Straight to the point in death as in life, the Duke of Edinburgh always maintained he wanted a funeral with minimal fuss.
His wish for what is known as a royal ceremonial funeral similar to the Queen Mother’s, rather than a full state funeral, had already been granted.
But the pandemic will have a significant bearing on those plans, and the Queen and her senior officials have been discussing how best to proceed, with final approval down to Her Majesty.
Sources say it’s almost certain, however, that any aspect of the arrangements expected to attract a crowd will not take place, meaning the ceremonial aspects will be restricted and mourners will total no more than thirty.
Under the previous plans, known in the royal household as ‘Forth Bridge’, his body would have been embalmed immediately and taken to the Albert Memorial Chapel by St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The Mail understands that Philip’s coffin was at the castle, where the Queen is in residence, most probably resting in her private chapel of worship, but during the weekend it was likely to have been moved to the Albert Memorial Chapel, which was built by Henry VII as a royal mausoleum. Philip’s coffin is likely to rest there with little ceremony, resting on two simple wooden platforms called catafalques.
Under pre-COVID plans, it would have been taken to London by road and brought to St James’s Palace to reside temporarily in the intimate Chapel Royal.
The College of Arms said there will be no laying in state and Philip’s coffin would rest at Windsor Castle before his funeral in St George’s Chapel, most likely next Saturday.
It’s likely to have been dressed with his personal standard, which displays references to his Danish and Greek royal heritage, his Mountbatten roots and Edinburgh title, and a decorative garland from his family.
A vigil by his children, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward, is expected to take place at Windsor, and on the day of his funeral, Philip’s coffin is expected to be taken by bearers from the Queen’s Company, First Battalion Grenadier Guards.
And the duke will be placed on a gun carriage belonging to the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, drawn by a Royal Navy gun crew, the carriage, being a personal request by Philip, which is the one that carried Queen Victoria at her funeral in 1901.
Maybe when the maniacs governing the nation decide to drop their dogmatic constraints on our Civil Liberties, then perhaps a National Memorial Day could be held in honour of Prince Philip, so that the British people that want to, can pay their respects to a man who served the Queen and Britain for so long.
And perhaps this Government could allow at least one exception to the COVID regulations because it’s not every day that a British Queen loses her husband, and I’m so weary of the fact that this Government seem to be in control of public life.
And it appears that our Government have their fixed agenda, howling from every corner of the media, and the cowards in Downing Street and parliament continue to hide behind their sofas.
However, the rules are Her Majesty’s rules – indeed they’re enacted in her name in law, so of course, she will expect her subjects to respect them as well, and it seems that Prince Philip made very specific arrangements for his funeral and had aimed at something low key than an enormous London event.
Having said that, his extensive lifetime of service appears to have been cheated of final honour and dignity that numerous people will believe he deserved, and that his funeral must now be greatly curtailed, despite the hundreds of representatives who would otherwise have been present and are surely still more than willing to attend, and likewise the very many thousands of ordinary people who would have turned out to pay their respects, who will now be asked to watch at home.