Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband, died aged 99 this morning (April 9), and will likely be given a ceremonial – not a state – funeral.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh passed away “peacefully” on April 9, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
His death followed a recent stay in hospital, where he was operated on for an existing heart condition.
The country will now enter a national period of mourning expected to last around eight days, with Buckingham Palace expected to make further announcements shortly.
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Will there be a bank holiday for the funeral?
While it’s likely a number of news organisations will cover the funeral proceedings, there won’t be a bank holiday for the public.
When the monarch - i.e. the Queen - dies, her state funeral will be declared a bank holiday, while the Stock Exchange will also close.
The public can also expect a bank holiday for the state funeral of any future monarchs.
What is the national mourning period?
The country will now enter what’s known as a “national mourning period” which should be “observed by all”.
It is expected that this will last for eight days.
During a national mourning period, several things happen, including:
- Flags will be lowered to half-mast, with the exception of the Royal Standard flag flying above Buckingham Palace as this flag represents the monarchy and is never lowered.
- Members of Parliament will don black armbands on their left arms, and in the case of male members, will wear black ties.
- The ceremonial ‘mace’, used in royal ceremonies, will be draped in black or given a black bow.
- Local governments will be asked to give ‘careful thought’ to continuing official business.
A number of television programmes have already been cancelled as a mark of respect for the duke’s passing.
The Queen will enter her own mourning period, deciding whether the royal family should enter ‘court mourning’ - involving dressing in black and using black-edged writing paper.
The alternative opinion of shorter family mourning involves dressing in black, with the Queen determining how long this should last.
The royal family are likely to cancel upcoming social engagements, if any are in the calendar.
In 2002, family mourning for the Queen Mother lasted for a period of three weeks.
While the Queen is in a mourning period, she won’t make any public appearances and it’s likely she will take part in duties involving law-making.
Who will make tributes to the prince?
The Buckingham Palace website and social media channels have already paid tribute to the passing of Prince Philip.
It’s possible the Queen will record a televised speech to pay tribute to her late husband, as she did for her mother in 2002.
It’s expected the rest of the royal family will pay tribute to the prince in due course, with a number of world leaders, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, already expressing their condolences.
Usually, books of condolence would be opened at town halls around the country and at certain royal residences as well as at British embassies around the world.
However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s expected that people may be encouraged to use online condolence books to pay tribute.