The British royal family and the government are looking into London – in the middle of an epidemic – a suitable burial setting for the late royal. The first details of Saturday’s funeral service are known.
History is there. Prince Philip will be buried next Saturday. The funeral will take place at 3 pm local time at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle Church. Instead of the 800 mourners from around the world who would have met in Westminster Abbey in normal times, only 30 people are allowed to attend the farewell ceremonies due to the pandemic’s restrictions.
The widowed queen and her close family members will have to take their places social distant and will probably also have to wear masks. A “state funeral like no other” is expected to take place in Windsor on this unforgettable day. (Read the obituary on the topic ‘Faithful and Stubborn Prince’.)
There will be no planning in London, no funeral procession on the streets, no opportunity for the loyal British to offer their last respects to the dead prince. The ongoing lockdown forces royals to shorten official memorial services over the walled area of Windsor Castle, above the Thames.
Only 30 mourners are accepted
In a mere eight-minute procession, the coffin will be transported from the castle building to the church on a Saturday afternoon. One, according to Philips’ wishes, wants to use a converted Land Rover for this purpose according to the delicate thoughts of the deceased. Cannon fire crackers are also planned. There is a national minute of silence.
In the church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest ecclesiastical prince in England, will celebrate a truly extraordinary funeral mass that will be broadcast around the world. The Archbishop, Dean of Windsor and the eight casket bearers in charge of the ceremony will be the only “professional” aides who can access the church at this point. (Read the article on the topic ‘Operation Fourth Bridge’.)
In order not to restrict the limited number of accepted mourners, Prime Minister Boris Johnson relinquished his lawful seat so that “as many family members as possible” could attend.
Who will be there should not be announced in detail until Thursday of this week. It is already known that Prince Harry is traveling from the USA, and he was accepted as one of the 30 selected. Harry’s pregnant wife, Megan, Duchess of Sussex, stays in Los Angeles on the advice of her doctors.
Harry’s impending arrival in London has already sparked optimistic voices that there is now an opportunity to settle internal disputes amicably in the Windsor home. Sir John Major, the former prime minister, said on Sunday that this was a “perfect opportunity” for reconciliation between all concerned.
Charles said, “His dear father,” “I miss him so much” all Windsor.
United in mourning, the Sunday Mirror watched William and Harry walk behind the coffin – in remembrance of the times the two brothers sold their mother’s coffin, Diana, 24 years ago. Harry and Meghan’s separation from the rest of the family, which the Queen said was “sad,” overshadowed the entire Windsor clan in the last year of Phillips’ life.
Prince Charles, heir to the throne, has confirmed how grateful the royal family is to the public for their vivid sympathy for his father’s death. Charles said, “His dear father,” “I miss him so much” all Windsor. Brother Andrew felt that Philip had become “the nation’s grandfather” in his long life.
Meanwhile, families and small groups of royals continued to lay bouquets and wreaths at Buckingham Palace and in front of Windsor Castle throughout the weekend – although everyone was asked to stay away from mansions due to Corona and not form “crowds”.
At the same time, condolences continued to flow from everywhere, from Europe, from the United States of America, and from every nook and cranny of the Commonwealth, whose representatives would travel to London for such a funeral in normal times.
In Australia and New Zealand, as in the “motherland” itself, firecrackers were organized with cannons and a sharp military salute. In the island nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific, where Philip was literally worshiped as a deity, his death resulted in howling rituals and ceremonial dances. (Also read the article “The British mourn, the world bends”.)
Meanwhile, and in a more formal way, the Union Jacks are at half-mast in all public buildings in the UK this week. All political events, including the local election campaign in England and the Scottish Parliamentary elections on May 6, were canceled for a period of eight days.
Loosen the closure
The British Parliament will hold a special session on Monday so that Phillips’ life and work can be properly learned – at least by representatives of the royal people. Sports federations across the country are currently struggling to move the events and games planned for next Saturday to other days.
Malls and stores can decide on their own whether to remain open on Saturdays or close in respect of Prince Philip. At the start of this week, as part of easing the lockdown in England, “nonessential” stores, hair salons and fitness centers are allowed to reopen again for the first time. Garden bars can now also be served in restaurants again. However, Prime Minister Johnson canceled his long-announced visit to the pub park on Monday for a “nice pint.”
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