Prince Philip funeral: The Queen and the rest of the world to say goodbye to the Duke of Edinburgh

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh Credit: PA

They have been planning this day for many years, and despite the significant changes the pandemic has forced on Lord Chamberlain’s office, the funeral is as close as they could possibly make it to the Duke of Edinburgh’s wishes.

Because at every stage of the proceedings on Saturday, Prince Philip has made his mark.

It starts with the private chapel where he has been lying at rest for the last week.

It is a chapel the Duke created himself from some underused space he’d found during the building works which followed the 1992 Windsor Castle fire.

And so, nearly three decades later, it is the place where his body has spent the days before his funeral, and it has allowed the widow Queen to visit him from her private apartments. To say her final goodbyes.

And it will be some goodbye today.

The country will watch a funeral procession of military bands and pall bearers who will flank a specially-modified Land Rover carrying the coffin of the longest-serving Sovereign’s consort in British history.

The procession includes the Prince’s four children and three grandchildren on foot - and the Queen behind them in the State Bentley.

Prince Philip’s two ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm, who have indulged his passion for carriage driving in his later years, will be in the Quadrangle as the procession steps off.

The Land Rover, painted in military Dark Bronze Green at his request, will take eight minutes to drive through Engine Court and Middle Ward, and into Horseshoe Cloister where it will stop at the foot of the West Steps of St George’s Chapel.

Prince Philip's body will be carried in his custom-made Land Rover hearse. Credit: PA

Following the National Minuite’s Silence, Prince Philip will get the Order of Service he wanted, with the music he commissioned, the military reflections he ordered and the simplicity he would have enjoyed.

It all happens in the grounds of a Castle and Chapel which are steeped in hundreds of years of Royal history.

St George’s Chapel, where Prince Philip’s funeral service will begin at 3pm, dates back to 1475 under the reign of Edward IV.

Members of many royal families have married here and been buried here for centuries.

And today, it is where the Queen will have to say goodbye to her husband of 73 years.

“You know it’s going to happen, but you are never really ready,” wrote Princess Anne this week.

And she’s right.

Flowers left in tribute to Prince Philip outside St George's chapel on Friday Credit: PA

A great age and a fulfilling life does not lessen the feeling of loss for those who loved him most.

We’ve heard this week how the Duke was a much loved grandpa, a “dear Papa” and, of course, a beloved husband.

And it is to the Queen, most people’s thoughts will turn today.

In her 95th year, she must bear her immense private grief on a very public stage.

And then she must make the difficult decision to look ahead and to contemplate doing what she does - without the man who has helped her do it so well.

Prince Philip's passed away at the age of 99.

After the coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault, where it will rest alongside the bodies King George III and William IV, the Buglers of the Royal Marines will sound Action Stations.

This was at Prince Philip’s “specific request”.

On a naval warship, Action Stations is sounded when all hands must go to battle stations.

It’s a message from Prince Philip to his family and to his country which the buglers will echo round this vast 15th century chapel: it is now time to move on.

As he would say - it is time to get on with the job.

Watch Prince Philip - A Royal Funeral from 1.15pm on Saturday 17 April on ITV and

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