The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral that takes place on Saturday will contain the prince’s “fingerprints [all] over it” and will echo his broad interests, the head of the UK’s armed forces has mentioned.
“It will be a celebration of a life well-lived and will also show how much the armed forces loved and respected him,” noted Gen Sir Nick Carter.
Sir Nick will walk beside the coffin as part of the funeral procession.
Prince Philip’s four children will also follow the Land Rover that will convey the coffin.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will be held at St George’s Chapel on Windsor Castle’s grounds at 15:00 BST on Saturday.
Considering the coronavirus restrictions, the ceremony will have only 30 mourners at the ceremony.
Buckingham Palace shared that the Queen faced “some very difficult” decisions in choosing the mourners from the 800-strong gathering initially planned. She wished all branches of her husband’s family to be represented.
“It’s obviously been slightly affected by Covid, but it will reflect military precision,” said Sir Nick, the head of defence staff, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“And of course it will reflect his very wide interests and very wide connections within our military.”
He further added, “I think that what people will notice in all the different details in terms of the ceremony, that his fingerprints were over it. And it reflects his wide interests and his attention to detail.”
Amongst the funeral details that Prince Philip was part of is the specially modified Land Rover hearse, which the duke assisted in designing over 16 years. He requested it to be repainted in military green and helped shape the car’s open-top rear.
He also himself selected the regalia – medals, decorations and insignia – that will be on the platform for his funeral.
“I think people will realise that this is a life worth looking into, and I think they will be surprised by what he achieved and what he did in his 99 years,” Sir Nick said.
The Queen has determined that the Royal Family members will wear no military uniforms and that those attending will rather wear morning coats with medals or day dress.
When Sir. Nick was asked whether there was disappointment at that decision in military circles, he shared with BBC, “No I don’t think so at all. I think we would wish to do what the Royal Family wants to have done, and we absolutely respect that. And as people will see tomorrow and I hope they will tune in to watch it. It will be a very memorable moment and a celebration of his life, and I think it’s a tremendous celebration and people will enjoy watching.”
Prince Philip passed away at Windsor Castle on Friday 9 April aged 99. His body is presently resting in the private chapel at the castle.
As per Buckingham Palace, the ceremonial parts of the funeral are in line with the duke’s wishes.
The march to the chapel will be headed by the Band of the Grenadier Guards, followed by the Household Division and military service chiefs.
The duke’s four children – the Prince of Wales, Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex – and his grandsons, the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex, will follow behind the coffin.
The Queen will travel with a lady-in-waiting in the state Bentley at the end of the procession and enter the chapel through a side door.