Prince Philip dies: Archbishop Justin Welby will lead special remembrance service today


The Archbishop of Canterbury will lead a remembrance service for Prince Philip at Canterbury Cathedral today. 

The service is expected to start at 10.30am with Justin Welby paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh after his death on Friday morning.  

It comes ahead of Philip’s funeral next Saturday, which is expected to be officiated by Mr Welby and David Conner, the Dean of Windsor.

Mr Welby, giving a reflection from the chapel at Lambeth Palace, paid tribute to the Duke last night and said Philip had been someone with a ‘deep and genuine sense of service and humility’.

He said: ‘It wasn’t ‘me, me, me’. It was about the world, about those he served, and in doing that his own role was more and more significant.

‘He had a righteous impatience. He would not accept the status quo. If things were not right, he would say so and say so quickly, and clearly, and often bluntly.

‘Prince Philip, also though, had a deep and genuine sense of service and humility.’

He described him as someone who ‘knew the talents he had and what he could bring, and he brought them 100%, at full throttle, right through his life’. 

Buckingham Palace announced yesterday that Prince Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, and a national minute’s silence will be observed as it begins at 3pm. The funeral service will be broadcast worldwide.

Justin Welby, giving a reflection from the chapel at Lambeth Palace, paid tribute to the Duke last night and said Philip had been someone with a 'deep and genuine sense of service and humility

Justin Welby, giving a reflection from the chapel at Lambeth Palace, paid tribute to the Duke last night and said Philip had been someone with a ‘deep and genuine sense of service and humility

Buckingham Palace announced yesterday that Prince Philip's ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle

Buckingham Palace announced yesterday that Prince Philip's ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17 at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle

Buckingham Palace announced yesterday that Prince Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle

A special Sunday service will take place at Canterbury Cathedral today to mark the passing of Prince Philip. It will be led by Justin Welby

A special Sunday service will take place at Canterbury Cathedral today to mark the passing of Prince Philip. It will be led by Justin Welby

A special Sunday service will take place at Canterbury Cathedral today to mark the passing of Prince Philip. It will be led by Justin Welby

The Duke will be taken to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on a Land Rover he helped to design, and will be flanked by pall bearers from the Royal Marines, Regiments, Corps and Air Stations.

The decision to carry Philip in the custom-built car comes after he is said to have told the Queen: ‘Just stick me in the back of a Land Rover and drive me to Windsor.’

Immediately behind the Land Rover, the Prince of Wales and other members of the family, likely to be the Duke’s other children and some of his grandchildren including Harry and William, will proceed on foot.

Prince Harry will travel to the UK to be with his family for the service, but his wife Meghan will remain at their home in California after being ‘advised not to travel’ by her doctor. 

Official royal mourning will then take place for two weeks after the funeral.  

Only 30 people – expected to be the Duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend as guests. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be among guests, having stepped aside to allow for the attendance of as many family members as possible during coronavirus restrictions, No 10 said last night. 

The Land Rover ‘hearse’ is a fitting tribute to Philip – the nation’s longest consort – who was known for his practical skills and his enduring interest in design and engineering.

The purpose-built Land Rover was specially modified to carry a coffin – in a project that the duke helped with many years ago.

The vehicle will process slowly through the grounds of Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral, draped in his personal standard, a wreath of flowers and his naval cap and sword.

A bearer party from the Grenadier Guards will place the coffin on the Land Rover at the state entrance of the castle, before the vehicle begins the eight-minute journey at walking pace to the west steps of the chapel.

The Duke's Defender 130 Gun Bus: This Defender Gun Bus, built from a Td5 130, was commissioned by the Duke of Edinburgh in 2005. After a 45-minute meeting at Sandringham with the Duke this design was created, Land Rover said. It is understood the vehicle that carries his coffin will be similar to the one picture here

The Duke's Defender 130 Gun Bus: This Defender Gun Bus, built from a Td5 130, was commissioned by the Duke of Edinburgh in 2005. After a 45-minute meeting at Sandringham with the Duke this design was created, Land Rover said. It is understood the vehicle that carries his coffin will be similar to the one picture here

The Duke’s Defender 130 Gun Bus: This Defender Gun Bus, built from a Td5 130, was commissioned by the Duke of Edinburgh in 2005. After a 45-minute meeting at Sandringham with the Duke this design was created, Land Rover said. It is understood the vehicle that carries his coffin will be similar to the one picture here

The Queen is pictured with the Duke of Edinburgh in 2007 walking at Broadlands, Hampshire

The Queen is pictured with the Duke of Edinburgh in 2007 walking at Broadlands, Hampshire

The Queen is pictured with the Duke of Edinburgh in 2007 walking at Broadlands, Hampshire

It will be flanked by pall bearers reflecting the duke’s special relationships with the military – the Royal Marines, Regiments, Corps and Air Stations.

