Will Prince Philip Have a State Funeral? These Plans Were Made Years Ago

Buckingham Palace announced on April 9, 2021, that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died in the early morning hours at Windsor Castle. He was 99.

Philip was married to Queen Elizabeth II for nearly 74 years and was the longest-serving consort in British history. Upon hearing the news of his death, many mourners are wondering if the duke will have a state funeral. Here’s what we know about the plans previously made and what the prince requested not be done.

Prince Philip smiles during a visit to the headquarters of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force's 603 Squadron in Edinburgh, Scotland
Prince Philip | Danny Lawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

‘Operation Fourth Bridge:’ What is the protocol when a royal dies?

Members of the royal family are assigned a code word to be used in the event their death. Prince Philip’s was “Forth Bridge,” with a corresponding “Operation Forth Bridge” which puts into action a detailed plan of what occurs following his death.

Some of the protocols include the palace releasing a statement confirming the death. A statement via the BBC read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband. The royal family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.” At this time, the palace’s website changes its landing page to an image of the deceased member displaying the dates of their birth and death against a black background along with a tribute to their life.

The country then enters a mourning period which will reportedly last for eight days. For the queen, it will be up to 30 days of mourning before she returns to royal duties.

Will Prince Philip have a state funeral?

Prince Philip in Naval Uniform
Prince Philip dressed in his naval uniform | Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

At his request, Prince Philip will not have a state funeral.

As the queen’s consort he’s entitled to a full state funeral, but in 2013 he insisted that he didn’t want the “fuss” to be made. The Sun reported that Philip will instead be given “a military funeral with a private service.” The list of attendees will just include family, friends, and heads of state from Commonwealth countries. However, the number of people invited may be even lower due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It’s believed that Prince Harry will fly back to the U.K. to attend the service for his grandfather but Meghan, Duchess of Sussex may not as she is pregnant and in her third trimester. However, the couple has not yet announced their plans.

Where the Duke of Edinburgh will be buried

Prince Philip touching his hat and walking away after presenting medals at event in Scotland
Prince Philip touching his hat and walking away after presenting medals at event in Scotland | Nigel Treblin/Getty Images

According to multiple reports, Philip’s body will be taken to the Chapel Royal at James’s Palace, which held Princess Diana’s remains in the week leading up to her funeral. And just like with Diana, the prince’s coffin would be off-limits to everyone but family.

As for where he’ll be buried, Prince Philip requested to be laid to rest in Frogmore Gardens on the grounds of Windsor Castle. This will be the final resting place for his wife as well when the time comes as he and the queen will be buried next to one another.