LONDON — Britain’s Prince Philip will be remembered for his “unwavering loyalty” to his wife Queen Elizabeth II, according the order of service for his funeral Saturday, which he helped to plan.
There will be no eulogy or sermon at the ceremonial funeral which is set to reflect his close ties to the military, as well as personal elements of the Duke of Edinburgh’s life, Buckingham Palace said.
The Dean of Windsor, Rev. David Conner, who is leading the service, will say: “We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith.
He will add: “Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humor and humanity.”
Ahead of the service which began at 3 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET), Philip’s coffin was transported on a specially customized Land Rover, which he helped to design, from the inner hall at Windsor Castle to St. George’s Chapel, which also sits in the grounds of the 11th century palace.
Prince William, his brother, Harry, and their father Prince Charles, joined other members of the royal family in a procession behind it.
As Philip’s coffin was removed and carried to the west steps of the chapel, it rested for a 1 minute of national silence.
Members of the royal family who walked in the procession were then conducted to their places.
Only 30 guests will attend after it was scaled-down because of coronavirus restrictions.
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The choir will sing “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” which is traditionally associated with the Royal Navy and reflects Philip’s military service and lifelong support of the armed forces, the palace said.
A piece specially commissioned by Philip for the St. George’s Chapel Choir, as well as an adaptation of Psalm 104, which Philip requested be set to music and was sung at a concert celebrating the duke’s 75th birthday, it added, will also be sung.
The palace said there would be no singing by the congregation in line with government coronavirus guidelines.
After the coffin is lowered into the royal vault, Philip’s many titles will be proclaimed and a lament will be played by a Pipe Major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
At the end of the funeral service, the buglers of the Royal Marines will sound “Action Stations,” a traditional announcement made on a naval warship to signify that all hands should go to battle stations, as requested by Philip, the palace said.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the most senior bishop in the Church of England and the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, will then pronounce the blessing before the national anthem is sung by the choir, according to the order of service.
Ahead of the service, the royal family shared a private photograph of the queen and Philip, taken in 2003 by Sophie, Countess of Wessex, the wife of the couple’s youngest son, Prince Edward, when they were in the Scottish Highlands.
The royal couple look relaxed against a wild backdrop, with the duke lying back and propping himself up on his elbow. Both are smiling warmly at the camera.
The royal family also shared a montage of photos of Philip along with a poem written by Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage.