The Archbishop of Canterbury has praised the “dignity” of the Queen ahead of her husband’s funeral as family members pay tribute to the “devoted” duke.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has praised the “dignity” of the Queen ahead of her husband’s funeral as family members pay tribute to the “devoted” duke.

Queen’s ‘profound chance’ to say goodbye to Philip

Prince Philip's funeral will be a "profound" chance for the Queen to say goodbye to her husband of 73 years, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

"She will behave with the extraordinary dignity, extraordinary courage that she always does," the archbishop Justin Welby told the BBC.

Mr Welby said he expected the Queen at the service to "behave with the extraordinary dignity, extraordinary courage that she always does".

"And at the same time she is saying farewell to someone to whom she was married for 73 years," he said.

"I think that must be a very, very profound thing … in anybody's life."

The archbishop, who will pronounce the blessing at the funeral service, suggested that people of faith could pray for the Queen, or alternatively "sympathise and in their hearts offer their condolences to her and the hope for her to find strength in what must be an anguished moment".


It comes as the Queen was seen for the first time since her husband's death, as she drove her car through the grounds of Windsor Castle, where the Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest. The Queen drove away with her two puppies from the castle towards Frogmore Gardens, close to where her grandson Prince Harry is believed to be self-isolating at Frogmore Cottage.

Prince Philip's funeral will take place at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle at 11pm tonight (AEST).

His children and grandchildren, Prince William, Prince Harry and Peter Phillips, will walk behind his hearse during the procession.

The brothers will be separated during the walk by Princess Anne's son, Peter Phillips.

At the service, there will only be 30 mourners in line with current British coronavirus restrictions.

Buckingham Palace revealed the Queen had faced "some very difficult" decisions in selecting the mourners from the 800-strong congregation originally planned, and she wanted all branches of her husband's family to be represented.

Mr Welby said many people had seen family members die in the COVID pandemic this year and the funeral service would "resonate very deeply for a lot of people".

"I think there will be tears in many homes because other names will be on their minds, faces they've lost that they don't see again, funerals they couldn't go to as many haven't been able to go to this one because it is limited to 30 in the congregation. That will break many a heart," he said.



Mike Tindall, the husband of Princess Anne's daughter, Zara Phillips, has shared a sweet photo of Prince Philip with his daughter Mia - remembering the duke as a "devoted family man".

Tindall posted a picture of the daughter he shares with the Queen's granddaughter Zara to Instagram.

"It's been a very sad week but it has given us time to reflect on great memories and stories both personal and shared," the former England rugby star wrote.

"A devoted family man who we will forever miss but always love."


Mike Tindall posted a touching photo of Prince Philip with his great-granddaughter, Mia. Picture: Instagram
Mike Tindall posted a touching photo of Prince Philip with his great-granddaughter, Mia. Picture: Instagram


The picture showed Mia and her great-grandfather eating as they sat together on a bench in front of a wood cabin, and was taken by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince Philip's pint of beer could be seen perched on the side.

The touching tribute was shared by the former athlete after the Duke of Edinburgh passed away last week aged 99.

Meanwhile, an emotional Prince Edward, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and their daughter Lady Louise Windsor have been viewing flowers and cards left in memory of Prince Philip at Windsor Castle.

Earlier, the head of the UK's armed forces said the funeral will have the duke's "fingerprints [all] over it" and it "reflects his wide interests and his attention to detail".

"It's obviously been slightly affected by COVID, but nonetheless it will reflect military precision," said Gen Sir Nick Carter, chief of defence staff.




Prince Harry and Prince William will be kept apart during a procession at their grandfather's funeral, with a cousin walking between them.

They will not walk shoulder-to-shoulder in honour of Prince Philip, as their raw emotional battle sparked by Megxit required an "elegant" diplomatic solution.

Their cousin Peter Phillips, 43, will separate the brothers by up to four metres during the procession behind a specially designed open-top Land Rover Defender that will carry the Duke of Edinburgh's casket.


There had been hopes that the funeral would be a chance for a poignant rapprochement.

Royal author Penny Junor said there had been a precedent set for a similar quarrel during Princess Diana's funeral procession.

"Well it's reminiscent of Diana's funeral when (her brother) Charles Spencer and the Prince of Wales were having a feud," she told News Corp.

