Advertisement

Gun salutes honor Prince Philip as low-key funeral planned amid COVID-19

Members of the public begin to gather outside Buckingham Palace to lay flowers and pay tributes to Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth 11 who died at 99 Friday. Her majesty the Queen released a statement saying she was deeply saddened by his death. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI
Members of the public begin to gather outside Buckingham Palace to lay flowers and pay tributes to Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth 11 who died at 99 Friday. Her majesty the Queen released a statement saying she was deeply saddened by his death. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI | License Photo

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.

The Duke of Edinburgh died Friday at age 99. As the husband of Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years, Philip was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch.

Advertisement

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.

RELATED 'Crown' stars Tobias Menzies, Matt Smith mourn Prince Philip

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.

RELATED Prince Philip, longest-serving consort of reigning British monarch, dies at 99

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.

RELATED Zara Tindall, Queen Elizabeth II's granddaughter, gives birth to third child

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.

RELATED Markle won't attend Prince Philip's funeral; William backs out of BAFTAs

Britain's Prince Philip dies at 99: A look back

Queen Elizabeth II ride in an open carriage with Prince Philip at the start of the Royal Ascot for the Ascot, England horse races on June 19, 1984. File Photo by Rob Taggart/UPI | License Photo

Latest Headlines