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What happens next following Prince Philip’s death?

The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip has died at the age of 99. Plans are being put in place for his funeral

Tributes are flooding in following the death of Prince Philip at the age of 99. Now attentions are turning to what happens next as the UK prepares to mark the death of the Queen’s husband and the longest-serving royal consort in history.

The Duke of Edinburgh passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle on the morning of April 9.

The Buckingham Palace statement announcing his death said “further announcements will be made in due course.” Those further announcements came the following day when the plans for Prince Philip’s funeral were revealed.

Here are the current plans following his death.

Will Prince Philip get a state funeral?

No. Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral as royal consort to the Queen and it is believed he has requested for a “no fuss” private ceremony as befitting his public image.

There has not been a state funeral for a royal since 1952 following the death of King George VI.

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But Prince Philip has chosen not to have a state funeral. Instead, there is a plan in place for his death, known as Operation Forth Bridge.

What is Operation Forth Bridge?

The plan for Prince Philip’s death has the codename Operation Forth Bridge, named after the suspension bridge linking Edinburgh to Fife.

Operation Forth Bridge advises the government on proceedings for a national period of mourning, including guidance on public announcements and appearances from public officials and will last until the funeral.

While Operation Forth Bridge has been a long-standing plan, the Covid-19 pandemic has seen elements changed for the safety of the royals.

Current Covid-19 restrictions on funerals means masks must be worn and only 30 people can attend, with that figure not set to change when lockdown measures begin to ease in England from April 12.

Prince Harry will be among the mourners at the socially distanced ceremony after flying back to Britain from the UK and complying with quarantine procedures ahead of the ceremony. His pregnant wife, the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, will not attend on doctor’s orders.

What are the funeral plans for Prince Philip?

The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will take place at Windsor Castle’s St George’s Chapel at 3pm on Saturday April 17.

A minute’s silence will be held nationwide to mark the occasion and to remember Prince Philip to coincide with the start of the funeral, which will be televised.

The duke will lie in rest at Windsor Castle’s private chapel ahead of the ceremonial funeral. 

A procession will then go ahead before the ceremony to move the coffin the short journey from the chapel to the castle’s state entrance.

Prince Philip’s coffin will be draped in his standard – the personal flag that represents his Greek heritage and British titles – and placed in a one-of-a-kind Land Rover designed with the duke’s input. Prince Philip’s naval cap and sword will also be placed on the coffin alongside a wreath of flowers.

The ceremony will begin at 3pm and following the service, the Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest in the royal vault.

That will not be his final resting place though – Prince Philip’s body will be moved to the King George VI memorial chapel following the death of his wife the Queen. The Queen’s father George VI, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret are also interred there.

Members of the public have been asked not to flock to Windsor Castle for the ceremony amid fears over Covid-19 restrictions. The royal family have also asked the public not to lay flowers at royal buildings in Prince Philip’s memory.

Instead the British people are asked to make a donation to charity in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh or sign the online book of condolence to pay tribute.

What has Prince Philip said in the past about a state funeral?

Prince Philip has been known to favour a “no fuss” approach to royal festivities.

According to reports by The Mirror in 2013, Prince Philip “expressed a preference for something a little more simple” for his funeral.

Is there a mourning period?

The UK is now in a mourning period until the day of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, which means flags will be flying at half-mast while sporting fixtures and political campaigning have faced disruption.

Representatives of the royals – typically the Lord Chamberlain or Earl Marshal – will consult with the Prime Minister about a mourning period following the death of a member of The Royal Family.

According to guidance issued by the Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London – the personal representative of the Queen in the English capital – the measures will see flags lowered to half-mast around the country.

Ministers and officials will be required to wear black armbands on their left arm in memory of Prince Philip while parliament was recalled from Easter recess a day early on April 12 with tributes from MPs running from 2:30pm to 10pm in the House of Commons.

Both Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer announced a halt to campaigning ahead of May’s local elections until after the mourning period is over. Scotland and Wales took the same approach ahead of their national elections, which will also be held next month.

The BBC also suspended programming on the day of the Duke’s death before returning to scheduled shows at 2pm the following day. 

Newsreaders are required to wear black clothes during the mourning period.

Royals are required to wear dark clothes when in civilian dress as well as mourning bands when they are in uniform.

Will there be a national holiday to remember Prince Philip?

There will not be a national holiday to remember Prince Philip.

That is a mark of respect reserved for the Queen only, with offices set to shut and a bank holiday to coincide with the monarch’s funeral.

As the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip is not entitled to the same treatment.

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