Britons fell silent this afternoon to remember the life of Prince Philip ahead of his funeral service at St George’s Chapel.
Members of the duke’s close family, including Prince Charles and his sons the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge, stood at the bottom of the steps to the chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle for the minute’s silence to mark the start of the funeral at 3pm.
Some 700 armed forces personnel drafted in for the funeral procession, hundreds of mourners lining the streets of Windsor to pay their respects and security officers part of the Metropolitan Police’s ‘ring of steel’ also stood in quiet reflection.
The Queen stood alone with her head bowed at her seat inside St George’s Chapel as the nation fell silent to mourn the loss of her husband.
Covid-19 regulations have reduced the scope of the service with public elements cancelled, mourners reduced from around 800 to just 30, and all guests wearing face masks and sitting apart.
The minutes silence was respectfully observed by around 1000 people outside the main gates of Windsor Castle.
It comes after Prince Charles and Prince William arrived with their wives to support the Queen today as she says her final farewell to her ‘strength and stay’ after their extraordinary 73-year life together.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s insignia, Field Marshal’s baton, RAF wings and decorations from Denmark and Greece resting on cushions have been placed on the altar of St George’s Chapel to mark the passing of the ‘grandfather of the nation’.
His casket was covered in his personal standard and carried his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers as pallbearers lowered him on to his extraordinary self-designed Land Rover hearse.
Some 700 armed forces personnel drafted in for the funeral procession bowed their heads for the minute’s silence in the grounds of Windsor Castle at 3pm
Drinkers at the Duke of Edinburgh pub in Hull observe a minutes silence during the funeral
Members of the public observe a minute’s silence on the Long Walk in Windsor
Players of Norton Cricket club and Stokesley Cricket club observe two minute silence during their fixture in Norton, Middlesbrough
A man stands during a minute’s silence for the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip in Windsor
A moment of silence is held by commuters and staff in memory of Prince Philip at Newcastle’s Central Station
A minute silence was observed by fire crews at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, left, and the Police Federation, right
The Queen bowed her head in silence while inside St George’s Chapel at 3pm
Members of the duke’s close family, including Prince Charles and Prince William, stood at the bottom of the steps to St George’s Chapel for the minute’s silence to mark the start of the funeral
The Duchess of Cambridge stood at her seat in the Chapel for the minute’s silence
Cold water swimmers observe a minute’s silence during the funeral at the Brockwell Lido in London
Police officers observe a minute’s silence during the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip
A minute of silence is observed at St George’s Chapel for the funeral of Prince Philip inside Windsor Castle
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon observes a minute’s silence outside Bute House in Edinburgh
Crowds observe a minute’s silence outside Buckingham Palace during the funeral of Prince Philip
In Gibraltar the Governor, Chief Minister, Commander of the British Forces and The Speak observes a minute’s silence
People observe a minute’s silence at Piccadilly Circus in London
People observe a minute’s silence outside Buckingham Palace
Presenter Rob Walker, Stephen Maguire, Jamie Jones and spectators observe a minute’s silence in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh during the Betfred World Snooker Championships 2021 at The Crucible, Sheffield
As the clock above the castle tower struck 3pm people bowed their heads and stood still in respect to Prince Phillip. Police officers also bowed their heads along with security guards, shoppers and a few hundred who had come to witness the solemn day.
The massive media strong also stopped commentating and respected the tribute. The silence was only broken by a reporter from French television, reporting from the High Street, who appear to be shouting into a live television camera.
After the minute’s silence was over, the crowd broke into spontaneous clapping in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh.
Following behind the duke’s casket was the royal procession, led by Philip’s children and grandchildren, including Prince William and Prince Harry who were separated by their cousin Peter Phillips.
The Queen arrived as the national anthem played and the royal Bentley stopped next to her beloved husband’s coffin, where she poignantly paused for a moment of reflection as cannons fired and bells tolled in remembrance of the duke.
The Queen wiped her eyes as she accompanied Prince Philip’s coffin on its final journey from Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel as the Royal Family joined her in mourning her husband at his funeral.
Commuters and LNER staff at the grand and imposing Central Station in Newcastle city centre stood still with their heads bowed to pay their respects to the duke.
Meanwhile, mourners gathered at the Tommy statue in Seaham, County Durham, to honour the Queen’s husband, who would have turned 100 this year.
Shortly before the clock struck 3pm the melody of the Last Post had rung out above the ocean as a bugle player stood on the seafront, next to the figure of the World War One soldier.
