Prince Philip’s Funeral Details Revealed One Day Before Private Ceremony

Buckingham Palace has shared details of Prince Philip's funeral service, including which songs will be played and how the royal family will honor his military background.

By Lindsay Weinberg Apr 16, 2021 11:12 PMTags
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Buckingham Palace has released details of Prince Philip's funeral service, taking place on Saturday, April 17, at 3 p.m.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who served in WWII, will be remembered with nods to his military background during the private ceremony at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. 

The palace's latest press release describes how funeral arrangements were agreed upon by Philip during his lifetime to reflect "The Duke's close military affiliations, and personal elements of His Royal Highness' life." 

It appears that no members of the royal family will present eulogies of Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth for 73 years. Joining Her Majesty at the funeral will be 29 other relatives, including Prince Charles, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Harry.

According to the Order of Service obtained by E! News, the family members will arrive at the Galilee Porch to view the procession and wait for the Queen to arrive. The Dean of Windsor, the Right Reverend David Conner, will receive the Queen and guide the attendees to their seats.

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At the start of the event, the coffin will be removed from the Land Rover and carried to the West Steps to rest at 3 p.m. for one minute of National Silence. Afterward, the coffin will then be carried to the Catafalque in the Quire.

The Dean of Windsor will go on to lead Philip's funeral service and deliver prayers, along with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

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The Dean will deliver The Bidding, saying, "With grateful hearts, we remember the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us. We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the Nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith." The speech continues, "Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humour and humanity."

A four-person choir will perform songs that Philip selected prior to his death, including the Royal Navy song "Eternal Father, Strong to Save," which ties into his military service. The choir will also sing Benjamin Britten's "Jubilate in C," which Philip commissioned for St. George's Chapel Choir, as well as an adaption of Psalm 104 set to music by William Lovelady, at Philip's request. The Duke was fond of the piece, having heard it at a concert for his 75th birthday in 1996.

The Dean will give The Commendation prayer while the coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault. 

To honor Philip's service as Royal Colonel of The Highlanders (4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland), the Pipe Major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will play a lament.

And since the Duke of Edinburgh was Captain General of the Royal Marines for more than six decades, the buglers of the marines will then sound the "Last Post" and "Action Stations" toward the end of the service.

"This is traditionally an announcement that would be made on a naval warship to signify that all hands should go to battle stations, and was requested by His Royal Highness," per the announcement, which notes that the funeral will conclude with the Archbishop of Canterbury giving a blessing, followed by the choir singing the National Anthem.

Watch a livestream of Prince Philip's funeral on E! News starting at 9:15 a.m. ET/6:15 a.m. PT on April 17.