Prince Philip’s funeral will take place April 17 at Windsor Castle in a family service that will be closed to the public, Buckingham Palace said in a statement to USA TODAY Saturday.
Prince Harry is set to attend the service along with other members of the royal family, though wife Duchess Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, has been advised by her doctor not to make the long journey, the Associated Press reports.
“The service will be preceded by a Ceremonial Procession inside the grounds of Windsor Castle,” the palace statement said. “The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with His Royal Highness’s Personal Standard and dressed with a wreath of flowers, is resting in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle, where it will remain until the day of the Funeral.”
The palace said Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, took part in planning his funeral and the focus on family was in accordance with his wishes.
Palace officials said that the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with government COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals. They declined to say whether the royal family would be required to wear masks.
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.
“During the coronavirus pandemic, and in light of current government advice and social distancing guidelines, modified Funeral and ceremonial arrangements for His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh are being considered by Her Majesty The Queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement Friday.
The College of Arms, the body that oversees ceremonial protocol, said Friday that the duke’s body will lie at rest in Windsor Castle, where he spent his final weeks with the queen. His funeral will be held in St. George’s Chapel at the castle, the site of centuries of royal burials — and royal weddings, including the 2018 union of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan share poignant tribute to Prince Philip; more royals mourn his death
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan shared a touching tribute to Prince Philip Friday. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex posted a message remembering Harry’s grandfather on their Archewell website in “loving memory” of the late royal.
A short tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh encapsulating the website reads: “Thank you for your service … you will be greatly missed.”
Harry and Meghan’s tribute comes a month after their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they opened up about their reasons for stepping back from royal duties and moving to America last year in search of more independence and privacy.
Their tribute differed from the social media posts from the rest of the royal family: After last year, the couple no longer uses the “Sussex Royal” brand including the Sussex royal social media account. Harry’s alarm about the harms of social media has grown in recent years after what he and Meghan considered racist and intrusive coverage in the British media.
Prince Philip has died:Will there be a state funeral? Your questions, answered
Contributing: Elise Brisco and Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY; The Associated Press