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Prince Philip will on early Sunday (NZT) be remembered for his “kindness, humour and humanity” and his “unwavering loyalty” to the Queen.
There will be no eulogy or sermon at the funeral service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and no members of the Royal family will give readings.
Instead, the deeply religious ceremony will reflect the The Duke of Edinburgh’s desire to avoid unnecessary fuss, and will focus on Royal Navy tradition and his love of the sea.
In keeping with Covid guidelines and tradition for a ceremonial royal funeral, the 50-minute service will be conducted solely by the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Queen, 94 – who will sit alone in the Quire, two metres from any family members and wearing a face mask – will take no active part in the ceremony.
Prince Philip is being laid to rest as New Zealand sleeps.
Just 30 members of the royal family will gather to remember the Duke’s life at 3pm local time (2am Sunday NZT).
The eight-minute funeral procession begins at 2.40pm local time (1.40am NZT) at the state entrance to Windsor Castle, ending at the nearby St George’s Chapel.
Philip’s coffin is draped in his personal flag celebrating both his British titles and his Greek heritage. His naval cap, officer’s sword and flowers lie atop the coffin.
He specifically requested his coffin be transported in a specially modified Land Rover, which he helped to design. It’s a fitting tribute for the 99-year-old, who was known for his love of design, engineering and practical skills.
Once there, at 3pm UK time, a national minute of silence will be observed before the pared-back ceremony to be attended by just 30 members of the royal family. Philip will then be interred in Frogmore Gardens, where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were laid to rest.
“This event will be much reduced in scale with no public access. In line with government guidelines and public health measures, there will be no public processions and the Duke’s funeral will take place entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle,” a palace spokesperson has said.
“The plans have been given final approval by the Queen and reflect appropriately government advice. Despite these necessary changes, they still very much reflect the personal wishes of the duke.”
The Queen's tribute to her royal consort
The Queen described her “deep sorrow” when announcing the death of her beloved husband.
It’s understood she was by his side when he died “peacefully” last Friday.
The Duke of Edinburgh spent his final days at the castle with his wife, who he lovingly called Lilibet throughout their long life together, after a 28-night stay in hospital, having been admitted in mid-February for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition. They had been married for 73 years. His wife has been Queen for 69 of those years.
Philip is survived by his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, and his children Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
New Zealand's tribute to the Duke
Last week Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed her “sincere condolences” to the Queen and royal family.
“Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time. On behalf of the New Zealand people and the Government, I would like to express my sincere condolences to Her Majesty and to all the royal family.
She said the New Zealand Government was awaiting details from the palace concerning arrangements for the funeral.
“Following the funeral, a national memorial service will be held in Wellington. More details will follow once arrangements have been confirmed.”
New Zealand Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy said the Prince’s death was a “great loss to Her Majesty the Queen, the members of the royal family and the people of Her Majesty’s realms and territories”.
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