Just over a week since his death, Prince Philip is being laid to rest today (April 17) at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, where eyes around the world will fall on the royal family, which will be together in rare public view after an especially turbulent period.
The funeral convenes 30 members of the royal family, including Prince William and Prince Harry, who traveled from California to the U.K. earlier this week for the occasion. The family reunion comes just over a month since Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s explosive CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey, though the Queen has done everything in her power to diffuse any awkwardness, including forgoing military uniforms for members of the royal family, thus allowing Prince Harry and her son, the scandalized Prince Andrew, to save face after stepping down from official duties.
More than 730 members of the armed forces are taking part in the funeral proceedings, in honor of the Duke of Edinburgh’s military background. In the hours leading up to the service, which begins at 3 p.m. local time, various branches of the armed forces have been honoring the royal with processions on the royal grounds, while the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery made its way along the Long Walk in Windsor earlier this afternoon.
The BBC has carved out five hours in its Saturday afternoon schedule for coverage of the funeral, led by presenter Huw Edwards. The corporation has been in the crosshairs over the last week after pulling regularly scheduled programming on April 9, when news of the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing first broke, to air blanket coverage of his death.
The coverage, which usurped the “MasterChef” finale and other popular primetime shows, led the BBC to set up a dedicated complaints page to deal with the deluge of disgruntled viewers. More than a staggering 109,000 complaints were made.
Nonetheless, the Beeb made no apologies for its coverage and revealed on Thursday that the duke’s funeral would receive five hours of air time on flagship channel BBC One. On BBC Two, regularly scheduled programming will continue for much of the day, though the funeral will air at 8 p.m.
Stay tuned for live coverage.
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