Prince Philip’s funeral set for next Saturday: Britain enters eight days of mourning as The Queen shares her ‘deep sorrow’ after the death of her ‘beloved’ husband Philip at 99 and nation pays tribute to her ‘rock’ the Duke of Edinburgh

By Peter Aitken | Fox News

Britain today enters eight days of mourning before Prince Philip’s funeral is due to be held next Saturday after The Queen announced with ‘deep sorrow’ the death of her husband Prince Philip at the age of 99.

Philip was her ‘strength and guide’ throughout their 73-year marriage and her 69-year reign, as crowds of mourners laying flowers and tributes at palaces became so large they were told to disperse because of the pandemic.

The Duke of Edinburgh spent his final days at Windsor Castle with his wife, who he lovingly called Lilibet throughout their long life together, after a 28-night stay in hospital having been admitted in mid-February for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.

Her Majesty announced her husband’s death at midday as the Union Flag was lowered to half-mast outside Buckingham Palace, in Downing Street and on public buildings across the UK and Commonwealth. Westminster Abbey will ring its bells 99 times in his memory from 6pm tonight.

The Royal Family said in a statement: ‘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’. 

A frail Philip was last seen leaving hospital for Windsor on March 16.

His death plunges the nation and the Royal Family into mourning and brings to an end his lifetime of service to Britain and to Elizabeth, the Queen who adored him since her teens.

The couple shared their 73rd wedding anniversary last November and he was due to turn 100 on June 10 this year. 

Buckingham Palace announced the death of Prince Philip at just after midday today – and described the Queen’s ‘deep sorrow’

Hundreds gathered in the spring sunshine at the palace and in Windsor, where many hugged and wiped away tears as they laid flowers in his memory – and left messages of love and support for the Queen and her family.

His funeral will be a small family service at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle before the duke is buried in Frogmore Gardens, where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were laid to rest.

As with all major royal announcements, including births, marriages and deaths, Prince Philip’s passing was marked with a statement displayed outside Buckingham Palace. It was later removed to avoid people gathering around it in the pandemic

The date has not been set officially, but sources claim it could be on Saturday, April 17.

More details will emerge in the next few days, with the plan nicknamed ‘Operation Forth Bridge’, but the public have already been urged to stay away to avoid spreading Covid-19 and watch it on TV at home instead.

A state funeral including a flotilla of boats on the Thames to mark her husband’s life looks impossible due to covid restrictions, but the Duke was said to have disliked the idea because he ‘didn’t want the fuss’. 

Prince Harry is expected to return to the UK and be among the small number of mourners at the funeral, but it is much less clear whether his pregnant wife Meghan will return, weeks after the couple accused the Royal Family of racism in their bombshell Oprah interview while Philip lay in hospital.

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