Prince Philip, Husband of Queen Elizabeth, Dies at Age 99
Buckingham Palace confirmed the heartbreaking news on April 9. “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” read the statement. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
With grieving will also come a celebration of an immeasurable legacy. For the next eight days, Buckingham Palace staff will formally observe his death while Queen Elizabeth II will enter her own mourning period, where she will refrain from any work. Additionally, state affairs will come to a halt out of respect for the late British royal.
Military establishments and prominent locations, like Downing Street in the City of Westminster, will honor the Duke of Edinburgh by flying all official flags at half-mast from now until 8:00 a.m. on the day following the funeral. However, Buckingham Palace’s Royal Standard Flag will not be lowered as a symbol of the monarchy’s continued progression.
There are two types of funerals: state and ceremonial. The former is typically limited to Sovereigns but can be extended to include more with approval from The Queen and Parliament, according to The House of Commons Library, which cites the Royal Encyclopedia. A ceremonial funeral—which Princess Diana had after her 1997 passing—is “for those members of the Royal Family who hold high military rank, for the consort of the Sovereign and heir to the throne,” The House of Commons Library, citing the same source, notes.
According to the College of Arms, Prince Philip’s funeral will not be a state funeral and will not be preceded by a Lying-in-State. The College notes the Duke of Edinburgh’s body will lie at rest in Windsor Castle ahead of a funeral at St. George’s Chapel, in line with custom and with his wishes. In 2013, The Sunday Times reported Prince Philip insisted against making any “fuss” over his death.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, funeral arrangements have been revised, the College adds, and it is asked that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any events related to the funeral. Although, there is an online Book of Condolence on the royal website for those who wish to pay tribute.
Following his funeral, Prince Philip will reportedly be laid to rest in Windsor Castle’s Frogmore Gardens. Family, friends and other closely-tied officials will gather at St. George’s Chapel for funeral services.
Thirty days after Prince Philip’s passing, Queen Elizabeth II will presumably return to her various official engagements—though to what extent is unclear. Similarly, it’s currently unknown where she will reside, though speculation points to either Balmoral Castle in Scotland or Windsor Castle.
As for Prince Philip’s titles—including His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich—the College of Arms notes “these peerages are hereditary and on the death of His Royal Highness have passed to his eldest son” Prince Charles.