Queen and Royal Family will observe two weeks of mourning for Prince Philip

THE Queen and the Royal Family will observe two weeks of mourning for Prince Philip, Buckingham Palace announced today.

The Duke of Edinburgh's body will lie at rest at Windsor Castle ahead of his funeral at St George's Chapel next Saturday at 3pm.

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The Queen signed off on the final arrangements to lay to rest her husband of more than 70 years.

The monarch approved the Prime Minister's recommendation to announce a state of national mourning which is to be "observed by all" until Philip's funeral on April 17.

During the mourning period, flags will be flown at half-mast, some comedy shows on TV will be suspended, MPs will wear black armbands in the Commons, and newsreaders will be expected to wear black clothes.

And the Queen will not carry out any duties – even in private – and laws will not be given the Royal Assent as she grieves for her husband.

While helping to draw up details of his funeral himself, the Duke, who died at the age of 99 on Friday, was known to have wanted a minimum of fuss.

It comes as:

  • Queen shares touching tribute to 'strength & stay' Philip
  • Tower of London lead 40-minute global gun salute in honour of Philip
  • Prince William pulls out of Bafta speech in sign of respect
  • What to expect this weekend as the UK mourns Prince Philip
  • Queen to sign off on funeral arrangements today but will be forced to choose 30 attendees
  • Prince Andrew was the first royal to arrive at Windsor Castle to comfort Queen
  • Duke's death announced to PM with 'Forth Bridge is down' coded message after Royal Family told
  • Queen was 'by Philip's bedside' when he died after final days 'in good form reading in the sun'

In line with his wishes, Philip will not be given a state funeral despite being entitled to one as the monarch's husband.

The ceremonial funeral will take place in the grounds of Windsor Castle next Saturday with no public procession.

It has been confirmed that Prince Harry will attend the funeral, but the Duchess of Sussex has been advised not to attend due to her pregnancy.

On the day of the funeral, the Duke's coffin will be moved to the state entrance of Windsor Castle by a bearer party from the Grenadier Guards.

The coffin will be placed in a Land Rover at 2.40pm before Prince Charles and members of the Royal Family follow behind on foot for an eight-minute procession to St George's Chapel.

The Duke's coffin will enter the chapel to the national anthem before a nationwide minute's silence is held at 3pm – which will be broadcast on television.

His coffin will then be taken to the Royal Vault – where the bodies of the Queen’s beloved father, George VI, and grandfather, George V, were held before being moved to tombs elsewhere in the chapel.

The funeral will be held in line with current Covid guidelines – meaning no more than 30 people can attend – and the public has been urged to stay away.

Buckingham Palace said the guest list for the service is under the current government restrictions.

Those those performing duties at the funeral will not be included in the total, the Palace said.

Earlier arrangements, coded Operation Forth Bridge, would have seen thousands of people travel to London and Windsor for a military procession with Philip's coffin.

There were also instructions for a 26-mile cortege procession back to Windsor on the day, allowing mourners to line the streets and pay their final respects.

But under Step 2 of Boris Johnson's roadmap out of lockdown, funeral services can only be attended by a maximum of 30 people – and social distancing must be kept unless they live together or have formed a support bubble.

Prince Philip passed away two months and one day short of what would have been his 100th birthday.

The Queen, 94, shared a poignant photo of Philip in a heartfelt tribute to her "strength and guide".

A tearful Sophie, Countess of Wessex said the Queen has been "amazing" after visiting the monarch today with her husband Edward, Earl of Wessex.

Just after midday on Friday, the Union Flag was lowered to half-mast outside Buckingham Palace and on public buildings across the UK as the world mourns his death.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

"Further announcements will made in due course.

"The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, inherited his father's title of the Duke of Edinburgh yesterday.

But the title will later be inherited by Philip’s youngest son Prince Edward on Charles’ eventual accession to the throne. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday and said "he helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life".

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