The British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson will not attend the funeral of Prince Felipe next Saturday, whose capacity will be limited by restrictions against the pandemic, to allow more members of the royal family to be present.
A spokesman for Downing Street, the official office of the Head of Government, indicated that Johnson will act “in the best interests of the royal household,” so “to accommodate as many family members as possible, he will not attend” the ceremony.
The limitations due to the pandemic in England restrict the number of people who can be present at funerals to 30, so the funerals that will take place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday the 17th will be on a reduced scale.
Before the ceremony, there will be no wake or public processions, in line with the wishes expressed by Elizabeth II’s husband, who died on Friday at the age of 99.
Buckingham Palace has announced that Prince Harry will be among the relatives present at the ceremony, but not his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan, that due to her pregnancy she has received medical advice not to travel from the United States.
This Sunday, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, will officiate a mass in memory of Prince Philip at Canterbury Cathedral (southeast England).
Until 7:00 GMT next Sunday the 18th, the day after the funeral, the United Kingdom will remain in a period of official mourning, in which the flags will fly at mid-hour, the presenters of the main British channels will wear black and Parliament will abstain from passing laws.
The Government also does not plan to make relevant announcements of new measures, while the ministers have suspended all their interviews with the media, as well as regular press conferences to report on measures against the coronavirus pandemic.
The United Kingdom paid this Saturday its first solemn tribute to the figure of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, with 41 rounds of cannon shots, one per minute, in different parts of the British geography.
From 12:00 local time (11:00 GMT) and up to 41 minutes later, the guns at military sites in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast or Gibraltar, as well as from the destroyers HMS Diamond and HMS Montrose, they fired shots that were offered live on televisions.
Despite the fact that dozens of people congregated near one of those places, such as the iconic Tower of London, the ceremony was carried out with great sobriety, after the Government had asked citizens to follow the salvos from home due to the pandemic.
Shortly before the start of the cannon shots, the Royal House disseminated through its social networks the extract of a 1997 speech by Elizabeth II (on the occasion of her golden anniversary) in which she explained the importance of the Duke of Edinburgh in his life, accompanied by a photo of both.
“He has simply been my strength and my support all these years and I, and his entire family and this and many other countries, we owe him more than he would ever acknowledge or what we are ever going to know,” he said.
(With information from EFE)