Prince Philip celebrated his 98th birthday on June 10 and has now been retired from public life since 2016. He served the Royal Family for 68 years and has in total undertaken 22,219 solo engagements, given 5,496 speeches, and written 14 books. The Duke of Edinburgh is spending his retirement at his home in Sandringham, Norfolk where he enjoys taking horse and carriage rides around the grounds of the royal estate.
There is no concern for the Duke’s health, however, as a prestigious member of the Royal Family, there are certain preparations in place for the time of his death.
1. Announcement of his death
The palace will convey the news to the BBC who will be the first to announce it.
Should the Duke die overnight, the announcement will come the morning after at 8am.
In response, flags around the UK will be flown at half-mast, and the Prime Minister will decide whether any business or sporting events should be suspended.
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2. Initial resting place
For a royal or important public figure, their initial resting place is lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.
This is so that the public can come and pay respects.
However, it is thought the Duke will instead opt for a quieter resting place – at St James’ Palace.
This is where Princess Diana’s body was taken and remained for seven days before her funeral in 1997.
The public is not expected to be able to visit the body.
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3. Funeral details
As the Queen’s husband, Philip is permitted to have a state funeral, an extravagant service which includes a military procession.
However, the Duke has said he doesn’t want a “fuss” so a quieter ceremony is expected instead.
The proceedings will be coordinated by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office at Buckingham Palace, and Prince Philip is said to be closely involved with plans.
The funeral service will be held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle and will be a military-style funeral.
Those attending are likely to be close friends, family and heads of state from Commonwealth countries.
4. The Burial
Most monarchs and their respective consorts are buried in Westminster Abbey or at St George’s Chapel, however, the Prince has not opted for this.
Instead, he will be placed in the grounds of Windsor Castle, in the private Frogmore Gardens.
This is where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are buried, and is said to be somewhere sentimental for the Queen and Philip.
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5. Mourning Period
On her husband’s death, the Queen will enter into a Royal Mourning period, which will last eight days.
This time will see any state affairs suspended, and bills not granted the Royal Assent to become law.
Following the funeral, the Queen will return to duties but continue to mourn in private.
The Royal Family’s official Royal Mourning period is 30 days, after which the Queen will resume public life.