The Queen may have to sit alone at Philip’s funeral and wear a mask under strict Covid rules for Saturday’s service
- Covid rules mean family members from different households must stay apart
- Those attending funerals must wear a mask when indoors under the guidelines
- Buckingham Palace say the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will be Covid compliant
- It means the Queen will likely not be allowed to sit with other members of family
- Prince Philip’s funeral is set to take place at Windsor Castle’s chapel on Saturday
The Queen may have wear a mask and sit apart from family members at her husband’s funeral due to strict Covid rules.
Tough Government guidelines aiming to prevent the spread of Covid mean anyone attending a funeral must wear a mask in indoor areas.
Funeral attendees must also stay at least two meters apart from those outside their household, except when in a support bubble.
However the Queen, 94, is not eligible to be in a support bubble, due to her living with her members of staff.
And with the royal household vowing to follow strict Covid guidelines, it means the Queen may sit alone or with members of staff during Saturday’s funeral for Prince Philip – who died on Friday aged 99.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told the Telegraph: ‘We have made it very clear that the service will be Covid compliant.’
The Queen may have wear a mask and sit apart from family members at her husband’s funeral due to strict Covid rules. Pictured: The Queen with Prince
One person the Queen may end up sitting with his the Duke’s private secretary, Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, who is part of HMS Bubble and is expected to attend the funeral
The service is set to take place at George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, with further details due to be released on Thursday.
Because other members of the royal family are staying in separate households, the Queen will not be permitted to sit within two meters of them.
One person the Queen may end up sitting with his the Duke’s private secretary, Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell.
According to the Telegraph, he is expected to be one of the 30 mourners allowed at the ceremony.
Because he lives within The Queen’s reduced household – known as ‘HMS Bubble’- he may be allowed to sit close to the monarch.
It comes as the Queen stoically returned to royal duties four days after the Duke’s death.
The monarch, 94, hosted a retirement ceremony for the former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel on Tuesday.
As touching tributes flooded in from across the nation for the Duke, including flowers left at residences such as Windsor and Buckingham Palace, the family announced a two-week period of royal mourning.
But, in a move that typifies the Queen’s deep sense of duty, she returned early to bid farewell to Earl Peel – a key royal aide who is retiring after 14 years of service.
Earl Peel was the Lord Chamberlain, which is the most senior officer role in the royal household. He had been overseeing arrangements for the duke’s funeral – known as Operation Forth Bridge.
The Queen (pictured in March) today stoically returned to royal duties four days after the death of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh , official documents have revealed
The Monarch hosted a retirement ceremony for former Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel (pictured with the Queen in 2013) on Tuesday
It comes after her husband Prince Philip (pictured with the Queen in June last year) passed away, aged 99, on Friday, at Windsor Castle
As touching tributes flooded in from across the nation for the Duke, including flowers left at residences such as Windsor and Buckingham Palace (pictured), the family announced a two-week period of royal mourning
While floral tributes stacked-up at the gates of Buckingham Palace, Britons also attended the gates of Sandringham House in Norfolk to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh
William Peel, great-great-grandson of founder of the modern Tory party
William Peel, 3rd Earl Peel, is a great-great-grandson of Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel, one of the founders of the modern Conservative party.
The businessman served as a hereditary Tory peer from 1973 to 2006 when, on appointment to Lord Chamberlain, he became a crossbench member of the Lords.
He attended Ampleforth College in Yorkshire before the University of Tours in France and the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester.
He was a member of the Prince’s Council, which advises the Duchy of Cornwall, from 1993 to 2006.
Lord Peel was also a member of the Nature Conservancy Council, a since dissolved Government conservation agency, from 1991 to 1996.
He married Veronica Thompson in 1973 and they had two children together before they divorced in 1987.
Two years later, Lord Peel married Charlotte Soames, daughter of Lord Soames and his wife, Mary Churchill, daughter of Sir Winston Churchill.
They have one child, Lady Antonia Peel, born in 1991.
Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, recently said his mother is bearing up stoically and the family have been rallying round to support her.
And Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, has pledged to uphold Philip’s wishes and continue to support the Queen and ‘get on with the job’.
It was announced at the weekend the monarchy and their households would observe two weeks of royal mourning, with members of the family ‘continuing to undertake engagements appropriate to the circumstances,’ a royal official said.
The Princess Royal, Prince Anne, took part in her first official event since the death of her father.
She joined, via video-link, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine’s Spring Conference in her role as the organisation’s patron.
The Earl Peel had overseen arrangements for the duke’s funeral before handing responsibility to his successor, former MI5 spy chief Baron Parker, just over a week before Philip died peacefully at Windsor Castle.
The Lord Chamberlain’s Office, led by the Queen’s Comptroller Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon, is tasked with the practical side of the day.
But in overall charge is Andrew Parker, Baron Parker of Minsmere, who took up his new role on April 1, following the Earl Peel’s retirement after more than 14 years in the post.
The Lord Chamberlain oversees all senior appointments in the household and is the channel of communication between the sovereign and the House of Lords.
The position also ensures co-ordination between Buckingham Palace and Clarence House.
During a ceremony held at Windsor Castle, the Queen accepted her former royal aide’s wand and insignia of office.
The official engagement was recorded in the Court Circular – a daily list of the events attended by the Queen and her family.
The Lord Chamberlain’s Office, led by the Queen’s Comptroller Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon, is tasked with the practical side of the day. But in overall charge is Andrew Parker (pictured), Baron Parker of Minsmere, who took up his new role on April 1, following the Earl Peel’s (pictured left) retirement after more than 14 years in the post
It said: ‘The Earl Peel had an audience of The Queen today, delivered up his Wand and Insignia of Office as Lord Chamberlain and the Badge of Chancellor of the Royal Victorian Order and took leave upon relinquishing his appointment as Lord Chamberlain, when Her Majesty invested him with the Royal Victorian Chain.’
The Queen ‘understands’ why pregnant Meghan Markle hasn’t flown from US for Prince Philip’s funeral
The Queen reportedly told pregnant Meghan Markle she ‘understands’ why the duchess has not flown from the US with Prince Harry to Britain to attend Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday.
Meghan, who lives in an £11million mansion in California, allegedly ‘wanted’ to attend the service for the Duke of Edinburgh but had been advised against making the 10-hour flight by her physician.
Her husband Harry is staying at Frogmore Cottage, the couple’s former home in the grounds of Windsor Castle, to quarantine for five days before attending the funeral at St George’s Chapel.
Amid claims in the US that the duchess skipped it to avoid being ‘centre of attention’, a source in California has insisted that the 94-year-old monarch told Meghan she ‘understands’ why she did not come.
Revealing she and Harry were ‘in contact with the Queen’ after Philip’s death on Friday, the source also told People magazine that it was ‘always a given that Harry would return to England for his grandfather’s passing’ and that Meghan had ‘expressed condolences’ when speaking with the grieving monarch.
Harry landed at London Heathrow Airport via a BA flight from LA at the weekend, making this journey his first back to Britain since his and Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Meghan, who accused the royal family of racism in the explosive TV interview, is pregnant with Harry’s second child – a daughter. She is remaining in the US with their one-year-old son Archie.
The Queen recently conferred a prestigious honour on the Earl Peel, making him a Permanent Lord in Waiting.
The Armed Forces are stepping up preparations for the duke’s funeral which will feature servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF – alongside top military brass.
Soldiers from the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) are reportedly working to prepare the special Land Rover – that the duke helped design – which will carry his coffin on Saturday.
Lieutenant General Paul Jaques, who served with REME, said about the duke, his unit’s former colonel-in-chief: ‘He was engaged with us and used to visit us probably once or twice every single year since 1969.
‘And he had an enormous passion for all things engineering. In his own words ‘If it wasn’t invented by God, it was invented by an engineer’.
It comes amid reports that the Queen may have to sit apart from family members at her husband’s funeral – due to strict Covid rules.
