More details about Prince Philip’s funeral have been revealed. The order of service will include a choir, church service, and tradition, while continuing to implement safety guidelines.
According to Buckingham Palace, the Order of Service for the funeral was agreed upon with the Duke of Edinburgh during his lifetime and reflects the Duke’s close military affiliations and personal elements in the life of His Royal Highness.
ET learned that during the Service, which will take place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, a small choir of four vocalists will sing pieces of music, chosen by the Duke of Edinburgh. They will be directed by James Vivian, with Luke Bond playing the organ.
The choir will be located in the Nave, away from the seated congregation. Also, in accordance with public health guidelines, there will be no congregational singing. Music to be played before the service includes:
Schmücke dich, or liebe Seele BWV 654 – Johann Sebastian Bach
Adagio espressivo (Sonata in A minor) – Sir William Harris
Salix (The Plymouth Suite) – Percy Whitlock
Berceuse (Op 31 No. 19) – Louis Vierne
Rhosymedre (Three Preludes Based on Welsh Hymn Melodies) – Ralph Vaughan Williams
Then, during the service, the choir will sing “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” which is traditionally associated with the Royal Navy and reflects Prince Philip’s military service and lifelong support for the Armed Forces. Benjamin Britten’s “Jubilate in C” will also be sung, along with an adaptation of Psalm 104, which His Royal Highness asked William Lovelady to set to music.
The funeral will be conducted by Windsor Dean David Conner and is expected to last approximately 50 minutes.
At the end of the Service, the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin will be lowered into the Royal Vault. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will pronounce the Blessing and the Choir will sing the National Anthem.
Queen Elizabeth II, members of the royal family and the Philips family will leave the Chapel through the Portico of Galilee. Prince Philip’s coffin will be removed from the Land Rover and taken to West Steps, where it will rest during a minute of national silence. Then the coffin will be taken to the Catafalque in the Quire.
As previously reported, Prince Harry and Prince William will participate in Saturday’s procession for their late grandfather; however, they will not be side by side.
Peter Phillips, Princess Anne’s son, will be between William and Harry during the dark moment. As the siblings walk behind Philip’s coffin, comparisons will no doubt be drawn to the heartbreaking scene in 1997 of the children then walking behind the coffin of their mother, Princess Diana, during her funeral.
The private ceremony will have a maximum of 30 guests, mostly close family members, due to the COVID-19 protocol. ET learned that three of Philip’s relatives from Germany have also been invited to attend.
In addition to Philip’s wife, Queen Elizabeth II, other royal guests include Philip’s son, Prince Charles, his wife, Camilla, Kate Middleton, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, Princess Beatrice, the Princess Eugenia and several others.
None of the young children of the royal family are expected to attend. The congregation will wear masks for the service and members of the royal family will be dressed in daytime or morning coats with medals. There will be no military uniforms.
A source previously told ET that the brothers have been in contact by phone since Harry arrived in the UK. The Duke of Sussex is currently in quarantine following his flight from Los Angeles.