Prince Philip funeral update – Resilient Queen, 94, to increase royal duties within weeks with senior family by her side
13th April 2021

THE Queen is planning to INCREASE her royal duties within weeks it has been claimed.

The 94-year-old is currently in an eight-day period of mourning for her husband of 73 years which is due to end on the day after her 95th birthday.

But once the mourning period ends, the Queen is determined to get on with "as many royal duties as possible" in order to fill the "huge void" left by the death of Prince Philip.

Although she has carried out many solo events over the years, especially since the Duke's 2017 retirement, there is now a major effort among senior royals to ensure she has support in the coming months, the Mail reported.

Among those expected to be seen by her side as she ramps up her diary are the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Princess Anne.

The Iron Duke – who was married to the Queen for 73 years and described as her constant "strength and stay" – passed away peacefully last Friday morning at the age of 99.

His funeral will be held at St George's Chapel on Saturday – the same place where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry got married.

Philip's death comes amid a turmoil-filled 12 months for the royals after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry quit the royal family. 

Prince Philip remained one of the hardest working royals in history – since 1952 he attended 22,219 solo engagements and 637 overseas tours in a career marked by his famous gaffes, wit and wisdom.

Read our Royal Family live blog below for the latest news and updates…

  • Debbie White

    EFL MOVES SATURDAYFOOTBALL MATCHES TO AVOID CLASHES

    The EFL has confirmed that all fixtures scheduled for 3pm on Saturday have been moved to avoid overlapping with the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.

    Matches taking place in the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two this week and at the weekend will also observe a minute's silence before kick-off.

    Players, coaching staff and match officials will don armbands as a mark of respect.

  • Debbie White

    EMILIA ROMAGNA F1 GRAND PRIX SCHEDULE ADJUSTED TO AVOID OVERLAP WITH ROYAL FUNERAL

    Qualifying for this weekend's Emilia Romagna F1 Grand Prix has been moved to avoid overlapping with the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral on Saturday.

    Formula One and the FIA have announced that the session has been brought forward by an hour and will now take place from 1pm-2pm BST.

    As a result, final practice will move to 10am-11am to comply with the regulations which state qualifying must be two hours after FP3.

    A minute's silence will also be held before qualifying at Imola.

  • Debbie White

    ROYAL LEGACY – QUEEN RELEASES NEW PICS OF PRINCE PHILIP

    Prince Philip's decades of global service has been honoured in a series of touching photos by the Queen.

    The Duke of Edinburgh – Britain's longest-serving consort – can be seen mingling with the public in the poignant pictures.

    The new images show some of his lengthy service as he travelled around the Commonwealth.

    The shots include a stunning black and white picture of Philip smiling with the Queen on one royal visit.

    Philip beams with the Queen in a touching photo released today
    The Duke meets children while visiting Australia
    Philip worked tirelessly by the Queen's side for more than 70 years until his tragic death
  • Debbie White

    PRINCE WILLIAM SHARES MEMORIES OF 'EXTRAORDINARY GRANDPA'

    The Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex have recalled their grandfather as an individual, "authentically himself", filled with warmth and wit and devoted to the monarch.

    Reflecting on how his grandfather's "century of life was defined by service", Prince William said: "I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life – both through good times and the hardest days."

    He added: "My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation.

    "Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support the Queen in the years ahead.

    "I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job."

    Prince William with his beloved grandfatherCredit: PA
  • Debbie White

    PRINCE PHILIP'S COFFIN TO BE DRAPED WITH PERSONAL STANDARD

    The ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor is set to take place on Saturday, April 17 in a "royal funeral unlike any other," reports the Telegraph.

    The paper adds: "The Duke’s coffin will be moved in a small ceremonial procession from the state entrance of the castle to St George's Chapel on the morning of the funeral.

    "It will be draped with the Duke's personal standard, and decorated with a wreath of flowers, his Naval cap and his sword.

    "The Duke left strict instructions that he should have a relatively low-key funeral in his final wishes, swapping a formal lying-in-state for commemorations remembering his military ties and charity patronages."

  • Debbie White

    QUEEN TO RETURN TO ROYAL DUTY DAYS AFTER FUNERAL

    The Queen will return to work just four days after Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday.

