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PA Prince Philip's coffin is carried into St George's Chapel
United Kingdom

Prince Philip funeral procession ends with Duke's coffin taken from chapel to royal vault

Prince Philip will be laid to rest at the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel following the funeral mass.

LAST UPDATE | Apr 17th 2021, 4:22 PM

THE FUNERAL PROCESSION for Prince Philip has ended in London.

The UK royal family walked behind the coffin as it was taken into St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where the funeral will take place.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin was transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design, and followed by the Prince of Wales and senior royals on foot.

The Queen approved Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recommendation of national mourning, which began on April 9 and runs until today.

All 30 attendees at the funeral wore a face mask, including the Queen, during the ceremony which lasted 50 minutes.

Buckingham Palace previously said the Queen had to make “difficult decisions” about who would attend the funeral, due to Covid-19 restrictions limiting mourners.

The monarch sat by herself in the quire of St George’s Chapel, with all mourners following Covid guidelines and remaining socially distanced.

She was joined by a lady-in-waiting for the short car journey to the place of worship from the Castle.

Prince Philip has been laid to rest at the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel following the funeral mass. 

Philip was the guiding force behind his funeral arrangements and, reflecting his life-long association with the Royal Navy, Buglers of the Royal Marines will sound Action Stations during the service at his request.

It is played on a warship to signal all hands should go to battle stations and is sometimes featured at the funerals of naval officers. 

A reduced choir of just four singers was featured during the funeral service and the guests followed Covid rules and did not sing.

Among the guests are all of the duke’s children and grandchildren and their spouses, the children of the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, and three of Philip’s German relatives: Bernhard, the Hereditary Prince of Baden; Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse; and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.

A close friend of the duke, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, previously known as Lady Romsey and later Lady Brabourne, who was Philip’s carriage driving partner, was also invited.

During the ceremony, the royal men wore morning coats with their medals while the women wore day dresses.

duke-of-edinburgh-death PA Flowers outside St George's Chapel, at Windsor Castle. PA

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Johnson watched the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on television from his country residence of Chequers, Downing Street said.

Johnson did not attend the service in Windsor  to allow for the attendance of as many family members as possible.

A spokesman said Johnson would watch the proceedings on television from the Buckingham country retreat, where he will also observe the national minute’s silence at 3pm.

The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is a profound loss for the 94-year-old monarch, who once described her husband of 73 years as her “strength and stay” throughout her long reign.

britain-prince-philip Steve Parsons The Jaguar Land Rover that will be used to transport the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh at his funeral today. Steve Parsons

Philip – who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June – had been ill for some time, and spent more than a month in hospital from February 16 being treated for a pre-existing heart condition and an infection.

Despite looking frail on his release from hospital on March 16, hopes were raised for his recovery.

But the queen announced Philip’s passing “with deep sorrow” after he died peacefully last week at Windsor Castle.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss,” a palace statement said.

In pre-recorded comments aired in a special BBC programme on Friday, Philip’s children reminisced about memories of their father, his long life and achievements.

“Well, you know he didn’t suffer fools. So if you said anything that was in any way ambiguous – he’d say ‘make up your mind!’” his eldest son and the queen’s heir, Prince Charles, said.

His sister, Princess Anne, said “there was a huge amount of encouragement to do things and quite a lot of leeway of pushing your own boundaries, which is probably not given to many nowadays”.

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