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Farewelling Prince Philip: A guide to the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral

Viewers in Australia can tune into Prince Philip's funeral from 11:45pm on Saturday night. Photo: Getty / TND
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It’s the first royal death in close to two decades, but every aspect of Prince Philip’s funeral has been meticulously planned. 

Prince Philip’s funeral will be held on Saturday at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, with a minute of national silence as it begins at 2.45pm (British time).

The Royal Family has released more details, saying the duke was closely involved in the planning of his own funeral.

“As a result, it will involve a number of unique touches which reflect his life and work,” a statement said.

Those tuning in from Australia will be able to watch the event at 11.45pm on the ABC or Channel Nine.

More than 700 military personnel are set to take part, including army bands, Royal Marine buglers and an honour guard drawn from across the armed forces.

Prince Philip’s coffin will be transported from Windsor Castle to the chapel by a modified Land Rover he helped design. It will be followed on foot by Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry, along with other senior royals.

Inside the gothic chapel, the setting for centuries of royal weddings and funerals, the service will include Royal Marine buglers sounding “Action Stations,” an alarm that alerts sailors to prepare for battle.

That was a personal request from Philip, who spent almost 14 years in the Royal Navy and saw action in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Pacific during World War II.

Famously private and opposed to large spectacles, the Duke of Edinburgh asked for his funeral to be kept small – an appropriate request given Britain’s COVID-19 restrictions.

The usual 800-strong guest list has been reduced to just 30 people, including the Duke’s children, grandchildren and close family members.

Public elements of Operation Forth Bridge, the secret code that sets out the protocol for Prince Philip’s death, have been cancelled so as to avoid crowds in London.

Face masks and social distancing regulations will be adhered to for the duration of the ceremony.

The male members of the royal family will not wear military garb, but will instead don suits, so as to avoid potential conflict over the status of Prince Harry and Prince Andrew.

The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, will not attend after doctors warned her of the medical risks to her pregnancy if she travelled with Harry – although it is thought she wanted to attend.

Here’s what you need to know about the day’s events:

  • The funeral will be live-streamed on Saturday, April 17, starting at 11.45pm (2:45pm British time). You can catch the broadcast on ABC or Channel Nine.
  • The Prince will be laid to rest this Saturday at St George’s Chapel
  • There will be an eight-minute military procession
  • The band of the Grenadier Guards (which counted Prince Philip as colonel for more than four decades) will lead the procession
  • Minute guns will be fired from the East Lawn at Windsor Castle for the duration of the procession
  • The Curfew Tower Bell will toll
  • Prince Philip will be transported from Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel in the custom Land Rover he helped design
  • Prince Harry, Prince William and other close relatives will walk behind the casket
  • There will be a minute’s silence held throughout the UK
  • The Prince’s naval cap and sword will be placed on the casket, along with his personal flag or standard, and a wreath of flowers
  • Just 30 people will attend the service
  • Prince Philip’s body will be interred in the royal vault.

-with AAP

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