The Royal Family is officially in mourning for Prince Philip.
As we previously reported, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband died on Friday at age 99. His death came two months before his 100th birthday, and on the same day as his son Prince Charles’s wedding anniversary with Camilla Parker Bowles. The palace released a statement on his passing that read:
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
None of us are strangers to loss — particularly during the still-ongoing coronavirus crisis — so we can all sympathize with what the Royal Family is going through right now. But beyond losing a family member, what happens when the country loses its Prince Consort?
Plans for the death of a royal are referred to by codename; in this case, the events following Philip’s death are known as “Operation Forth Bridge” (according to The Sun, this refers to “a suspension bridge linking Edinburgh to Fife,” appropriate for the Duke of Edinburgh).
First, the Queen has entered an eight-day period of mourning in which she will not attend to any royal duties or make any public appearances, and affairs of state will be put on hold. After that, the Royal Family will continue to “officially” mourn for a 30-day period, while the country will enter a 10-day grieving period.
Per The Sun, the country will mark the Prince Consort’s death in a variety of ways, like flying flags at half mast. Government officials will wear black arm bands, and royals and newsreaders alike are expected to dress in black clothes. The House of Commons announced via Twitter that it will sit at 2:30pm on Monday for tributes to the Duke.
Prince Philip, who was involved in creating “Operation Forth Bridge,” reportedly didn’t want to have a state funeral, and instead requested a more private affair. According to the Royal College of Arms, his “body will lie at rest in Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral in St George’s Chapel.” Of course, coronavirus is a factor even for a royal funeral, as the College of Arms noted in their statement:
“The funeral arrangements have been revised in view of the prevailing circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and it is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral.”
According to The Independent, Philip will then be buried on the grounds of Windsor Castle in Frogmore Gardens, rather than the more traditional choice of Westminster Abbey or St. George’s Chapel.
We’ll be keeping Queen Elizabeth and her family in our thoughts during this time of mourning.
[Image via Tony Clark/WENN]