    She is currently in an eight-day period of mourning.

    It is understood that Her Majesty will resume duties just four days later, on April 22, according to the Evening Standard.

    And she is determined to get on with "as many royal duties as possible" in order to fill the "huge void" left by the death of Prince Philip.

    Although she has carried out many solo events over the years, especially since the Duke's 2017 retirement, there is now a major effort among senior royals to ensure she has support in the coming months, the Mail reported.

  • Debbie White

    QUEEN & ROYALS TO WEAR FACE MASKS TO PRINCE PHILIP’S FUNERAL

    The Queen will wear a face mask at Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday.

    Her Majesty, 94, and other royals will not be exempt from Covid rules as her beloved husband is buried on Saturday with just 30 mourners present.

    Just 30 guests will be in attendance and the Queen will not take part in the procession from Windsor Castle.

    Prince William and Harry, who arrived back in the UK two days ago for the funeral, and other senior royals will follow the Land Rover on foot.

    A minute’s silence will be held across the nation at 3pm to remember Philip’s 70-plus years of service.

    Covid restrictions mean face masks and social distancing at the funeral
  • Debbie White

    PRINCE PHILIP CLASSIC QUOTES

    The Duke of Edinburgh was famous for his quick wit and dry sense of humour. Here are a few of his classic quotes:

    • "The French don't know how to cook breakfast" – after being served bacon, eggs, smoked salmon, kedgeree, croissants and pain au chocolat by Regis Crepy.
    • "I would like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family" – when asked if he would like to visit the then Soviet Union back in 1967.
    • "I wish he'd turn the microphone off" – while watching Elton John perform at the Royal Variety Show, 2001.
    • "You have mosquitoes. I have the press" – while speaking to a Caribbean hospital matron, 1966.

    PRINCE PHILIP HAD UFO BOOK COLLECTION

    Prince Philip had reportedly been collecting UFO books for more than a decade before his death.

    The Duke of Edinburgh had most recently read The Halt Perspective based on Britain's biggest UFO mystery, Triangle News reported.

    The 99-year-old – who died on Friday – had also amassed a vast array of ten other alien tomes in recent years.

    Among those in his library are Haunted Skies and Haunted Skies: The Encyclopaedia of British UFOs.

    They were sent to him by retired West Midlands Police detective turned author John Hanson.

    • Debbie White

      PRINCE PHILIP MERCH TAKES OFF ON EBAY

      Duke of Edinburgh badges and signed Christmas cards are taking off on eBay following Prince Philip’s death last week.

      Specially made ‘RIP’ t-shirts as well as cushions and mugs featuring Philip’s face have also been put up on the site, as well as ‘special editions’ of the national newspapers – going upwards of £10 each.

      Some are even selling what the claim to be personal letters sent from the monarch, Metro reported.

      Topping the list is a five-pound platinum coin commemorating the monarch’s 90th birthday, with a bidding price of £11,250

    • Alice Peacock

      CONCERNS OVER CROWDING OUTSIDE PRINCE PHILIP'S FUNERAL

      John Story, the mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, has described Saturday's funeral as a "great honour" for the district – but is concerned about overcrowding.

      Story has pointed out that the funeral will be taking place behind the walls of Windsor Castle, because of Covid-19 concerns.

      He told the PA news agency: "It is a very difficult time for people and people have very strong feelings, but we have to ask everyone to put theirs and the health and safety of others at the top of their list of priorities and not come into Windsor.

      "I hope, at the end of the day, that people will regard it as having been a very respectful day and a very safe one."

    • Debbie White

      CONCERNS OVER CROWDING OUTSIDE PRINCE PHILIP'S FUNERAL

      John Story, the mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, has described Saturday's funeral as a "great honour" for the district – but is concerned about overcrowding.

      Story has pointed out that the funeral will be taking place behind the walls of Windsor Castle, because of Covid-19 concerns.

      He told the PA news agency: "It is a very difficult time for people and people have very strong feelings, but we have to ask everyone to put theirs and the health and safety of others at the top of their list of priorities and not come into Windsor.

      "I hope, at the end of the day, that people will regard it as having been a very respectful day and a very safe one."

