Buckingham Palace has revealed the 30 people who will make up the congregation at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral service on Saturday.
Arrangements for the funeral have been in the works for many years but the memorial service has had to be stripped back in light of the pandemic. The congregation of mourners will only consist of close family and friends of the beloved patriarch.
However, the remembrance will retain the colorful traditions of a royal funeral and “are a reflection of The Duke’s military affiliations and personal elements of His Royal Highness’s life,” a Buckingham Palace spokesman said Thursday.
The palace spokesman said the family was “grateful” for the condolence messages sent from across the globe.
“The tributes received from young and old are truly a testament to the remarkable life and lasting endeavors of His Royal Highness,” he added.
Over 700 Armed Forces personnel from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force will provide ceremonial support during the funeral.
Princes William and Harry will reunite to walk behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin with their father, Charles, and other members of the royal family as part of a private procession ahead of the funeral service on Saturday.
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While the Queen will not take part in the procession before the service, Prince Charles and his sister Princess Anne will follow a specially modified Land Rover, which will carry the Duke’s coffin to the chapel. The journey is expected to take around eight minutes.
Their siblings, Edward and Andrew, will participate in the procession immediately behind them. William and Harry will come next though they will be separated from walking together by their cousin Peter Philips. And behind them will be the final family members, Anne’s husband, Vice Admiral Tim Laurence, and the Earl of Snowdon.
Royals who are not involved in the procession such as the Duchess of Cornwall and Duchess of Cambridge will join the 94-year-old monarch to watch the funeral parade outside the chapel’s Galilee Porch. This also includes blood relatives from the Duke’s side who will be in attendance including Philip’s great nephews, the Hereditary Prince of Baden and the Prince of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
The decision for some royals to walk behind the coffin will inevitably draw comparisons to Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997 when Charles, William and Harry participated in a similar procession alongside Prince Philip and Diana’s brother Earl Spencer.
Saturday’s memorial will be unlike any other recent royal funerals due to the coronavirus pandemic. The congregation will wear masks for the duration of the service, the palace spokesman said.
In line with the Duke’s wishes, it will be a ceremonial funeral, rather than a state event, and all arrangements are set to take place within Windsor Castle without public engagement making sure to adhere to existing Covid measures.
Prince Philip's life in pictures
In a break with tradition, members of the royal family will not be dressed in military uniform and instead don morning coats with medals or day dress, the spokesman added.
The subject of clothing emerged in recent days after some British media reported Prince Andrew wished to wear an admiral’s uniform. Andrew stepped back from his royal duties in 2019 over his ties to disgraced financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The Duke of York joined the Royal Navy in 1979 as a Seaman Officer, sub-specializing as a pilot. He was promoted to the rank of vice-admiral in 2015 when he turned 55. He was due to be elevated to admiral upon his 60th birthday but that did not come to be in the wake of a disastrous interview with the BBC when he discussed his relationship with Epstein.
The decision against uniforms will also solve a dilemma facing the family as Prince Harry recently lost his honorary military titles when he chose to step down as a senior royal with his wife Meghan last March.
Harry was enlisted with the British Armed Forces for nearly a decade before ending his military service in 2015. He served two tours in Afghanistan and achieved the rank of captain in 2011. He has also qualified as an Apache Aircraft commander.
During the service, a choir of four will sing music selected by Philip for the occasion. They will be seated in the nave, socially distanced from the assembled family members and close aides. One notable absence will be the lack of congregational singing which is currently prohibited by public health guidelines.
Following the service, the coffin will be lowered in the Royal Vault below the chapel as the choir sings the national anthem.
Here is the full list of guests who will attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral:
1. The Queen
2. The Prince of Wales
3. The Duchess of Cornwall
4. The Duke of Cambridge
5. The Duchess of Cambridge
6. The Duke of Sussex
7. The Duke of York
8. Princess Beatrice
9. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
10. Princess Eugenie
11. Jack Brooksbank
12. The Earl of Wessex
13. The Countess of Wessex
14. Lady Louise Windsor
15. Viscount Severn
16. The Princess Royal
17. Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence
18. Peter Phillips
19. Zara Phillips
20. Mike Tindall
21. Earl of Snowdon
22. Lady Sarah Chatto
23. Daniel Chatto
24. Duke of Gloucester
25. Duke of Kent
26. Princess Alexandra
27. Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden
28. Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse
29. Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
30. The Countess Mountbatten of Burma
CNN’s James Frater contributed to this report.