"In the end Prince Harry stood in between them rather than having them walk side-by-side."


Mrs Junor said the order of the procession, signed off by the Queen, made sense.

"This is a very elegant solution to an awkward situation," she said.

"The real sadness is that everybody is going to be looking at the body language between the two brothers."

The funeral, from the start of the procession to the final hymn, will take only 70 minutes.

The brothers cannot meet indoors except at the funeral under COVID-19 rules in Britain.

They have spoken on the phone but it was unclear whether they will break bread before Prince Harry returns to California, where he recorded his controversial interview with neighbour Oprah Winfrey.



Meghan, 39 and too pregnant to fly, will watch a live stream of the funeral at their $20 million home in Montecito.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed the brothers would walk beside Mr Phillips in the procession but would not be drawn further.

"This is a funeral. We are not going to be drawn into perceptions and drama. The arrangements have been agreed and represent Her Majesty's wishes," he said.


Mr Phillips is the son of Princess Anne but did not get the title of prince because his father was not a royal.

His parents also turned down the offer of a His Royal Highness title from the Queen.

The brothers will also not stand next to each other when they enter St George's Chapel where the 50-minute funeral service will be held following the 20-minute procession.

Prince William, 38, will enter with Mr Phillips, while Prince Harry, 36, will walk into the chapel where he married Meghan in 2018 next to the Earl of Snowdon.

The funeral procession will also include Princess Anne, 70, who will walk directly behind the coffin, next to her brother, Prince Charles, 72.



They will be followed by Prince Edward, 57, and Prince Andrew, 61, before Prince Harry, Mr Phillips, and Prince William.

Mr Phillips was a relatively anonymous royal until he was embroiled in a scandal over spruiking milk in China.

He was accused of cashing in on his connections, even though he does not have a title.

In the TV commercial, which aired in Asia, he appears in a historic home accepting a glass of milk from a butler.


The advertisement became widely known following criticism of Prince Harry and Meghan, who were challenged over their plans to trade on their royal links in their post-Megxit business deals.

Mr Phillips also hit the headlines in March when he travelled 740km from his home in Gloucestershire to Scotland to meet up with a glamorous oil executive.

The divorced father-of-two was spoken to by police but did not breach COVID-19 travel rules because he was on "business".



Britain, where more than 120,000 people have died of coronavirus, remains under some travel and social distancing restrictions.

Pub beer gardens, hairdressers and shops opened this week, but indoor events remain under tight control.

Only 30 mourners will be allowed in the chapel for Prince Philip's funeral, and all will wear masks when they sit in the church.

The Queen signed off on the difficult decision to restrict the list of mourners, which included three of Prince Philip's German relatives.


None of his sisters who married Germans were allowed to attend his wedding in 1947 but he insisted that some of his family be represented at his funeral.

The traditional choir has been trimmed to just four, and will unusually include a soprano because the music had to be rearranged to suit the smaller number of voices.

The congregation, who will sit two metres apart, will not be allowed to sing.

The insignia for the knighthood that former Prime Minister Tony Abbott gave to Prince Philip in 2015 will be displayed at the funeral.



Prince Philip carefully oversaw his funeral arrangements, including several nods to his military service.

He was mentioned in dispatches for his frontline service in the Second World War.

The Buglers of the Royal Marines will sound Action Stations - a call to arms for those in the Navy during wartime and a tradition at military funerals - during the service.

The choir will sing God Save the Queen to end the funeral - a fitting goodbye from a husband to his wife.







(All times Australian Eastern Time)

11pm - Start of preparations for procession as officials meet in the inner hall

11.27pm - The Land Rover Defender that will carry Prince Philip's casket enters the quadrangle at Windsor Castle

11.41pm - The coffin comes out of the State Entrance at Windsor Castle. Members of the Royal Family assemble for the procession

11.44pm - The Queen, attended by a Lady-in-Waiting, leaves from the Sovereign's Entrance in her Bentley

11.45pm - The procession starts, with senior royals walking behind. The Queen follows at the rear in her car. Minute guns fire as the coffin travels to St George's Chapel

11.53pm - The Land Rover Defender arrives at the West Steps of St George's Chapel. Royal Marines will lift the coffin and carry it inside

Midnight - A minute's silence held across Britain, before the funeral starts


Originally published as Queen's 'profound chance' to say goodbye to Philip