The death of Queen Elizabeth II's husband is expected to mark the start of eight days of national mourning in the United Kingdom. The funeral of Britain's Prince Philip, who died Friday at 99, maybe like no other major royal event in modern history.
The coronavirus restrictions currently in place across the United Kingdom mean some aspects of the strategy have had to be altered. After the eight days, the country is expected to go into a 10 day-long mourning period, while the royal household will reportedly do so for 30 days.
Philip's remains are at Windsor Castle, the royal residence just west of London, where he and the Queen had been living in recent months. He returned to the castle in mid-March for his final weeks, after being discharged from a hospital in London following heart surgery.
His body will lie in rest there ahead of his funeral at St. George's Chapel, also on site. That arrangement is in line with royal custom and with Philip's wishes, the officials said.
Given his age, the detailed plans for what should happen after Philip's death codenamed "Operation Forth Bridge" have been in place for years.
A major royal death prompts expressions of mourning from many Britons. The deaths of Princess Diana and the Queen Mother in recent decades saw thousands fill streets across the country to commemorate their lives. Gun salutes were fired across the UK at noon on Saturday in the duke's honor, as well as in the Commonwealth country of Australia outside its Parliament House.
However, Public tributes were included in the plans for Philip's death, though they are likely to be disrupted by coronavirus-related restrictions on gatherings. Currently, outdoor gatherings of more than six people or two households are banned in England, with similar restrictions elsewhere in the UK.
Moreover, The event will be attended by only thirty people: those closest to Felipe de Edimburgo, as required by the current restrictions due to Covid-19. At the moment, the names of that definitive list of attendees have not been provided, although the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, that of her children, and that of some of her grandchildren is more than assured.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has already announced that he will not attend "to accommodate as many family members as possible," a Downing Street spokesman confirmed.