Live Blog11 Apr 2021, 0:49Updated: 11 Apr 2021, 0:49
PRINCE Philip died at the age of 99, Buckingham Palace announced yesterday - leaving the Queen in deep mourning over his passing.
The Queen announced the sad news at noon and revealed her "deep sorrow" at the passing of her "strength and stay".
Two weeks later, he was transferred to St Bart’s Hospital for further treatment for an infection and a heart condition. Buckingham Palace then announced on Tuesday, March 16 he had been released from hospital and was in "good spirits" and "comfortable".
Philip dedicated his life to the Queen and royal duty and died just months before his 100th birthday in June this year.
His death comes amid a turmoil-filled 12 months for the royals after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry quit the royal family.
Prince Philip remained one of the hardest working royals in history - since 1952 he attended 22,219 solo engagements and 637 overseas tours in a career marked by his famous gaffes, wit and wisdom.
He was also the patron or president of 992 charities and organisations throughout his life - and was a keen fan of art, sport, science and technology.
His funeral will be held at St George's Chapel - the same place where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry got married.
Read our Royal Family live blog below for the latest news and updates...
PRINCE ANDREW 'FIRST FAMILY MEMBER TO VISIT QUEEN'
Sources say Prince Andrew, who lives three miles from the Castle at Royal Lodge, was believed to be the first family member to be by the Queen’s side and is shouldering the burden of supporting her.
An insider said: “Andrew has always been the Queen’s favourite. Although she has trusted staff and she has come to depend on Andrew. He very much considers himself her rock now.”
DUKE'S DEATH 'WILL BRING FAMILY TOGETHER'
Royal author Penny Junor said: “My hope is that if something good can come out of the Duke’s death is that it brings the family together.”
“This is a golden opportunity. But there is undoubtedly a lot of hurt.”
“I’m sure the Queen will be pleased to see him as he is her grandchild first and foremost.”
“William and Harry had such a close relationship in the past and this could begin to heal the rift.”
“They must miss one another. I am sure there is a real desire to go back to square one. They have to be grown up, and maybe eat some humble pie.”
DUKE’S HEALTH WAS IMPROVING BEFORE HE PASSED
Philip was out of bed and told aides he was improving just 36 hours before he died, it emerged yesterday. Medics had warned that he was unlikely to survive for more than a week when he left hospital following a heart op last month.
A source said: “Nothing spoke more about the Duke than the way he battled bravely against all medical expectations. It displayed his sheer force of will.”
Another source said: “He felt that dying during the pandemic was a good time to go without there being any fanfare. He never wanted a fuss in life and was determined that would not happen when he died.”
Four nurses were caring for him round the clock at Windsor Castle.
On Wednesday, 22 days after leaving hospital, the Duke was dressed and out of bed. But his condition worsened and he died early on Friday. A royal insider said: “The Duke was adamant that he did want to die at a hospital, but at Windsor Castle where his mother was born.”
'HARRY WILL BE ATTENDING'
Prince Harry will fly 5,000 miles from the US to be at Windsor Castle next Saturday — where he will meet senior royals for the first time since “Megxit” and his Oprah Winfrey chat.
Harry last saw the royals at the Westminster Abbey Commonwealth Day service on March 9, 2020.
Yesterday Palace chiefs announced Philip’s ceremonial funeral will take place at 3pm on Saturday at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle and will be televised.
And a royal source confirmed: “Harry will be attending.”
Pregnant wife Meghan, 39, will not be flying on doctors’ advice. Their son Archie, 23 months, and none of Philip’s great-grandchildren will be attending.
HARRY AND WILLIAM TO BE REUNITED
Prince Harry and brother William will walk behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin at his funeral next Saturday.
Harry will fly 5,000 miles from the US to be at Windsor Castle next Saturday — where he will meet senior royals for the first time since “Megxit” and his Oprah Winfrey chat.
He will walk behind Philip’s coffin alongside brother William and dad Charles — just weeks after he claimed they were trapped inside the Royal Family.
But a Palace source insisted: “I’m sure Charles will be very happy to see his son. It’s been more than a year. The Prince is very much looking forward to seeing him.”