As Her Majesty begins life without her beloved Philip after 73 years of marriage, it also emerged:
- The Queen is about to follow her husband’s final journey with his coffin borne on the back of a Land Rover he designed himself to act as his hearse. She will be aided by a lady in waiting but will sit alone to mourn her husband in the church;
- The world’s eyes will be on Prince Harry and Prince William, who will see each other for the first time in a year after falling out over Megxit. Royal aides admit to ‘walking on eggshells’ around feuding princes. Meghan Markle and Harry’s close friends Gayle King and Omid Scobie are leading coverage of Prince Philip’s funeral in the US today for CBS;
- Son of Falklands hero Colonel ‘H’ Jones is among the pallbearers made up of senior officers from Philip’s regiments including his beloved Royal Marines;
- Philip’s funeral service in St George’s Chapel will begin with a national minute’s silence. The service will reflect his ‘unwavering loyalty’ to Queen and country;
- Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will praise Philip’s ‘life of service to the nation and Commonwealth’ at the service;
- The Order of Service, released by the Palace last night, reflects Philip’s naval roots, including the seafarers’ hymn Eternal Father, Strong To Save. Buglers of the Royal Marines will sound Action Stations and at the specific request of The Duke of Edinburgh as his coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault;
- UK channels battle for viewers with Harry’s friend Tom Bradby fronting ITV’s coverage having apparently fallen out with William over his Megxit comments;
The Queen wipes her eyes as she arrives behind her husband’s coffin as Prince Philip’s funeral began this afternoon
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Peter Phillips and Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge follow the hearse
The Duchess of Cambridge (far right) waits with members of the royal family Zara Tindall, Mike Tindall, Princess Eugenie, Jack Brooksbank, Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi outside St George’s Chapel
The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex, who have a troubled relationship, did not walk shoulder to shoulder with their cousin Peter Phillips between them
The Royal Family’s procession was led by Prince Charles and Princess Anne who looked emotional following the casket
Prince Philip’s coffin has emerged from Windsor Castle as the Royal Family joined the Queen in mourning her husband at his funeral
Guests arrive ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle today. Only 30, including the Queen, are allowed into the funeral
Sophie, Countess of Wessex arrives for the funeral service of Britain’s Prince Philip this afternoon. She will be joined by several family members
Members of the military marching in the Engine Court ahead of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh in Windsor Castle
Sir David Attenborough seen walking with his daughter Susan Attenborough in Windsor just before the funeral of Prince Philip
A sombre Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, arrived separately from her husband as the world watched Windsor
Prince Andrew was among the last royals to arrive, wearing a suit after a row over what uniform he wanted to wear
Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips, who recently had a baby named after the Duke of Edinburgh, drive into the castle this afternoon
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi were smiling as they saw the crowds at Windsor as they arrived for the sad event
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was driven to the castle. He will praise Philip’s ‘life of service to the nation and Commonwealth’ at the service. Lady Penny Brabourne, the duke’s close friend and confidante, was also seen arriving
Philip’s favourite carriage arrives at Windsor, with his hat and gloved in his seat in a poignant scene
At a sunny Windsor Castle, deserted with no crowds allowed, the quadrangle was packed with bands playing the prince’s favourite songs and hymns including Jerusalem as his extraordinary Land Rover hearse arrived flanked by senior officers from the duke’s regiments.
Troops stood with their heads bowed as the Land Rover, upon which the coffin will be placed, was driven into the quadrangle while military bands played music selected by the duke.
At 11am his coffin, covered with Philip’s personal standard along with his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers, was moved from Her Majesty’s private chapel to the Inner Hall of Windsor Castle by members of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
Minutes later a convoy of funeral cars swept the first mourners into the main gates as a single Queen’s Guard stood to attention, as soldiers on horses trotted into the grounds where 700 armed forces personnel have now gathered. Early guests arriving included The Countess Mountbatten of Burma, Lady Penny Brabourne, Philip’s close friend and confidante, and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The castle has a ‘ring of steel’ protecting it led by armed units from the Metropolitan Police. Tens of millions of people in Britain and around the world will be watching the most important royal funeral since the Queen Mother died in 2002. The event, pared back because of the pandemic, was overseen by Philip for at least 20 years before his death.
Airmen of the Royal Air Force marching ahead of the funeral of Prince Philip
The Duke of Edinburgh’s casket was covered in his personal standard and carried his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers as pallbearers lowered him on to his extraordinary self-designed Land Rover hearse
The detachments of service personnel from the military units the duke had a special relationship with are now in position on the green of the castle’s quadrangle – while lining its edge are troops from the Household Cavalry and the Foot Guards
Members of the military march ahead of the funeral service at Prince Philip’s Windsor home
The Foot Guards Band are seen marching as the world remembers the extraordinary 99-year life of Philip
Members of the Household Cavalry march past St George’s Chapel where Prince Philip’s funeral is taking place
The soldiers in full uniform march through the grounds of the castle ahead of the most significant royal funeral in decades
The Household Cavalry would normally be flanked by huge crowds of mourners, but today only a sea of flowers surrounded them
Her Majesty is determined to ensure it reflects his ‘unwavering loyalty’ to her during their 73-year marriage and her 68-year reign on the throne as well his lifetime of service to the UK and the Commonwealth in his 99-year life. Philip was the longest serving consort to a monarch in history, a record unlikely to be ever broken.
