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Boris won’t attend Prince Philip’s funeral to spare seat for family

Only 30 people can attend funerals amid the coronavirus pandemic

Prime Minister Boris Johnson won’t attend Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday to spare a seat for a family member. The UK prime minister is normally present at royal funerals, but Mr Johnson offered to step down as there are limited numbers of mourners at funerals amid the coronavirus pandemic. A No 10 spokesperson said today: ‘As a result of the coronavirus regulations, only 30 people can attend the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. ‘The Prime Minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the Royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday.’

The Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest on Saturday, 17 April at 3pm, Buckingham Palace announced today. It’s understood a ‘firm of eight’ senior royals will be chosen to represent the family, and look certain to be there on the day. They are William and Kate, Prince Edward, the Countess of Wessex, the Prince of Wales and Camilla, The Queen herself and Princess Anne, according to The Daily Mail. Prince Harry will fly from the US to attend the service, returning for the first time since he stepped down as a senior royal. His wife Meghan Markle will miss the funeral after being advised by her doctor not to travel while pregnant.

A national minute’s silence will take place as the service gets underway. The ceremony will be socially distanced, with attendees expected to wear face masks. The funeral plans – which will take place after eight days of mourning – have been revised many times over the years, in consultation with the Queen and Philip himself. MORE: BORIS JOHNSON Boris Johnson pays tribute to ‘extraordinary life and work’ of Prince Philip Football, Cricket and Tennis chiefs apply pressure on government over return of fans The Circle: Natalya’s appearance ‘predicted’ during meeting with Boris Johnson in 2019 The duke’s coffin is currently lying in the private chapel of Windsor Castle. On Saturday morning, it will be moved in a small ceremonial procession from the state entrance of the castle to St George’s Chapel. It will then be draped with Philip’s personal standard, and decorated with a wreath of flowers and his Naval cap and sword.