‘THE QUEEN HAS BEEN AMAZING’
Today, a tearful Countess of Wessex visited the Queen with her husband Prince Edward and said the monarch had been “amazing”.
The Earl of Wessex and Sophie were seen arriving at Windsor Castle in a blue Land Rover Discovery at 11am and spent around an hour with the Queen.
As she left the castle, the Countess of Wessex spoke to reporters from the car driven by her husband, saying: “The Queen has been amazing.”
Prince Andrew was also pictured leaving Windsor Castle this morning.
BBC FIGURES PLUNGE FOLLOWING PRINCE PHILIP COVERAGE
BBC Two's viewing figures plunged 64 per cent after they repeated Prince Philip coverage - with an online complaints form set up following the backlash.
After Buckingham Palace announced the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99 yesterday, the broadcaster scrapped all non-news programming scheduled as a mark of respect.
The BBC was forced to launch a dedicated online complaints form after buckling under the number of disgruntled viewers hitting out at the wall-to-wall coverage of Prince Philip's death.
But displeased viewers were quick to slam the move, with the BBC admitting it was receiving complaints "about too much TV coverage".
FUNERAL TO ‘REFLECT PERSONAL WISHES OF THE DUKE’
A Palace spokesman said: "This event will be much reduced in scale with no public access.
"In line with Government guidelines and public health measures, there will be no public processions and the duke's funeral will take place entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle.
"The plans have been given final approval by the Queen and reflect appropriately Government advice. Despite these necessary changes, they still very much reflect the personal wishes of the duke.
"Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognise the duke's life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth."
PRINCE WILLIAM PULLS OUT OF BAFTA SPEECH
Prince William has pulled out of his Bafta speech tonight in a sign of respect after the death of his grandfather Prince Philip.
The Duke of Cambridge was due to appear virtually at a ceremony this weekend to deliver a speech about the resilience of the film industry during the pandemic.
But after Prince Philip’s death yesterday, his grandson William decided he will no longer participate in the virtual event.
Following the news that the Duke of Cambridge has withdrawn from this weekend's Bafta awards ceremony, the organisation said in a statement: "In light of the Duke of Edinburgh's passing, the Duke of Cambridge will no longer be part of Bafta programming this weekend.”
"Our thoughts are with the royal family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy at this time."
DETAILS OF PRINCE PHILIP'S FUNERAL ANNOUNCED
THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S DEATH
Philip died at Windsor Castle at the age of 99 after saying he was "not looking forward to being 100".
He spent his final days enjoying the sunshine - and, true to form, insisting on taking care of himself rather than relying on aides.
He refused to wear his hearing aid and reportedly chastised staff who put a wheelchair in his private rooms.
It's understood he fell gravely ill on Thursday night. But any discussions about taking him back to hospital were reportedly dismissed by the Queen.
ROYAL ARMY TRIBUTE TO DUKE
Chief of the General Staff General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith has paid tribute to Prince Philip.
He said: "We deeply regret his passing, but we will remember him with respect, admiration and gratitude."
🗣️"We deeply regret his passing, but we will remember him with respect, admiration and gratitude."
PM TO MISS FUNERAL
Boris Johnson has said he will not go to Prince Philip's funeral, and instead will give up his seat to allow another family member to attend.
A statement from a Downing Street spokesman says: "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".
VANUATU TRIBE TO MARK DUKE’S DEATH WITH RITUAL
A tribe in the remote island nation of Vanuatu who hailed Prince Philip as a god will mark his death with ritual wailing and ceremonial dancing, an expert has said.
The villagers believed the Duke of Edinburgh to be a reincarnation of an ancient warrior who left the archipelago to fight a war, Sky News report.
The heavily spiritual tribe in Yaohnanen on the island of Tanna, Vanuatu, in the South Pacific Ocean, believed the leader of the fighters would return with a rich, white wife.
PRINCE CHARLES PAYS TRIBUTE ON BEHALF OF THE ROYAL FAMILY
The Prince of Wales pays tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh on behalf of The Royal Family.
ROYALS URGE PUBLIC TO 'STAY AWAY'
The grief-stricken Royal Family has urged people to stay away from Prince Philip's funeral and instead pay their respects in the "safest way possible" from home.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said: "While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the Royal Family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects.
"The family's wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.
