The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, will take place next week, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday, announcing a stripped-back ceremony due to coronavirus restrictions, and a return for exiled royal Prince Harry but not his wife, Meghan.
The announcement came as the couple’s eldest son, heir to the throne Prince Charles, 72, paid a heartfelt tribute to his “dear Papa”, and said he and the royal family missed him “enormously”.
“My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him, and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that,” he added.
“It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”
The Duke of Edinburgh – the 94-year-old queen’s husband of 73 years — died peacefully on Friday just two months short of his 100th birthday, triggering eight days of national mourning.
Royal officials said his funeral, which will be televised, will take place at 1400 GMT on Saturday, April 17 in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, west of London.
It will be preceded by a national minute’s silence.
Government guidelines restrict mourners to just 30 people and close attention has been paid to the pared-down guest list for the funeral, particularly whether the duke’s grandson Harry would attend.
Palace officials confirmed he would but his American wife, Meghan, who is pregnant with their second child, had been advised against travelling from the United States on medical grounds.
The couple, who quit frontline royal duties last year, have launched a series of broadsides against the royals, including accusing them of racism, and of failing to treat Meghan’s mental health.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will also not be attending the funeral because of Covid restrictions, Downing Street said.
“The Prime Minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the Royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday,” a spokesperson said.