Prime News Ghana

No state funeral for Prince Philip

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
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Preparations are underway for the funeral of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

His Royal Highness died on Friday morning (local time) at Windsor Castle at the age of 99.

It’s reported, as per the Duke’s wishes, there will be no state funeral, which is what usually occurs following the death of a monarch. His body will not lie in state, meaning there will not be public viewings.

Instead, he will lie at Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral at St George’s Chapel, according to the College of Arms, the organisation that helps facilitate state occasions. These proceedings are “in line with custom and with His Royal Highness's wishes".

Queen Elizabeth II will take Covid-19 safety measures into account when making decisions, the Royal Family said

“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,” a notice on its website read.

“Details will be confirmed in due course.”

It’s reported the funeral procession will try to avoid mass gatherings, to avoid the risk of Covid-19. The death of a high-profile royal usually attracts thousands of spectators and involves hundreds of members of the armed forces.

Prince Harry is reportedly planning to travel back to the UK from the United States to attend his grandfather’s funeral. This would be the first time the prince has been back home since the tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey aired. It’s not yet known if Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, will accompany him.

If the couple doesn’t get an exemption, they may be subject to at least five days in quarantine on their return to the UK.

There will be gun salutes around the UK – including the Tower of London, Cardiff, Belfast, and Edinburgh – in honour of the late prince at midday (local time) on Saturday. Forty-one rounds will be fired at one round every minute. A gun salute will also take place in Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory and headland, on Spain's south coast, and from Royal Navy ships at sea.

Union and national flags are flying at half-mast on government buildings until 8am (local time) on the day following the funeral.

Books of condolences will not be available for the public to sign, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Members of the public wanting to express their condolences are encouraged to send a message to the Royal Family via the online Book of Condolence on the official website.