The most important state funeral in the United Kingdom in recent years will be the most restricted in duration, number of attendees and social distancing measures. Queen Elizabeth II has given the go-ahead to an official ceremony calculated in detail to reconcile the general desire of the public to pay tribute to her husband, Felipe de Edimburgo, with a national pandemic situation, which remains very delicate. The funeral will be held this Saturday at Windsor Castle. To avoid misgivings and misunderstandings with the official dress -especially, that Prince Andrew, removed from his public functions, or Prince Henry, stripped of his titles, will wear a military uniform-, all attendees will wear civil mourning.
15.41 (Spanish peninsular time). The coffin with the mortal remains of the Duke of Edinburgh will leave through the main gate of the castle. The various members of the royal family and the service of the Royal House that are part of the funeral procession will take their respective positions. A Land Rover Defender 130 Gun Bus vehicle, modified for the occasion, will transport the coffin, on which will rest the personal banner of the prince consort, his navy officer’s cap and his sword. Eight members of the Grenadier Guard, four on each side of the vehicle, will symbolically carry the remains. Nine personalities, in four rows, will stand behind: the Prince of Wales, Charles of England, and his sister the Princess Royal, Anne of the United Kingdom; in second position, Princes Andrew, Duke of York, and Edward, Earl of Wessex; then the Queen’s grandchildren, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his brother, Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex. It will be one of the most symbolic images of the event, which has already made rivers of ink flow and numerous comments about it, because in the middle of the two brothers will be Peter Philips, the son of Princess Anne. After months of personal estrangement between both, enlarged by the interview that Enrique and Meghan Markle gave to the American presenter, Oprah Winfrey, the Royal House has decided to establish a significant physical separation between the two. Finally, they will close the procession David Armstrong-Jones, son of the late Princess Margaret and grandson of Philip of Edinburgh, along with Vice Admiral Timothy Lawrence, Princess Anne’s second husband.
15.44. Queen Elizabeth II will leave the castle aboard the official Bentley car of the Royal Household. The car is scheduled to stop briefly next to the coffin, so that the monarch can observe it before the procession begins.
15.45. The funeral procession will begin. It is estimated that the procession lasts around eight minutes, the time necessary to reach the Chapel of St. George, in the same premises of Windsor Castle.
15.53. The coffin of Philip of Edinburgh will reach the entrance steps of the chapel, where it will be carried on the shoulders to the interior.
16.00. A minute of silence across the UK. This will be followed by a funeral mass, which will be officiated jointly by the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The mortal remains of Philip of Edinburgh will rest, until the future death of Elizabeth II, in the crypt of the chapel.
The social distancing measures in force in the United Kingdom limit the number of attendees to a funeral to 30, and the British Royal House has not wanted to make exceptions in this case. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already announced that he was giving up his position to the royal family, so that the event would have the maximum intimate and private character possible. This is the list of attendees:
-The queen, Elizabeth II
-The Prince of Wales, Charles of England
-The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles
-The Duke of Cambridge, William of England
-The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton
-The Duke of Sussex, Henry of England
-The Duke of York, Prince Andrew
-Princess Beatrice, daughter of Andrés and Sarah Fergusson
-Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, husband of Princess Beatrice
-Princess Eugenia, daughter of Andrés and Sarah Fergusson
-Jack Brooksbank, husband of Princess Eugenie
-Eduardo of England, Earl of Wessex
-Sofia, Countess of Wessex, wife of Edward of England
-Louise Windsor, daughter of Eduardo and Sofía
-Jacobo Windsor, son of Eduardo and Sofía
-Princess Anne of the United Kingdom
-Vice Admiral Timothy Lawrence, Anne’s second husband
-Peter Philips, son of Ana
-Zara Philips, daughter of Ana
-Mike Tindall, Zara’s husband and former rugby player
-David Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon
-Sarah Chatto, daughter of the late Princess Margaret
-Daniel Chatto, Sarah’s husband
-Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester
-Prince Edward, Duke of Kent
-Princess Alexandra of Kent
-Bernardo, Crown Prince of the House of Baden
-Donatus, Crown Prince of Hesse
-Prince Philippe of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
-Patricia Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma
The Government has prohibited public access to the surroundings of Windsor Castle. The BBC will broadcast the ceremony live, and will have a special programming throughout Saturday that will begin at 9 a.m., Spanish peninsular time. The official mourning will conclude from Monday, and, among other things, local election campaigns will resume in parts of England and the autonomous regions of Scotland.
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