Immediately behind the Land Rover, the Prince of Wales and other members of the royal family, likely to be the duke’s other children and some of his grandchildren, will proceed on foot.

A specially modified Land Rover, Naval procession and royal mourning: Prince Philip’s funeral details are released by palace 

  • 2.40pm: Coffin emerges from State Entrance of Windsor Castle

The duke’s 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 of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The coffin will emerge and the Bearer Party will place it onto a specially modified Land Rover, which Philip helped to design, to transport it to St George’s Chapel.

  • 2.45pm: The procession leaves for St George’s Chapel

The procession from the state entrance to the West Steps of the chapel will take eight minutes.

The Prince of Wales and members of the royal family will take part in the procession on foot, immediately behind the duke’s coffin, together with staff from Philip’s household.

The route of the procession will be lined by representatives drawn from the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Force.

Minute guns will be fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from the east lawn of Windsor Castle for the duration of the procession, and the Curfew Tower Bell will toll.

  • 2.53pm: The Land Rover reaches the West Steps of the chapel

A Guard of Honour and Band from The Rifles will receive the coffin at the foot of the West Steps, with the national anthem being played as the coffin enters Horseshoe Cloister.

A bearing party of Royal Marines will carry the coffin up the steps and pause for the minute’s silence.

  • 3.00pm: National minute of silence

Following the minute’s silence, the Dean of Windsor, together with the Archbishop of Canterbury, will receive the coffin at the top of the West Steps.

In keeping with coronavirus guidelines to limit guests inside the chapel, most of the procession will not enter the chapel, except for members of the royal family, and the duke’s private secretary Archie Miller Bakewell.

The funeral service will begin as the coffin enters St George’s Chapel.

The Land Rover’s poignant role in the funeral proceedings always formed part of Operation Forth Bridge – the codename given to the plans following Philip’s death. 

A senior Palace official said: ‘The Duke of Edinburgh had a hand many years ago in the design of these vehicles.’ The official added that there were two Land Rovers for ‘belt and braces’.

The Queen has approved the Prime Minister’s recommendation of national mourning, which began on April 9 and runs until and including the day of the funeral.  

Originally 800 people would have been due to gather to pay their respects to the nation’s longest serving consort, but Philip is known to have wanted a low key affair. 

The first guest confirmed by the palace was the duke’s long-standing close aide, his private secretary Brigadier Archie Miller Bakewell, who will be one of the few, and possibly only, non-royals invited to attend.

Brigadier Miller Bakewell had been the Duke’s right hand man for 11 years, taking on the role in 2010. 

And brothers William and Harry are expected to stand ‘shoulder to shoulder’ a they come together for the first time since Harry’s bombshell Oprah interview.   

All public elements of the funeral have been cancelled, and it will be televised but take place entirely in the grounds of the castle, the Palace said. 

The Queen has decided the royal family will enter two weeks of royal mourning, and engagements will continue appropriate to the circumstances, a senior royal official said. 

The announcement came as Prince Charles paid a poignant tribute to his father, describing his ‘dear Papa’ as a ‘very special person’ and ‘the most remarkable, devoted’ companion to the Queen in an emotional video released this evening. 

In a moving address and speaking without notes, the Prince of Wales said his father would have been ‘deeply touched’ by the sorrow felt by millions of people in Britain and across the world at news of his passing. 

He said he would miss his father ‘enormously’ and added that his family were ‘deeply grateful’ for the condolences offered, which he said would ‘sustain us’ at this ‘particularly sad time’. 

The Earl and the Countess of Wessex spent around an hour with the Queen at the castle on Saturday, with a tearful Sophie telling reporters as she left: ‘The Queen has been amazing.’   

The duke died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family ‘mourning his loss’. 

The Duke of York arrived at Windsor on Saturday, while the Prince of Wales visited his mother there on Friday. Princess Anne left Windsor Castle accompanied by her husband and son Peter Phillips, after visiting her mother this afternoon. 

Gun salutes have been fired across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea in tribute to the duke.