"His Royal Highness's funeral will be broadcast to enable as many people as possible to be part of the occasion, to mourn with us and celebrate a truly extraordinary life."
MEGHAN 'MADE EVERY EFFORT' TO ATTEND FUNERAL
Meghan Markle made "every effort" to travel to the UK for Prince Philip's funeral but doctors told her NOT to fly, a Senior Palace Official and Buckingham Palace spokesman said.
The Duchess is heavily pregnant with her second child - and so will not be able to make it to the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral service at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle next Saturday.
It was revealed late this afternoon that Prince Harry will fly in from the US for the sombre ceremony, while Meghan, 39, stays at home.
PRINCE CHARLES' TRIBUTE TO HIS FATHER
"My father for I suppose the last 70 years has given the most remarkable, devoted service to the Queen, to my family, and to the country and also to the whole of the Commonwealth.”
"And as you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously - he was a much-loved and appreciated figure, and apart from anything else, I can imagine he'd be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world in the Commonwealth who also I think share our loss and our sorrow.
"And my dear papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that are being said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that - it will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time."
PRINCE CHARLES PAYS TRIBUTE TO HIS ‘DEAR PAPA’
Prince Charles has paid tribute to his “dear papa”, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Speaking from outside his country home Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, Prince Philip’s eldest child said his father was a “much-loved and appreciated figure”.
PRINCE PHILIP DESIGNED FUNERAL HEARSE
Touchingly - and perhaps not unexpectedly - the Duke himself had a hand in designing the vehicle that will carry him to the chapel.
The unusual hearse will be flanked by pallbearers drawn from the duke's special relationships - the Royal Marines, regiments, corps and air stations.
The duke's coffin will be transported from the castle to the chapel for the funeral in the specially-modified Land Rover.
It will be followed by the Prince of Wales and senior royals on foot, a senior Palace official said.
CHARLES TO LEAD PROCESSION
Prince Charles will lead the procession at his father’s funeral on Saturday, Buckingham Palace revealed today.
Officials say there will be a national minute's silence at 3pm before the service at St George's Chapel begins.
And, in line with the Duke's wishes, he will be laid to rest in a ceremonial - rather than state - funeral. Philip's body is currently resting in Windsor's private chapel.
PUBLIC NOT INVITED TO FUNERAL
Members of the public will not be allowed to attend Prince Philip’s funeral next Saturday.
Proceedings have been scaled down due to the pandemic, however a national minute’s silence will be held at 3pm before the funeral begins at St George’s Chapel.
The proceedings will be kept within the confines of Windsor Castle and the Duke of Edinburgh’s body will be carried to the West Steps in a Land Rover, which was specially designed by Philip himself.
HARRY TO ATTEND FUNERAL BUT MEGHAN WON'T
Meghan Markle has been told NOT to attend Prince Philip's funeral due to her pregnancy but her husband Prince Harry will be there.
The service for the Duke of Edinburgh will take place at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle next Saturday - the same place where Harry and Meghan wed in 2018.
However, it was revealed late this afternoon that although Harry will fly in from the US for the sombre ceremony, his wife will stay at home.
Meghan, 39, is currently pregnant and is believed to have taken advice from doctors about whether or not to make the 12-hour flight from California.
Read the full story here.
HOW OLD IS ST GEORGE'S CHAPEL?
The Duke of Edinburgh will get his dying wish of a small “no-fuss” military funeral, with just 30 mourners at the Windsor service, instead of a State funeral.
The ceremony that is thought it will take place on Saturday, April 17, 2021, will end with the Duke's body being taken to lie in the Royal Vault within St George’s chapel.
The gothic-style chapel is located in the lower ward of Windsor Castle.
St. George's castle chapel was originally founded in the 14th century by King Edward III, in 1475.
It was completed in 1511 and has been the location of many royal services, including weddings and burials.
MARQUEE ERECTED NEAR FROGMORE COTTAGE
A large white marquee has been erected near Frogmore Cottage.
The tent has been put up to house all the flowers left by well wishers following the death of Prince Philip.
Hundreds of people have been paying their respects to the Duke of Edinburgh despite official warnings to stay away due to the Covid pandemic.The tent has been put up near Frogmore Cottage