Prince Philip: PM will not attend the duke’s funeral, No 10 says

Boris Johnson will not attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral next Saturday in order to allow “as many family members as possible” to go amid coronavirus restrictions, No 10 has said.

Only 30 people – expected to be the duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – can attend the funeral at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

The public has been asked to stay away.

The Prince of Wales paid tribute to his “dear papa” on Saturday, saying he will be missed “enormously”.

Speaking from his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire, Prince Charles said his late father was a “very special person who… above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him”.

The prince said he and his family were “deeply grateful” for this, adding: “It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”

A remembrance service will be held for him at Canterbury Cathedral later this morning.

Funeral arrangements for next weekend, which Buckingham Palace said “very much” reflect Prince Philip’s wishes, have been adapted in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The televised service will be a ceremonial event rather than a large state affair usually associated with the death of a monarch.

A No 10 spokesman said: “As a result of the coronavirus regulations, only 30 people can attend the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“The prime minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday.”

Among Royal Family members to attend the ceremony will be the Duke of Sussex, who will fly from his Californian home to the UK.

His wife the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant with their second child, has been advised by her doctor not to travel, Buckingham Palace said.

On the day of the funeral, a national minute’s silence will be held at 15:00 BST.

Prince Philip’s coffin will be transported from Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel in a specially-modified Land Rover he helped to design.

Members of the Royal Family, including the Prince of Wales, will walk behind the coffin, and the Queen will travel separately to the chapel.

Guests will socially distance and wear face coverings in line with coronavirus restrictions.

Military guns will fire during the procession, which will take eight minutes, and the curfew bell will toll.

Eight pallbearers will carry the coffin, draped with duke’s standard, with a wreath and the duke’s naval cap and sword on top, up the west steps into the chapel. It will be greeted by the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

These 10 people are not included in the number of attendees allowed.

A guest list will be released on Thursday.