Funeral of The Duke of Edinburgh

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St. George’s Chapel

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Funeral will take place on Saturday 17 April 2021 at 3pm in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

The Funeral Service will begin with a National Minute’s Silence at three o’clock. The service will be preceded by a ceremonial procession inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. 

The plans for the funeral are in line with The Duke of Edinburgh’s own personal wishes, and the occasion will recognise and celebrate The Duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to The Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth. 

It will be a Ceremonial Royal Funeral, the same as for Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, rather than a State Funeral – something which is generally reserved for Monarchs. The plans have been approved by The Queen and reflect appropriate Government advice.

Overview

The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with His Royal Highness’s Personal Standard and dressed with a wreath of flowers, will rest initially in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle, where it will remain until the day of the Funeral. 

On Saturday 17th April, The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin will be moved by a Bearer Party found by The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. Positioned in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle will be representative detachments drawn from His Royal Highness’s military special relationships.

His Royal Highness’s coffin will be carried in a purpose-built Land Rover – which The Duke was involved in the design of – flanked by military Pall Bearers, in a small Ceremonial Procession from the State Entrance to St George’s Chapel, for the Funeral Service. Members of the Royal Family and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Household will walk behind the coffin from the Quadrangle, down Chapel Hill and into Horseshoe Cloister. The Funeral Service will begin with a National Minute’s Silence at 1500hrs. 

The Funeral Service will be attended by Her Majesty The Queen and Members of the Royal Family. The coffin, carried by a Bearer Party found by the Royal Marines, will be received at the top of the West Steps of St George’s Chapel by the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Naval Cap and Sword will be placed on the coffin ahead of the service and His Royal Highness’s Insignia will be laid on the Altar of the Chapel. At the conclusion of the service, His Royal Highness will be interred in the Royal Vault in St George’s Chapel.

Public mourning

The Queen has approved the Prime Minister’s recommendation that there will be a period of National Mourning beginning on Friday 9 April until Saturday 17 April, the day of the Funeral inclusive. This means that Union flags are being flown at half-mast on Royal Residences, Government Buildings, establishments of the Armed Forces and UK Posts overseas.

The Royal Standard will remain being flown at full mast.

Additionally, it is The Queen’s wish that the Royal Family will observe two weeks of Royal Mourning starting yesterday. Royal Mourning will be observed by Members of the Royal Family and their Households, together with troops committed to Ceremonial Duties. During this period, Members of the Royal Family will continue undertaking engagements appropriate to the circumstances. Mourning bands will be worn where appropriate.

Details of the ceremonial

Ahead of the Funeral, the coffin, accompanied by the Dean of Windsor and the Lord Chamberlain, will be moved to the State Entrance of Windsor Castle by a Bearer Party found by The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The Dean and the Lord Chamberlain will then make their way to St. George’s Chapel.

The Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle will be present at the State Entrance for the departure of the Coffin.

Positioned on the grass in the Quadrangle will be representative detachments drawn from His Royal Highness’s military special relationships. The Quadrangle will also be lined by the Household Cavalry and The Foot Guards.

The Procession will step off from State Entrance at 1445 hrs.

The Band of the Grenadier Guards, of which The Duke of Edinburgh was Colonel for 42 years, will lead the procession.

They will be followed by the Major General’s Party, and then the Service Chiefs, reflecting His Royal Highness’s close relationship with all areas of Defence.

The Coffin, borne on the Land Rover, will be flanked by Pall Bearers drawn from His Royal Highness’s Special Relationships – the Royal Marines, Regiments, Corps and Air Stations.

The Prince of Wales and Members of the Royal Family will take part in the procession on foot, immediately behind The Duke of Edinburgh’s Coffin, together with staff from His Royal Highness’s Household. 

At 1440 hrs, the Coffin will emerge from the State Entrance and all those in the Procession and in the Quadrangle will pay compliments.  The Bearer Party will place the Coffin onto the Land Rover and withdraw.

At 1445 hrs, the Procession, will step off from the State Entrance for the West Steps of St. George’s Chapel.  The route of the Procession, which will be lined by representatives drawn from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, The Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Force, is as follows:

•          State Entrance, Windsor Castle
•          Engine Court
•          Chapel Hill
•          Parade Ground
•          Horseshoe Cloister

Minute Guns will be fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from the East Lawn at Windsor Castle for the duration of the Procession.  The Curfew Tower Bell will toll.

At 1453 hrs, the Land Rover will arrive at the foot of the West Steps of St. George’s Chapel.

A Guard of Honour and Band from The Rifles will receive the Coffin with the National Anthem as the Coffin enters Horseshoe Cloister and ending as the Land Rover draws to a halt at the West Steps.

Positioned in the Horseshoe Cloister will be the Commonwealth Defence Advisers from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago.

The West Steps of St. George’s Chapel will be lined by a Dismounted Detachment of the Household Cavalry.

A Royal Navy Piping Party of 1 Chief Petty Officer and 5 Ratings will be in position on the South Side of the West Steps of St. George’s Chapel.

The Piping Party will pipe the ‘Still’ once the Land Rover is stationery at the foot of the West Steps.

The Bearer Party will lift the Coffin and proceed up the West Steps halting on the second landing. The Piping Party will pipe the ‘Side’. The Coffin will pause for the National Minute Silence at 1500 hrs.

At the top of the West Steps, the Dean of Windsor, together with the Archbishop of Canterbury, will receive the Coffin.

All those who have taken part in the procession will not enter St. George’s Chapel except the Members of the Royal Family, and His Royal Highness’s Private Secretary.

As the doors to St. George’s Chapel close, the Royal Navy Piping Party will pipe the ‘Carry On’.

The Land Rover, Service Chiefs, Realm Defence Advisers, Body Guards, Military Knights of Windsor, along with representatives of Special Relationships will disperse in silence during the Funeral Service.

The Funeral Service will begin as the Coffin enters St. George’s Chapel and is carried in Procession to the Catafalque in the Quire. 

The Duke of Edinburgh’s “insignia” – the medals and decorations conferred on His Royal Highness by the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries – together with his Field Marshal’s baton and Royal Air Force Wings, together with insignia from Denmark and Greece, will be pre-positioned on cushions on the altar in St. George’s Chapel.

Further details on the Funeral Service and the Order of Service will be released in due course.

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