.

For the thousands of members of the public who got the chance to spend a few moments with Prince Philip over the years, the memory of his humour, charm and decency outlives him in the stories they still tell years later of “the day I met the Duke”.

Read the full story

04:19 AM

The Duke of Edinburgh’s final resting place

After his funeral today, the Duke of Edinburgh will be privately interred in the Royal Vault of St George’s Chapel – but this will not be his final resting place.

When the Queen dies, Philip will be transferred to the gothic church’s King George VI memorial chapel to lie alongside his wife of 73 years.

The tiny chapel houses the remains of the Queen’s father George VI, her mother the Queen Mother, and sister Princess Margaret.

Read more

03:41 AM

Previously unseen photos show Prince Philip’s sailing prowess

The Duke of Edinburgh’s early nautical prowess was captured in photographs from his school days that have never previously been seen.

Taken in 1937, Prince Philip is seen sitting confidently at the helm of Diligent, one of the sailing boats belonging to the boarding school in Scotland where he was educated, Gordonstoun.

The black-and-white images have finally come to light after the great-nephew of the former student who took them made contact with the school following the Duke’s passing.

Read the full story

The Duke of Edinburgh in in 1937, sailing one of Gordonstoun’s boats, Diligent - Major B Varvill R.A.M.C
The Duke of Edinburgh in in 1937, sailing one of Gordonstoun’s boats, Diligent – Major B Varvill R.A.M.C

02:57 AM

Queen shares favourite unseen photograph of Prince Philip

The Queen has shared one of her favourite photographs of herself relaxing with the Duke of Edinburgh, her beloved husband of 73 years.

The image depicts the couple in a rare private moment, off duty, relaxed and enjoying each other’s company in one of their favourite beauty spots atop the Coyles of Muick on the Balmoral estate.

The candid snap was taken by the Countess of Wessex in 2003. The couple, smiling broadly at the camera, are clearly enjoying a break amid the stunning scenery of the Scottish Highlands.

It is thought the picture was taken during the couple’s traditional summer break at the Queen’s nearby private estate of Balmoral.

Read more: Queen shares private photograph of Duke of Edinburgh

The photograph also features on the front page of today’s Telegraph:

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02:37 AM

Your complete guide to the ceremony

Every moment of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral has been meticulously planned and rehearsed.

From the moment his coffin emerges into the sunlight from Windsor Castle, where his body has rested since his death last Friday, until the moment, almost five hours later, when it is lowered slowly into the Royal Vault beneath the alter at St George’s Chapel, the day has been designed to reflect the Duke’s proud military heritage and achievements.

The procession begins at Windsor Castle:

Prince Philip funeral: Windsor Castle (stage 1)
Prince Philip funeral: Windsor Castle (stage 1)

For your complete guide on how the day will unfold, click here.

02:21 AM

Today’s top stories

As the Queen prepares to say farewell to Prince Philip at Windsor Castle today, here are the top stories:

  • The Queen has shared one of her favourite photographs of herself relaxing with the Duke of Edinburgh, her beloved husband of 73 years

  • The Duke of Edinburgh will today be remembered for his “kindness, humour and humanity” and his “unwavering loyalty” to the Queen in a service at Windsor Castle

  • The Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex will be reunited behind closed doors at Windsor Castle today before laying their beloved grandfather to rest

  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s early nautical prowess was captured in photographs from his school days that have never previously been seen

  • The Duke of Edinburgh took a close personal interest in the songs that will be sung at his funeral in Windsor Castle today, including two pieces written at his request

  • More than 730 members of the Armed Forces will line the route of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral procession

  • A Grenadier Guard whose grandfather served at both the funeral of George VI and the Queen’s coronation is to lead the Bearer Party tasked with carrying Prince Philip’s coffin

  • Among military personnel taking part in today’s funeral will be a commanding officer who drew admiration from the Duke of Edinburgh for her handling of a difficult horse

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