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Military will play key role in Philip’s funeral at Windsor Castle

Aine Fox, PA
·3-min read

The Duke of Edinburgh’s close association with the military will be on show at his ceremonial royal funeral next weekend.

Elements of the Royal Navy, Air Force and the Army will be present during an eight-minute procession in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

On the day of the funeral, Philip’s coffin – accompanied by the Dean of Windsor and the Lord Chamberlain – will be moved to the state entrance of Windsor Castle by a Bearer Party of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The Duke of Edinburgh was Colonel of the Grenadier Guards for 42 years (Cpl Pete Brown RLC/MoD/PA)
The Duke of Edinburgh was Colonel of the Grenadier Guards for 42 years (Cpl Pete Brown RLC/MoD/PA)

On the grass in the Castle’s Quadrangle will be representative detachments drawn from Philip’s military special relationships.

The Quadrangle will also be lined by the Household Cavalry and The Foot Guards.

The Band of the Grenadier Guards, of which Philip was Colonel for 42 years, will lead the procession to St George’s Chapel.

They will be followed by the Major General’s Party, and then the Service Chiefs, reflecting Philip’s close relationship with the military.

These will include the Chief of the Air Staff, Naval Staff and Defence Staff.

Philip had a distinguished career in the Royal Navy, and while he gave up active service in 1951 he remained closely connected to it and other military elements throughout his public life.

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The coffin, transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover Philip helped to design, will be flanked by pallbearers drawn from the duke’s special relationships – the Royal Marines, regiments, corps and air stations.

The Prince of Wales and members of the royal family will take part in the procession on foot, immediately behind the coffin, together with staff from Philip’s household.

The route of the procession will be lined by representatives drawn from the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Force.

Minute guns will be fired by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from the east lawn of Windsor Castle for the duration of the procession, and the Curfew Tower Bell will toll.

A Guard of Honour and Band from The Rifles will receive the coffin at the foot of the west steps, with the national anthem being played as the coffin enters Horseshoe Cloister.

In tribute to Philip’s Naval service, a Royal Naval Piping Party of 1 Chief Petty Officer and 5 Ratings will be present.

The piping party will pipe the “Still” once the Land Rover is stationery at the foot of the steps.

A bearing party of Royal Marines will carry the coffin up the steps and pause for a minute’s silence.

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Windsor will receive the coffin.

In keeping with coronavirus guidelines to limit guests inside the chapel, most of the procession will not enter St George’s, except for members of the royal family, and Philip’s private secretary Archie Miller Bakewell.

Inside the chapel, Philip’s insignia – the medals and decorations conferred on him by the UK and Commonwealth countries – together with his Field Marshal’s baton, Royal Air Force Wings, and insignia from Denmark and Greece, will be pre-positioned on cushions on the altar.

The representative detachments drawn from Philip’s military special relationships on the quadrangle grass will be made up of:

– Royal Navy
– Royal Marines
– Band of the Royal Marines
– The Queen’s Royal Hussars (The Queen’s Own and Royal Irish)
– Grenadier Guards
– The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland
– Royal Gurkha Rifles
– The Rifles
– Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
– Intelligence Corps
– Foot Guards Band
– Guidon, Colour and Truncheon Parties
– Cadet Forces
– Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League