Current guidelines mean anyone attending a funeral must stay at least two meters apart from those outside their household, except when in a support bubble.
However the Queen is not eligible to be in a support bubble, because she technically does not live on her own – and is supported by a team of royal aides dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’.
As other members of the Royal Family are living in other royal residences, it means the Queen will likely have to sit at least two metres away from relatives at the funeral, according to the Telegraph.
Royal sources confirmed to the paper that the Queen would be alone at the funeral service, unless a member of the Windsor bubble joins her.
Meanwhile, the Queen will likely have to wear a mask at the funeral, while royals could be banned from singing hymns due to Covid restrictions, reports the Sun.
It comes after updated national guidance, issued by the Government, said communal singing should not go ahead at funerals to prevent the spread of Covid.
Choirs are still allowed, but members must be kept to as few as possible and should remain socially distanced.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said tonight: ‘We have made it very clear that the service will be Covid compliant.’
More details of the funeral, set to take place at George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday, are to be announced on Thursday.
It comes as Prince Harry earlier this week flew into London’s Heathrow Airport without his heavily-pregnant wife Meghan Markle ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral on his first visit to Britain since quitting royal duties and the couple’s bombshell Oprah interview.
Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London. Harry is back in London ahead of his grandfather’s funeral this Saturday
Queen carries on: Grieving monarch ‘will still conduct state opening of Parliament on May 11’
The Queen will not delay returning to work after her husband’s funeral and plans to attend the state opening of Parliament next month, MailOnline can reveal today.
Her Majesty will attend the ceremonial event in the House of Lords without her husband Prince Philip and will be supported by her son Prince Charles at Westminster on May 11 instead.
She has entered an eight-day period of mourning following the death of her husband at the age of 99 – and there a further official period of 30 days for the Royal Family, after which the Queen will make a full return to public life and duties.
The monarch has overseen every one of the constitutional set pieces since taking the throne in 1952, apart from in 1959 and 1963 when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew and Prince Edward respectively.
While the Duke of Edinburgh only missed the event once, 12 months before he retired in 2018, when he was hospitalised.
Today a well-placed Westminster source has said the Queen is still planning to conduct the state opening of Parliament on May 11. There had been speculation that she might not attend in person amid the pandemic and after the loss of Prince Philip. But one source said: ‘She is still coming, with Charles.’
It came as the Royal Family released more tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh, from officers at Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where the Queen’s husband was awarded the King’s Dirk for the best all-round cadet of the term, as well as a prize for the best cadet in college.
The Duke of Sussex was reportedly seen leaving his £11million California mansion on Saturday night in a black Cadillac Escalade to board an early-hours flight from LA, and disembarking a BA plane in chinos, a jacket and black face mask at the west London airport around 10 hours later at 1.15pm GMT on Sunday.
Harry was met by security off the plane and put into a black Range Rover, before he was reportedly driven to Kensington Palace.
The Sun has claimed he is quarantining at the Christopher Wren-designed Nottingham Cottage, where Harry proposed to Meghan Markle in 2017. It is just a few yards from the apartment where his brother William lives with his family.
The Sunday Times has claimed that he will stay at Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle, so he can be close to his grandmother.
After Megxit, Frogmore was handed to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, who had their first child in February, but they are understood to split their time between the cottage and Kensington Palace.
Harry can leave quarantine after five days rather than 10 if he provides a negative test under the Government’s Test to Release scheme.
However, he will be allowed to attend Philip’s funeral regardless, as official guidelines state those coming in from abroad can leave isolation ‘on compassionate grounds’.
It comes as family members paid touching tributes to the duke.
The Royal Family’s Twitter page shared a picture with the Queen and Prince Philip along with a moving quote from the monarch about her husband from a speech she made celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in 1997.
In the speech, looking back at their then 50 year marriage, she said: ‘He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.’
Grandchildren, Prince Harry and Prince William also paid tribute in statements released thirty minutes apart.
Prince William praised his grandfather’s lifetime of service to ‘Queen, country and Commonwealth’ before Harry declared: ‘He was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end’.
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