In pre-pandemic times thousands of mourners would have travelled to the Berkshire town to pay their respects, but the Royal Family, the Government and police are asking the public to stay away. However, it appears hundreds have defied the warnings and gathered to pay their respects in Windsor despite the risk of fines or even arrest.
What are the key timings for Prince Philip’s funeral?
The ceremonial arrangements for Prince Philip’s funeral today will reflect military affiliations and personal elements of his life. The congregation will wear masks for the service and members of the royal family will be wearing morning coat with medals or day dress. Philip has been lying at rest in the private chapel in Windsor Castle. Here is a timeline of events:
- 11am: The coffin, which will be covered with Philip’s personal standard along with his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers, will be moved from the private chapel to the Inner Hall of Windsor Castle by members of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
- 2pm: The Lord Chamberlain, the Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle and the Dean of Windsor will be present in the Inner Hall.
- 2.10pm: The Dean will say prayers before leaving by car to St George’s Chapel.
- 2.15pm: Representatives from the services are in place in the Quadrangle to show Philip’s special military relationships. The Quadrangle will also be lined by the Household Cavalry and The Foot Guards.
- 2.17pm. The band of the Grenadier Guards will be in Engine Court.
- Between 2.20pm and 2.27pm. Members of the royal family and Philip’s relatives who are not taking part in the procession will leave Windsor Castle by car to make the journey to the chapel.
- 2.27pm. The Land Rover, upon which the coffin will be placed, enters the Quadrangle via George IV Gate where bands at the site begin to play music. The service chiefs, the Major General commanding the Household Division and his staff leave from the Equerries Entrance and take their position by the State Entrance. They will face the Land Rover. The pall bearers take up position either side of the Land Rover and together they move towards the State Entrance.
- 2.53pm: The Land Rover arrives at the foot of the West Steps of the chapel. A Royal Navy piping party will sound once the Land Rover stops and the pall bearers take their positions. The coffin will be carried up the steps and halt on the second landing as members of the royal family take their positions on the steps.
- 3pm: The National Minute’s Silence, signalled by a gun fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, takes place. After the minute’s silence, the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury receive the coffin which has been followed by the members of the royal family who have walked in the procession. As the doors to St George’s Chapel close to the sound of Carry On being played, the Land Rover, service chiefs, realm defence advisers, bodyguards, military knights of Windsor, along with representatives of services, will leave in silence during the funeral service. After the National Minute’s Silence, the coffin is placed on the Catafalque in the Quire and members of the royal family who have walked in the procession will take their places for the service which is set to last 50 minutes and will be conducted by the Dean of Windsor. The Dean will give the commendation as the coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault. A lament will then be played by a Pipe Major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. The piper will walk from the North Quire Aisle to The Dean’s Cloister. The Last Post will be sounded by buglers of the Royal Marines from the west end of the Nave. After a period of silence, the Reveille will be sounded by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry from the west end of the Nave. The buglers of the Royal Marines will sound Action Stations and this is at the specific request of The Duke of Edinburgh. The Archbishop of Canterbury will pronounce the Blessing, after which the national anthem will be sung by the four singers present.
- After the servic: The Queen and members of the royal family and Philip’s relatives will leave the chapel via the Galilee Porch.
People who knew Philip best have said he would be pleased about the smaller crowds because he always demanded ‘no fuss’ in the event of his death. People staying at home for the funeral decked their homes in Union Flags and pictures of the duke and his wife, with many enjoying traditional full English breakfasts or afternoon teas as they watched on TV.
The duke’s favourite driving carriage, accompanied by two of his grooms, was pulled by his two trusty black Fell ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm, to stand in the Quadrangle, ready for the procession to pass by.
It was a poignant reminder of Philip’s love of the fast-paced sport, which he took up when he turned 50 and continued to enjoy non-competitively in his 90s.
The polished dark green aluminium and steel four-wheeled carriage was built to the duke’s exact specifications eight years ago, and he began using at the age of 91 for riding around Windsor and other royal estates.
The detachments of service personnel from the military units the duke had a special relationship with are now in position on the green of the castle’s quadrangle – while lining its edge are troops from the Household Cavalry and the Foot Guards.
A few minutes later the Band of the Grenadier Guards, which will be at the head of the funeral procession, formed up in nearby Engine Court.
The Archbishop of Canterbury then arrived at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, ahead of the afternoon’s service.