    • Alice Peacock

      PRINCE PHILIP PASSED ‘GENTLY’ AS IF ‘SOMEBODY TOOK HIM BY THE HAND AND OFF HE WENT’

      PRINCE Philip died “gently” as if “somebody took him by the hand”, his daughter-in-law said today.

      Sophie Wessex spoke to mourners after attending a Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor.

      Read more here.

    • Alice Peacock

      PHILIP'S FUNERAL COULD ATTRACT ONE OF THE YEAR'S LARGEST TV AUDIENCES

      Prince Philip's funeral is likely to attract one of the largest television audiences of the year – though it might not quite be the biggest.

      This honour currently belongs to PM Boris Johnson, whose televised address on January 4 announcing a new national lockdown was watched by 25.1 million people across five channels.

      Some 14.1 million watched on BBC One alone – the biggest TV audience for a single channel so far this year.

      Broadcasters have yet to confirm their plans for Philip's funeral on Saturday, but the BBC and ITV are likely to devote several hours to the event, including the ceremony at 3pm.

    • Alice Peacock

      POLICE CARRY OUT SPECIALIST SEARCHES AS PREPARATIONS FOR DUKE'S FUNERAL CONTINUE

      Police are carrying out specialist searches as the preparations for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh continue.

      Thames Valley Police said officers were examining street furniture including phone boxes, post boxes, drains and bins as part of the operation.

      Patrols were also being carried out in Windsor town centre, the Long Walk and Home Park, PA Media reported.

      Thames Valley Police said it has put a range of visible and covert security measures in place for Saturday, when the duke is to be honoured with a ceremonial royal funeral at St George's Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

    • Alice Peacock

      PHILIP ‘OFTEN NAUGHTY, BUT NEVER NASTY’

      Prince Philip was a “naughty, but never nasty” pupil, a glowing school report revealed this week.

      The youngster was 13 when he was packed off to Gordonstoun boarding school in Elgin, Moray, after he mocked the Nazi regime while at another school in Germany in the 1930s.

      The report, shared by Gordonstoun yesterday, was written by headmaster Kurt Hahn for the Duke’s marriage to the Queen in 1947.

      It reveals that the young prince was sent to Gordonstoun after it was noticed that “whenever the Nazi salute was given, he roared with laughter and attracted universal attention”.

      Philip is said to have found the salute funny because in his younger school years, the same gesture had been used by pupils to signal they wanted to use the toilet.

    • Alice Peacock

      HARRY AND WILLIAM TO WEAR THE SAME SUITS

      According to a royal expert, Prince William and Prince Harry will wear the same suits for their grandfather’s funeral on Saturday to avoid a “rift.”

      It was previously reported that the Duke of Sussex could be expected to dress in a suit – and not his uniform – as a result of him and Meghan stepping back as senior royals.

      Prince William could wear his military uniform at the ceremonial service for Philip as he’s a working royal but Richard Fitzwilliams said it was more likely he would wear a suit to avoid contrasting with Harry.

      The Duke of Sussex can no longer wear his honorary military outfit after losing the titles.

    • Alice Peacock

      QUEEN TO WEAR FACEMASK AS PHILIP LAID TO REST IN OAK COFFIN

      The Queen will wear a face mask at Prince Philip's funeral as he's laid to rest in a traditional oak coffin.

      Her Majesty, 94, and other royals will not be exempt from Covid rules as her beloved husband is buried on Saturday with just 30 mourners present.

      The Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away on Friday aged 99, is being laid to rest in St George's Chapel in Windsor.

      Unusually, Philip's coffin will be carried from Windsor Castle in the back of an open-top Land Rover he helped develop with the Army.

      But in keeping with royal tradition, the casket is made from English oak and lined with lead, The Times reports.

      The Queen wears a face mask in November ahead of Remembrance Sunday
    • Alice Peacock

      MEGHAN MARKLE ‘READY TO FORGIVE’ THE ROYAL FAMILY

      Meghan Markle is “ready to forgive” the Royal Family after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death as she “want to put their differences aside”, a pal said.

      Palace officials said the Duchess was advised not to travel for the funeral – although it’s claimed that she stayed home as she “didn’t want to be the centre of attention”.

      And a friend said she has reportedly encouraged her husband and his family to “put their differences aside” – while she’s also ready to move forward.

      They told the MailOnline: “Meghan said her main concern right now is supporting Harry.

