His Royal Highness the Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh died peacefully at Windsor Castle on Friday morning, April 9. Despite being the longest-serving consort in British history, Prince Philip didn’t want a state funeral.
He will get his wish — and then some — due to the pandemic. Only 30 guests will be allowed to attend the private ceremony. Who will make the cut?
When Prince Philip died he became ‘Operation Forth Bridge’
As important members of the royal family, both Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip have had their funerals planned for years in advance. According to Town & Country, the queen and her palace officials have been planning her funeral since the 1960s. Several times each year, they hold meetings to refine and rehearse those plans.
When Queen Elizabeth does pass, Her Majesty’s private secretary will be the first one to deliver the news to relevant parties. However, they must speak in code. The funeral plan for Queen Elizabeth is known as “Operation London Bridge.” When she dies, the code to deliver the news of her death will be relayed as “London Bridge is down.”
Prince Philip also had a code for his death. When he died, he was referred to as “Operation Forth Bridge.” This is a reference to a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Edinburgh.
Final details are still being decided
Because of pandemic restrictions, Prince Philip’s funeral will be even more low-key than the strict instructions he left behind. The queen is still deciding the final details. But according to Express, the private ceremony will be held at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.
The strict rules for gatherings in the UK has limited the number of funeral attendees to 30. The expectation is that the majority in attendance will be members of the royal family. However, there might be a few political figures, too.
Who will make the cut to attend Prince Philip’s funeral?
The guests at the funeral are expected to include Prince Philip’s wife, Queen Elizabeth, and their four children and spouses. Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Anne and her husband, Timothy Laurence, Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex, and Prince Andrew. That brings the number of guests to eight.
The queen’s eight grandchildren are also expected to attend, along with their significant others and spouses. This will include Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and their three children: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis.
Prince Harry will attend without Meghan Markle
Prince Harry is expected to fly to the UK for the funeral via private jet. However, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Archie Harrison are expected to remain in the United States. Meghan is currently pregnant and just a few weeks away from her due date.
Also in attendance will be Zara Tindall, her husband Mike Tindall, and her brother Peter Phillips. Princess Eugenie and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, are also expected to attend. As well as Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to be at Prince Philip’s funeral
Other family members that could attend Prince Philip’s funeral include Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex’s two children: Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn. They are said to be among the queen’s favorites.
Peter and Zara might also bring along their children. Zara has two daughters and one son: Lena, Mia, and baby Lucas. Peter is the father of two daughters, Isla and Savannah. In addition to the family members, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also expected to be invited.
St. George’s Chapel will not be open to members of the public.
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