Prince Philip will be laid to rest on modified Land Rover he helped design as part of funeral procession

THE DUKE of Edinburgh will be carried to his funeral on a specially-modified Land Rover he helped design.  

Prince Philip's funeral will be broadcast to the nation on TV next Saturday, with Charles leading a procession to the chapel at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace revealed today.

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The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin will be transported in a ceremonial procession to his funeral on the Land Rover he helped to design.

Philip was known for his practical skills and his enduring interest in design and engineering – and so this is a fitting tribute for his final journey.

The purpose-built Land Rover was specially modified to carry a coffin in a project that the Duke helped with many years ago.

A bearer party from the Grenadier Guards will place the coffin on the Land Rover at the state entrance of the castle.

The vehicle will then begin the eight-minute journey at walking pace to the west steps of the chapel.

The unusual hearse will be flanked by pallbearers drawn from the Duke's special relationships, including the Royal Marines.

And the funeral service will begin as the coffin is brought in. Just 30 people will be allowed to attend under the Covid laws.

The Land Rover's poignant role in the funeral proceedings always formed part of Operation Forth Bridge – the codename given to the plans following Philip's death. 

A senior Palace official said: "The Duke of Edinburgh had a hand many years ago in the design of these vehicles."

The official added that there were two Land Rovers for "belt and braces."

Officials say there will be a national minute's silence in the moments 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.

There will be no public procession as a result of the Covid restrictions, and the entire service will take place in the grounds of the castle. Philip's body is currently resting in Windsor's private chapel.

All of those attending the funeral – apart from the Queen – will be in the private procession to the chapel.

Only members of the Royal Family, plus the Duke's own private secretary, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Dean of Windsor and the pallbearers, will be permitted to enter along with the coffin.

Meanwhile, the Queen has approved Boris Johnson's recommendation that there be a period of national mourning, which began yesterday and will continue until April 17.

The Royal Family will observe two weeks of mourning – and union flags flying at half-mast at royal residences will remain at half-mast until the day after the funeral.

A palace spokesman said the royal family hoped the coming days would be seen as a chance to celebrate the duke's "remarkable life".

"While this is naturally a time of sadness and mourning for the Royal Family and the many others who knew or admired the Duke of Edinburgh, it is hoped that the coming days will also be seen as an opportunity to celebrate a remarkable life – remarkable both in terms of his vast contribution and lasting legacy," the spokesman said.

And while the funeral will be necessarily smaller than hoped for, the official said: "We are certain that the occasion will be no less fitting a farewell to His Royal Highness, marking his significant duty and service to the nation and the Commonwealth."

Boris Johnson will not attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral to allow for the attendance of as many family members as possible, it was confirmed tonight.

The Prime Minister won't be a part of the restricted group-of-30 allowed to attend the funeral in line with coronavirus restrictions, No 10 has said.

Along with the PM, Meghan Markle will not be attending the funeral, after doctors advised she shouldn't fly while heavily pregnant.

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