      “She said she left it up to him as to whether or not she would attend the funeral.”

    • Alice Peacock

      PHILIP 'LOVED MARY BERRY'

      Prince Philip 'loved Mary Berry', according to former BBC Royal reporter Kennie Bond.

      She said the Duke of Edinburgh had lots of cooking books – and he adored Mary's recipes.

      She said:"I don't think young people understand he was a man of letters. I did not realise until a few years ago how deeply interested he was in theology and philosophy.

      "His library extended to poetry and wildlife and he had loads of books on cookery as well – he loved Mary Berry. He had a very broad range of interests," said south Devon based Jennie.

    • Alice Peacock

      WINDSOR MAYOR URGES PUBLIC TO STAY AWAY FROM FUNERAL

      The mayor of Windsor has urged the public to stay away from Prince Philip's funeral, due to Covid-19 concerns.

      John Story said the occasion was a "great honour" for the district, but pointed out that it was a private occasion due to the pandemic.

      He told the PA news agency: "It is a very difficult time for people and people have very strong feelings, but we have to ask everyone to put theirs and the health and safety of others at the top of their list of priorities and not come into Windsor.

      "The whole of the funeral, including the ceremonial procession, is taking place inside the castle walls. Normally you would expect this to take place along the Long Walk and through Windsor but this year it cannot happen.

      "I hope, at the end of the day, that people will regard it as having been a very respectful day and a very safe one."

    • Alice Peacock

      ROYAL FAMILY ORDERS TRUCE OVER OPRAH CHAT

      According to an insider the Royal Family has ordered a truce over the Oprah chat.

      “Family conversations now will be on the passing of Prince Philip — and nothing else,” they said.

      “The Queen has declared royal mourning for two weeks so it’s quite clear that is the focus.

      “Conversations will be private but the focus will be on emotional ­matters of dealing with a father and grandfather.”

    • Alice Peacock

      HARRY ARRIVES BACK IN UK FOR PRINCE PHILIP’S FUNERAL WITHOUT MEGHAN MARKLE – BUT WHERE WILL HE STAY?

      PRINCE Harry has returned to the UK for Prince Philip’s funeral without Meghan Markle.

      The Duke of Sussex is thought to have driven to Kensington Palace where he could stay at Nottingham Cottage – the home he and Meghan shared before they were married.

      Harry will stay alone, after doctors warned Meghan not to fly due to her pregnancy.

      The duke, 36, flew over from the US in his first return since he and Meghan stepped back from royal duties.

      An eye witness told The Sun he got off a British Airways flight from Los Angeles which arrived at Heathrow at 1.15pm today.

    • Alice Peacock

      QUEEN'S SUPPORT NETWORK REVEALED

      The Queen's closest aides have drawn around her in the wake of Prince Philip's death – with her Olympic co-star and a docker's daughter from Liverpool among those supporting her.

      Her page Paul Whybrew, who appeared alongside Her Majesty in the James Bond sketch at the London 2012 games, and "humble" Angela Kelly, the Queen’s personal assistant and senior dresser, will be among those offering companionship.

      Another important figure is the monarch's head groom, Terry Pendry, with whom she rides regularly.

      One friend told the Times the Queen has received great support from her family, notably her children and Sophie Wessex – but those she feels most comfortable with are not necessarily family members. 

    • Alice Peacock

      WILLIAM’S TRIBUTE TO PHILIP ‘NOT A DIG AT HARRY’

      Prince William’s touching tribute to Philip was not a “dig” at his brother and the pair are “unified”, Harry’s pal Omid Scobie says.

      The two brothers yesterday released separate messages remembering their grandad after he passed away on Friday aged 99.

      William vowed to focus on his duty and continue supporting the Queen – causing some to speculate if he was having a pop at Harry after he left the royal family for a life in the US with Meghan Markle.

      But the Sussex’s friend Omid Scobie, who released Harry’s personal tribute to Philip on his Twitter yesterday, has insisted this isn’t the case.

      The writer, who co-authored explosive biography Finding Freedom about Megxit, told Good Morning Britain: “I think for us on the outside it might look like that but I think we have to remember that that is William’s role, he is the future head of state and so he is really thinking about getting back to work”.

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