Public elements of Operation Forth Bridge – the codename for the duke’s funeral plans – were abandoned for fear of drawing crowds including the long held arrangements for military processions through London and Windsor.

Instead, the proceedings will take place entirely in the grounds of Windsor Castle, televised, but away from public view and with no access for royal fans.

A statement on the official Royal Family Twitter page this evening read: ‘The plans for the funeral are in line with His Royal Highness’s own personal wishes. The occasion will recognise and celebrate The Duke’s life and more than 70 years of service to The Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth.’ 

Confirming that the PM would not be in attendance, a No 10 spokesperson said: ‘As a result of the coronavirus regulations, only 30 people can attend the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. 

Tearful mourners continued to gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace this afternoon

Tearful mourners continued to gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace this afternoon

Tearful mourners continued to gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace this afternoon

Tearful mourners continued to gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace this afternoon

Tearful mourners continued to gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace this afternoon

Rosa Wlodarczyk adjusts a photograph of the Duke of Edinburgh displayed alongside the nave at Westminster Abbey in London, which has been dressed in black to mark his death

Rosa Wlodarczyk adjusts a photograph of the Duke of Edinburgh displayed alongside the nave at Westminster Abbey in London, which has been dressed in black to mark his death

Rosa Wlodarczyk adjusts a photograph of the Duke of Edinburgh displayed alongside the nave at Westminster Abbey in London, which has been dressed in black to mark his death

Little girls left floral tributes to the Duke outside Buckingham Palace this afternoon

Little girls left floral tributes to the Duke outside Buckingham Palace this afternoon

Little girls left floral tributes to the Duke outside Buckingham Palace this afternoon

Little girls left floral tributes to the Duke outside Buckingham Palace this afternoon

Little girls left floral tributes to the Duke outside Buckingham Palace this afternoon

‘The Prime Minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the Royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday.’  

The English Football League has also announced that all matches scheduled for 3pm next Saturday will be moved to avoid clashing with Prince Philip’s funeral. There are 32 games across the Championship, League One and League Two that were set to get underway at 3pm on the day of the funeral.

On the day of the funeral, the duke’s 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 of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. 

On the grass in the Castle’s Quadrangle will be representative detachments drawn from Philip’s military special relationships.

The Quadrangle will also be lined by the Household Cavalry and The Foot Guards. The Band of the Grenadier Guards, of which Philip was Colonel for 42 years, will lead the procession to St George’s Chapel. 

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

The procession from the state entrance to the west steps of St George’s Chapel will take eight minutes. 

The route of the procession will be lined by representatives drawn from the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Force.

Minute guns will be fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from the east lawn of Windsor Castle for the duration of the procession, and the Curfew Tower Bell will toll.

A Guard of Honour and Band from The Rifles will receive the coffin at the foot of the west steps, with the national anthem being played as the coffin enters Horseshoe Cloister.

In tribute to Philip’s Naval service, a Royal Naval Piping Party of 1 Chief Petty Officer and 5 Ratings will be present.

The piping party will pipe the ‘Still’ once the Land Rover is stationery at the foot of the steps.

A bearing party of Royal Marines will carry the coffin up the steps and pause for the minute’s silence. The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Windsor will then receive the coffin.

In keeping with coronavirus guidelines to limit guests inside the chapel, most of the procession will not enter St George’s, except for members of the royal family, and the duke’s private secretary Archie Miller Bakewell.

‘I will miss my dear papa’: Prince Charles pays tribute to his ‘very special’ father as he praises him for his ‘devoted service to Queen and country’ and says that the royal family are ‘deeply grateful’ for moving tributes 

Prince Charles today paid tribute to his ‘dear Papa’ as he spoke for the first time following news of his father Prince Philip’s death yesterday morning.

In a pre-recorded video message, the Prince of Wales said his father had given ‘the most remarkable, devoted service’ to ‘The Queen, to my family and to the country’, as well as the Commonwealth. 

The Duke of Edinburgh was, he said, a ‘very special person’ who would have been ‘deeply touched’ by the sorrow felt by millions of people in Britain and across the world at news of his passing. 

He said he would miss his father ‘enormously’ and added that his family were ‘deeply grateful’ for the condolences offered, which he said would ‘sustain us’ at this ‘particularly sad time’.   

Speaking from his Gloucestershire home, Highgrove, Charles said: ‘I particularly wanted to say that my father, for I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to The Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth.

‘As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously. He was a much loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth, who also I think, share our loss and our sorrow.

‘My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that.

‘It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time. Thank you.’



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