Prince Philip: Special service held at Canterbury Cathedral

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Media caption,
"My family and I miss my father enormously," said Prince Charles at his Highgrove home

A remembrance service for the Duke of Edinburgh has been held in Canterbury Cathedral as the UK observes a period of official mourning.

It was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who is also expected to officiate at Prince Philip's funeral next Saturday.

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major, a friend of the duke, said he hoped the Queen would be given space to grieve.

The duke "will still be there in her memory", he told the BBC.

Sir John said in an interview with Andrew Marr that being the head of state was a "lonely position in many ways" for the Queen, and the duke was "the person to whom she could unburden herself".

"Prince Philip may physically have gone, but he will be in the Queen's mind as clearly as if she were sitting opposite him," he said.

"I do hope she is given a little space, and a little time and a little freedom to grieve in the way anybody else would wish to do so after having lost their spouse."

Sir John, who was guardian to the dukes of Cambridge and Sussex following the death of their mother, said he hoped the brothers would seize the "opportunity" to "mend any rifts that may exist" between them.

"The friction that we are told has arisen is a friction better ended as speedily as possible," he said.

During the service at Canterbury Cathedral, the archbishop said: "For the Royal Family as for every other, no words can reach into the depth of sorrow that goes into bereavement."

He added that Prince Philip showed "a remarkable willingness to take the hand he was dealt in life and straightforwardly to follow its call, to search its meaning to go out and on as sent to inquire and think, to trust and to pray".

The period of national mourning will end after 17 April, when Prince Philip's funeral will take place at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

A national minute's silence will be held to coincide with the start of the funeral at 15:00 BST.

New government guidance says it is up to individual businesses whether or not they close during this time, while organisers of sporting events have been told they can choose whether or not fixtures go ahead.

Other events scheduled for Saturday include the FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester City and two women's Six Nations rugby matches.

Only 30 people - expected to be the duke's children, grandchildren and other close family - can attend the funeral because of Covid rules.

No 10 said Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not attend the funeral to allow "as many family members as possible" to go.

The public has been asked to stay away.

People laid flowers at Windsor Castle over the weekend, but the new government guidance asks the public to refrain from doing so and to give to charity instead.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
People left flowers and tributes to Prince Philip at Windsor Castle on Saturday

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.

Among Royal Family members to attend the ceremony will be Prince Harry, 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, 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.

Speaking from his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire on Saturday, the Prince of Wales said his "dear papa" would be missed "enormously".

He 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."

Prince Charles said the duke had given the "most remarkable, devoted service" to the Queen, the Royal Family, the country, and the Commonwealth over the last 70 years.

Members of the Royal Family visited the Queen at Windsor Castle following the duke's death.

The Countess of Wessex said "the Queen has been amazing" as she left the castle with the Earl of Wessex.

The Duke of York also visited on Saturday, while the Prince of Wales travelled there on Friday afternoon.

Media caption,
The Earl and Countess of Wessex spent about an hour at Windsor Castle on Saturday morning.

In tribute to the duke, saluting batteries each fired 41 rounds on Saturday in cities including London, Edinburgh and Cardiff, and at Hillsborough Castle in County Down. Guns were also fired in Gibraltar.

Prince Philip will not lie in state - where members of the public would have been able to view his coffin.

His coffin will instead lay at rest in the private chapel at Windsor Castle and will be draped with the duke's personal standard with a wreath of flowers on top.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
The funeral will take place at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle

The Royal Family will observe two weeks of mourning, although royal engagements will continue where appropriate.

A spokesman for the Palace said: "Whilst this is a time of sadness and mourning the coming days will be an opportunity to celebrate a remarkable life."

Media caption,
Prince Philip: Officer, husband, father

All UK government buildings have been told to fly official flags at half-mast in tribute to the duke until 08:00 on the day after the duke's funeral.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's charity, the Royal Foundation, paid tribute to Prince Philip over the weekend by pinning a black and white photograph of him to the top of its website.

Prince William has withdrawn from giving a speech at the Bafta Awards ceremony on Sunday night, Kensington Palace said. His grandfather was Bafta's first president.