Charles pays tribute to ‘dear Papa’ as Prince Philip's funeral details announced

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Charles Pays Tribute To ‘Dear Papa’ As Prince Philip's Funeral Details Announced
Britain's Prince Philip, pictured with his son, Prince Charles, © PA Archive/PA Images
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Tony Jones and Laura Elston PA Court Staff

Britain's Prince Charles has paid tribute to his “dear Papa” – highlighting his “remarkable, devoted service to the Queen” – as details of his father, Prince Philip's funeral were released.

Buckingham Palace announced that Philip’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place on April 17th in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and a national minute’s silence will be observed as it begins at 3pm.

The funeral will follow England's current Covid-19 guidelines, with mourners due to wear face masks and adhere to socially distancing.

Charles has praised Philip’s devotion to Queen Elizabeth (Fiona Hanson/PA)

Speaking from his Gloucestershire home of Highgrove on behalf of the royal family, Charles said: “I particularly wanted to say that my father, for I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to the Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth.”

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He added: “As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously,” and said he would be “deeply touched” by the people around the world sharing “our loss and our sorrow”.

He said: “My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him, and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that.

“It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”

Philip’s coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design, and followed by Charles and senior royals on foot, a Palace official said.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were married for more than 70 years (PA)

Queen Elizabeth approved the UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s recommendation of national mourning for the UK, which began on April 9th and runs until and including the day of the funeral.

Only 30 people – expected to be Philip's children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend as guests, but the Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel to the UK for the funeral, a Palace spokesman said.

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It is understood Meghan made every effort to be able to travel with Harry, who will be among the mourners, but has not received the medical clearance to board a plane.

Originally 800 people would have been due to gather to pay their respects to the nation’s longest serving consort, but Philip is known to have wanted a low-key affair.

All public elements of the funeral have been cancelled, it will be televised but take place entirely in the grounds of the castle, the Palace said.

Queen Elizabeth once described Philip as her ‘constant strength and guide’ (Owen Humphreys/PA)

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Queen Elizabeth has decided the royal family will enter two weeks of royal mourning, and engagements will continue appropriate to the circumstances, a senior royal official said.

Public elements of Operation Forth Bridge – the codename for Philips’s funeral plans – were abandoned for fear of drawing crowds including the long held arrangements for military processions through London and Windsor.

Instead, the proceedings will take place entirely in the grounds of Windsor Castle, televised, but away from public view and with no access for royal fans.

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