The Most Rev Justin Welby will preside over the funeral alongside the Dean of Windsor.
They will receive the coffin after the minute’s silence marking the start of the funeral.
The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, said the funeral for the Duke of Edinburgh will be a ‘sombre moment’ but also a ‘celebratory moment’ of a life well-lived.
‘I think there won’t be a serviceman or servicewoman on parade today who won’t have their chest swelling with pride,’ he told Sky News.
‘We all have a huge regard for him. We have a huge regard for his wartime record and the care that he showed for veterans and for those still serving, and it’ll be a sombre moment for us, but it will also be a celebratory moment, I think, because it was a special life and a life that was well-lived.’
Speaking of the planning that has gone into the funeral proceedings, Lieutenant-Colonel James Greaves said the Armed Forces have been ‘leaning into this as much as we can’.
He told Sky News: ‘It’s been really full tilt ahead ever since we heard of His Royal Highness’s passing. We as a regiment, as the Grenadier Guards, we were straight away putting our bearer party front and centre, and just making sure that we were correctly prepared.
‘Collectively we’ve been training at Pirbright, it’s been socially distanced absolutely Covid-compliant, but clearly we have been leaning into this as much as we can.
‘We know how much His Royal Highness meant, not only to all of our regiments and units that are here on parade but also to the nation, so we are absolutely reflecting that which he gave to us we would like to give back to him today.’
Five coaches each carrying dozens of people in military uniforms earlier drove into the main entrance at Windsor Castle. The large white vehicles drove in just after 12.30pm on Saturday.
Traffic on the high street was temporarily blocked off by police officers on motorbikes while pedestrians were halted by stewards.
Staff close to the castle had a difficult time ensuring pedestrians were keeping the pathways clear after the coaches had driven in.
Labour leader Keir Starmer said his thoughts are with the Queen and royal family ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
He tweeted: ‘Yesterday, I met inspiring young people completing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. They told me about the confidence, experience and skills they’ve gained thanks to the scheme. It’s a remarkable legacy for Prince Philip to leave our country.
‘Today, my thoughts are with The Queen, everyone in the royal family and the British people who will be mourning and remembering Prince Philip.’
Five coaches each carrying dozens of people in military uniforms were driven into the main entrance at Windsor Castle as the funeral edged closer.
Early this morning members of the armed forces, police, security and the media were taking up positions around the castle ahead of this afternoon’s ceremony.
While much of the typical pageantry has been pared back, Buckingham Palace says the funeral will still reflect Philip’s life of service and the plans he himself spent years fine-tuning.
Right down to the bespoke Land Rover hearse to carry his own coffin, the event – code-named Operation Forth Bridge – will be executed with military precision, leading up to the 3pm service at St George’s Chapel.
The first glimpses inside the chapel shows the Duke’s insignia, Field Marshal’s baton, RAF wings and decorations from Denmark and Greece resting on cushions at the altar.
The Queen, 94, will say a private farewell to her husband, who she once called her ‘strength and stay’, before his body is driven to the chapel tailed by a small procession including Philip’s four children and three grandsons.
Sources say she has been the ‘epitome of dignity’ this week, and the Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to her ‘extraordinary dignity and courage’.
Justin Welby, who will praise Philip’s ‘life of service to the nation and Commonwealth’ at the service, added that he hoped the nation prayed for her and ‘hope for her to find strength in what must be an anguished moment’.
This is the funeral procession for tomorrow’s funeral, where William and Harry will not stand next to eachother with the Queen following behind in her car
The Dean of Windsor, in the Bidding, will celebrate Philip’s ‘unwavering loyalty to our Queen’ and ‘his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith’.
The sun shone on Windsor this morning, drawing people to the high street.
Signs have been erected around the town urging members of the public to stay away from Windsor and other royal residences.
Police patrols have been stepped up to enforce Covid rules, which ban large gatherings. Marshals have also been drafted in to help and were seen trooping through the town in high-vis jackets.
As with all royal events, there was tight security and police divers were pictured searching a drain near the grounds, while snipers kept watch on rooftops.
Reporters were struck by how quiet Windsor was this morning, drawing contrast with past major events such as Harry and Meghan’s 2018 wedding when the streets were filled with royal fans waving flags.
A police sergeant told MailOnline: ‘It certainly looks like the Royal Family and Prince Phillip have been given the upmost respect.
‘Its 9am and I haven’t talked to one person who has come here to be at the castle today. I think people realise they’re better off at home watching the funeral on television.’
Trains into Windsor from Waterloo and Paddington were empty. A member of the station staff said: ‘Whenever there is a Royal occasion here, you get people sleeping overnight and certainly by 9am every train is packed.
‘Today there hasn’t been a single person who has passed through here to stand outside the castle.’