Prince Philip

Prince Philip's Funeral: What to Expect and How to Watch

The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral will be held April 17 at 3 p.m. BST (10 a.m. EST) at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle

British soldiers, sailors and air force personnel were practicing, polishing and making final preparations Friday for Prince Philip's funeral, a martial but personal service that will mark the death of a royal patriarch who was also one of the dwindling number of World War II veterans.

Here's what we know about the funeral ceremony:

What Time Is Prince Philip's Funeral Service?

The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral will be held April 17 at 3 p.m. BST (10 a.m. EST) at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, the site of centuries of royal burials — and royal weddings, including the 2018 union of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

It will be entirely closed to the public.

How to Watch Live Coverage

Millions of people around the world are expected to tune in to watch Prince Philip's funeral service, which will be broadcast across major television networks and streamed online.

NBC News will carry special coverage of the funeral beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET. Stream it live here.

How Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Affect Ceremonies?

With Britain still in lockdown, the coronavirus pandemic means it will be a more low-key farewell than has marked many royal deaths. The pandemic has required changes to the well-prepared plans for Philip’s passing, code-named Operation Forth Bridge.

Palace officials said the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with the British government's COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals to 30 instead of the 800 mourners included in the longstanding funeral plans. 

Mourners have been instructed to wear masks and observe social distancing inside the chapel, and not to join in when a four-person choir sings hymns. The queen, who has spent much of the past year isolating with her husband at Windsor Castle, will sit alone.

Who Is Invited to Attend?

  1. Queen Elizabeth II
  2. Prince Charles
  3. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall
  4. Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge
  5. Duchess of Cambridge
  6. Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex
  7. Prince Andrew, the Duke of York
  8. Princess Beatrice
  9. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
  10. Princess Eugenie
  11. Jack Brooksbank
  12. Prince Edward
  13. Countess of Wessex
  14. Lady Louise Windsor
  15. Viscount Severn
  16. Princess Anne
  17. Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence
  18. Peter Phillips
  19. Zara Phillips
  20. Mike Tindall
  21. Earl of Snowdon
  22. Lady Sarah Chatto
  23. Daniel Chatto
  24. Duke of Gloucester
  25. Duke of Kent
  26. Princess Alexandra
  27. Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden
  28. Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse
  29. Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
  30. The Countess Mountbatten of Burma

Meghan, who is pregnant and living in California with Harry, is not coming to the funeral on the advice of her doctor.

British Royal Family Tree

What Will Happen on the Day?

The funeral service will be preceded by a ceremonial procession inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. In lieu of a hearse, his body will be carried to the chapel on a modified Land Rover TD5 130 that he designed himself, painted military green and with an open back to carry a coffin. The Armed forces bands will play hymns and classical music.

The children of Philip and the queen — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward -- will walk behind the hearse and lead the 15-member procession. So will grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry, although not side by side. The brothers, whose relationship has been strained amid Harry’s decision to quit royal duties and move to California, will flank their cousin Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne.

Upon arriving at St. George's Chapel at 10 a.m. ET, a nationwide minute of silence will be observed. The hour-long service will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Inside the gothic chapel, the service will include Royal Marine buglers sounding “Action Stations,” an alarm that alerts sailors to prepare for battle. That was a personal request from Philip, who spent almost 14 years in the Royal Navy and saw action in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Pacific during World War II.

At the conclusion of the service, Prince Philip will be interred in the Royal Vault in St. George's Chapel.

Prince Philip's Life in Photos

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