April 10 (UPI) -- Gun salutes across the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth honored Prince Philip on Saturday as preparations were made for a somber funeral amid COVID-19 restrictions next Saturday.
At midday Saturday, military guns fired 41 rounds -- one every minute for 40 minutes -- in Edinburgh, Cardiff, London, Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland and at Devonport and Portsmouth naval bases, the BBC reported. Royal Navy ships at sea also fired the salute, as did soldiers in Australia, a Commonwealth nation. Philip served as a naval officer during World War II.
The British flag is flying at half-staff on government buildings.
The U.K. government and Buckingham Palace have asked the public to refrain from gathering at royal residences or leaving flowers as the country remains under strict COVID-19 restrictions. The royal family asks mourners to make a charitable donation instead and launched an online memorial.
Philip will be laid to rest next Saturday, April 17, in a ceremony that adheres to some royal traditions, but will comparatively low-key for a royal funeral.
Per current public health guidelines, no more than 30 people can attend a funeral in Britain.
The funeral will be televised, according to the BBC.
The College of Arms, which oversees many ceremonial aspects of the royal family's work, has said Philip will not lie in state anywhere accessible to the public in an effort to prevent large crowds from gathering.
The royal family has also asked the public not to gather in crowds or visit royal residences to pay their respects.
Because the duke preferred to drive himself rather than use chauffeur, his remains will be carried by a Land Rover Philip helped design from Windsor Castle to St. George's Chapel.
The procession will be led by a band of grenadier guards along with several heads of military units.
A Royal Navy piping party will play "The Still," followed by a gun salute and a minute of silence at 3 p.m. ahead of the ceremony.