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Prince Philip's funeral to be held on April 17, Harry plans to attend

Reuters/London
Filed on April 10, 2021

(Reuters file)

Pregnant wife Meghan had been advised not to travel by her physician.


The funeral service for Prince Philip, the husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, will be held on April 17, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday, confirming that Prince Harry was planning to attend.

The service for Philip, who died aged 99 on Friday, will be held at St George's Chapel in Windsor castle, preceded by a national minute's silence. There will be no public access nor public procession beforehand.

The number of mourners will be limited to 30, with Buckingham Palace stressing that the service will be held in line with Covid-19 restrictions, meaning members of the royal family including the queen would be expected to wear a mask.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed that Harry, who has moved to Los Angeles after giving up royal duties, was planning to attend the funeral, but his pregnant wife Meghan had been advised not to travel by her physician.

The royal family asked the public to heed social distancing rules and avoid visits to its residences, but people still laid cards and bouquets outside Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.

"It's not something I've ever done before," said Joanna Reesby, 60, who came to pay her respects at Buckingham Palace. "I brought yellow roses for friendship because I think that's what he exhibited to everyone who came into his world."

The queen has lost her closest confidante, the one person she could trust and who was free to speak his mind to her. They had been married for 73 years and Philip would have turned 100 in June.

Asked how the queen was coping, the palace spokesman said: "It's a family in mourning".

Members of the family have been visiting the grieving monarch at Windsor Castle.

"The queen has been amazing," said a tearful Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, as she left with her husband Prince Edward, the youngest son of Elizabeth and Philip.

On its official Twitter feed, the royal family put up a tribute paid by the queen to her husband on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997.

"He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know," she said.

Flags at Buckingham Palace and at government buildings across Britain were lowered to half-mast and billboard operators replaced adverts with a photo and tribute to the prince.

A Greek prince, Philip married Elizabeth in 1947 and broke the news of her father's death five years later while they were visiting Kenya, meaning that she was queen at the age of 25.

He went on to play a key role helping the monarchy adapt to a changing world in the post-World War Two period, and also to support the queen as the monarchy faced numerous crises over the years. He finally stepped back from public duties in 2017.





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