British soldiers, sailors and air force personnel were practicing, polishing and making final preparations Friday for Prince Philip's funeral, a martial but personal service that will mark the death of a royal patriarch who was also one of the dwindling number of World War II veterans.
Here's what we know about the funeral ceremony:
What Time Is Prince Philip's Funeral Service?
The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral will be held April 17 at 3 p.m. BST (10 a.m. EST) at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, the site of centuries of royal burials — and royal weddings, including the 2018 union of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
It will be entirely closed to the public.
How to Watch Live Coverage
Millions of people around the world are expected to tune in to watch Prince Philip's funeral service, which will be broadcast across major television networks and streamed online.
NBC News will carry special coverage of the funeral beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET. Stream it live here.
More British Royal Family Coverage
How Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Affect Ceremonies?
With Britain still in lockdown, the coronavirus pandemic means it will be a more low-key farewell than has marked many royal deaths. The pandemic has required changes to the well-prepared plans for Philip’s passing, code-named Operation Forth Bridge.
Palace officials said the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with the British government's COVID-19 guidelines, which restrict the number of people attending funerals to 30 instead of the 800 mourners included in the longstanding funeral plans.
Mourners have been instructed to wear masks and observe social distancing inside the chapel, and not to join in when a four-person choir sings hymns. The queen, who has spent much of the past year isolating with her husband at Windsor Castle, will sit alone.
Who Is Invited to Attend?
- Queen Elizabeth II
- Prince Charles
- Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall
- Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge
- Duchess of Cambridge
- Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex
- Prince Andrew, the Duke of York
- Princess Beatrice
- Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
- Princess Eugenie
- Jack Brooksbank
- Prince Edward
- Countess of Wessex
- Lady Louise Windsor
- Viscount Severn
- Princess Anne
- Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence
- Peter Phillips
- Zara Phillips
- Mike Tindall
- Earl of Snowdon
- Lady Sarah Chatto
- Daniel Chatto
- Duke of Gloucester
- Duke of Kent
- Princess Alexandra
- Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden
- Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse
- Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
- The Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Meghan, who is pregnant and living in California with Harry, is not coming to the funeral on the advice of her doctor.
What Will Happen on the Day?
The funeral service will be preceded by a ceremonial procession inside the grounds of Windsor Castle. In lieu of a hearse, his body will be carried to the chapel on a modified Land Rover TD5 130 that he designed himself, painted military green and with an open back to carry a coffin. The Armed forces bands will play hymns and classical music.
The children of Philip and the queen — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward -- will walk behind the hearse and lead the 15-member procession. So will grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry, although not side by side. The brothers, whose relationship has been strained amid Harry’s decision to quit royal duties and move to California, will flank their cousin Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne.
Upon arriving at St. George's Chapel at 10 a.m. ET, a nationwide minute of silence will be observed. The hour-long service will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Inside the gothic chapel, the service will include Royal Marine buglers sounding “Action Stations,” an alarm that alerts sailors to prepare for battle. That was a personal request from Philip, who spent almost 14 years in the Royal Navy and saw action in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Pacific during World War II.
At the conclusion of the service, Prince Philip will be interred in the Royal Vault in St. George's Chapel.