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PLANS for Prince Philip’s funeral have been revised due to Covid, with strict regulations that Her Majesty the Queen and other 29 attendees of the occasion will have to follow.
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Social distancing restrictions will be in place at Philip’s funeral, and masks will be worn by all attendees
What are the Covid rules for Prince Philip’s funeral?
Experts believe updated government rules will make the Duke of Edinburgh’s send-off on Saturday “the most low-key royal funeral ever”.
Updated guidance published this week bans communal singing.
It states: “If the event is taking place indoors avoid singing, shouting, chanting and raising your voice.”
A “single group of singers” such as a choir is allowed but it must be “as few as possible” while being socially distanced.
It is also against the law not to wear a face mask without a valid exemption.
Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles at Prince Philip at the Thanksgiving Service for the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth IICredit: Rex
Will the Royal Family have to follow Covid rules?
Details are still being finalised but Palace sources insist Covid guidelines will be followed at the ceremony inside St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Funeral guests must also stay at least two metres apart from others outside their household bubbles.
This will mean brothers William and Harry may be distanced as they line up with the rest of the family behind Philip’s coffin.
Prince Harry is in self-isolation at Frogmore Cottage after arriving at Heathrow on Sunday following his grandfather’s death aged 99.
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine, said: “It will be strange to see them wearing masks and socially distancing but these are the rules.
“I’m sure Philip said, ‘Sorry dears, but this is going to be the most low-key royal funeral ever’, and I’m sure that’s exactly what he wanted.”
How has Covid changed Prince Philip’s funeral plans?
Just 30 people will be allowed to attend the duke’s funeral on Saturday, April 17, as a result of tough coronavirus restrictions.
And while there will be close family members attending the service, it is likely that Prince Philip’s great-grandchildren, all of whom are under 10, will stay at home.
It’s certain that the Queen’s four children will attend with their four spouses – Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles; Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence; Prince Andrew; and Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex.
Prince Philip’s eight grandchildren are also likely to be chosen as a guest at the funeral – Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn.
The Queen will reportedly have to sit on her own during Prince Philip’s funeral
Social distancing restrictions will be in place, and masks will be worn by all attendees.
Royal biographer Penny Junor added: “I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything quite like this before — and won’t again.
“However, if one thing is important, it’s that no special dispensation is allowed for the funeral.
“A lot of people have lost loved ones this last year and they had to respect restrictions at funerals.
“The Royal Family are acutely aware of what the British people have gone through and will want to show their solidarity.”
Do these rules affect public mourners?
Yes. Philip’s funeral plans have been largely tailored to account for Covid restrictions- and the public are not allowed to attend.
Police have ramped up security ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral – with extra armed cops on patrol and specialist searches carried out.
Among the security measures are extra armed police and uniformed officers on patrol in the historic town leading up to the event.
Gun cops have been seen on the Long Walk today as the public come to pay their respects to Philip after his death aged 99.