Prince Philip's coffin arrives for royal funeral as nation pays tribute

PRINCE Philip's coffin has arrived for the royal funeral as the nation pays tribute to the Duke.

His casket, adorned with a flag, flowers and a naval cap was carried by pallbearers.

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The coffin was placed on the green Land Rover, designed by the Duke, with a wreath placed on top. 

Pallbearers, made up of the Queen's company the Grenadier Guards, paused for a moment, as soldiers saluted the coffin.

The duke's coffin could be seen draped with his personal standard, which pays tribute to his birth heritage as a Prince of Greece and Denmark, his family name and his Edinburgh title.

The first three quarters show his lineage – with blue lions and red hearts on a yellow background representing Denmark, a white cross on blue representing Greece, and his anglicised family name Mountbatten represented with two black "pales" or stripes on white.

The fourth quarter contains the arms of the City of Edinburgh.

Philip was made the Duke of Edinburgh shortly before his wedding in 1947, by his future father-in-law George VI.

It comes as:

  • Harry and William will be reunited before the funeral for the first time in a year
  • Meghan Markle is going to watch the service on a live stream from the US
  • The funeral will be scaled-back due to Covid but the duke's personality is peppered throughout
  • The full route his coffin will take on his final journey has been revealed
  • A ring of steel has been placed around Windsor as cops search drains and comb the river

Earlier Prince William, Kate Middleton and Prince Charles arrived at Windsor Castle as they prepare to say a final farewell to Prince Philip.

The Duke of Edinburgh – Britain's longest-serving consort – is being laid to rest in a scaled-back, Covid-secure ceremony at 3pm honouring his service.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were pictured being driven to the castle this morning from Kensington Palace.

Kate was dressed all in black with a netted veil covering her face mask. She is also wearing a stunning pearl necklace belonging to the Queen and drop earrings.

The necklace was also worn by Princess Diana in a touching nod to her late mother-in-law.

Meanwhile William looked sombre in a black suit and black tie, teamed with a face mask.

His dad Prince Charles was pictured in a Tesla arriving at Windsor Castle with wife Camilla, followd by his younger brother Prince Andrew.

Princess Beatrice and husband Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi have also been driven to meet with the family ahead of the funeral.

The proceedings started at 11am today when his coffin was moved from the private chapel to the Inner Hall of Windsor Castle.

Philip's casket is covered with his personal standard along with his sword, naval cap and a wreath of flowers.

The coffin was moved by the Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, where Philip was a colonel for 42 years.

From there, Philip will be placed in the modified military green Land Rover he spent 16 years adapting to take him on his final journey.

A band played I Vow to Thee my Country as the Land Rover was driven through the Quadrangle to the State Entrance of the castle.

His coffin will be given a royal salute and met by members of the royal family as it is carried to the hearse.

At 2.44pm, the national anthem will then ring out as the Queen – joined by a Lady-in-Waiting – is taken in a Bentley to St George's Chapel.

She is expected to be sitting alone during the service but will pause at his coffin to bid her beloved husband of 73 years farewell as he is laid to rest.

At 2.45pm, the Band of the Grenadier Guards, followed by the Major General commanding the Household Division, will then lead the procession.

Different groups will then follow the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin through the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Philip's children, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Prince Charles will form one group.

Prince William and Harry have been separated during the eight-minute procession by their cousin Peter Phillips at the request of the Queen.

There had been speculation the brothers would be stood shoulder-to-shoulder as they followed their grandad's coffin.

All eyes will be on Harry and Wills, who will come face-to-face for the first time since the former left the UK for a new life in California.

A national minute's silence will take place at 3pm before the 50-minute service honouring Philip's 70-plus years of duty to the Queen and country begins.

Buglers from the Royal Marines will sound Action Stations to reflect Philip's life-long association with the Royal Navy.

The song is played on a warship to signal all hands should go to battle stations and is sometimes featured at the funerals of naval men.

Philip's funeral has been peppered with touching nods to his military service.

There will be a touching Navy send-off before his coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault.

Music chosen by the duke includes the hymn "Eternal Father, Strong to Save" – traditionally associated with seafarers and the maritime armed services.

But none of the Royal Family will wear military uniforms and instead will don morning coat with medals or day dress after fears Prince Harry would be the only male senior royal dressed differently.

The event will be different to any other royal funeral after Covid made the family strip back all tradition.

Just 30 mourners will be in attendance to honour Britain's longest-serving consort.

Among them are his four children and all his grandchildren and their spouses – including William, Harry, Eugenie and Beatrice.

Three of Philip's German relatives – Bernhard, the Hereditary Prince of Baden; Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse; and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg – are among the attendees.

The trio are great-nephews and a cousin of Philip – with the duke making it clear he wanted his "blood" family to be included in his funeral arrangements.

The stripped back guestlist means a couple of mourners expected to be included have been left off.

This includes Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the Duchess of Gloucester and Philip's private secretary Archie Miller-Bakewell.

Meghan Markle is also not attending as she is pregnant and none of Philip's ten great-grandchildren will be there as they are too young.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen faced "some very difficult" decisions as she selected the 30 guests from the original 800 mourners.

Under further Covid rules, all those entering the chapel will wear a face mask and all members of the Royal Family will be seated two metres apart.

But the funeral will still follow Prince Philip's wishes – and hail his "courage, fortitude and faith".

The Dean of Windsor, in the Bidding, will also pay tribute to Philip's "kindness, humour and humanity."

"With grateful hearts, we remember the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us," he will say of Philip, who died aged 99 last Friday.

"We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the Nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith.

"Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humour and humanity."

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