Prince Philip – what to expect this weekend as UK mourns Duke of Edinburgh's death with gun salutes & flags at half mast

GUN salutes to mark the death of Prince Philip are expected later today after his peaceful passing at Windsor Castle on Friday.

Below is what to expect this weekend as the UK mourns the rich and long life of the Duke of Edinburgh.

? Read our live blog for the very latest news on Prince Philip's death

The funeral

Prince Philip is expected to be given a military funeral with a private service held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and the burial in Frogmore Gardens.

The date has yet to be confirmed but is due to be staged eight days after Prince Philip's death – meaning it could be held on April 17.

Sadly this is just four days before the Queen's 95th birthday on April 21.

Details of the televised funeral are expected to be announced this weekend with Palace aides considering how it should be handled during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Queen will have final say over the plans for the funeral of her husband of 73 years.

Prince Philip helped with drawing up the details for his funeral with his dying wish being that his funeral be small and "no-fuss".

In accordance with his wishes, there will be no official memorial service.

Pre-covid times, the duke's children and grandchildren would have walked behind his coffin in a procession similar to that of Princess Diana and the Queen Mother.

However, due to current covid restrictions this may no longer take place as it could draw a crowd.

The Lord Chamberlain, Baron Parker of Minsmere, will oversee the master plan and the days leading up to the funeral.

Only 30 people will be allowed to attend the duke's funeral, a bare few compared to the 800 guests that had been originally planned.

The Queen will be in charge of which members of the family are invited to the ceremony.

Prince Harry is poised to return for the funeral however it is currently unclear if Meghan will join him.

Gun salutes

Today gun salutes marking the Prince's death will take place across the UK, in Gibraltar and from warships at sea.

Saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday.

The gun salutes will take place in cities including London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, the Ministry of Defence said.

Royal Navy ships including the HMS Montrose and the HMS Diamond will fire the salute for the duke who served as a naval officer during World War II.

The salutes will be broadcast on TV and online and the public is encouraged to observe them at home.

Similar salutes were fired to mark the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965.

The New Zealand Army will also fire a 41-gun salute for the duke in Wellington on Sunday.

Today Australia's Parliament House marked the duke's death with a 41-gun salute.

The Australian Federation Guard fired 41 rounds from six M2A2 45mm Howitzer ceremonial guns, in 10-second intervals, to honour Philip.

All Commonwealth countries have been invited to fire a 41-gun salute, a statement from the Department of Defence said. 

Royal Family mourning

The Queen will be in charge of what members of the Royal Family will enter Court Mourning and how long it will last.

Court Mourning requires members to dress in black and use black-edged writing paper.

All social engagements would usually be cancelled, however, this is already the case due to the pandemic.

Some official engagements may still continue.

For the Queen Mother, Court Mourning lasted for three weeks while for the Queen's sister Princess Margaret, Court Mourning lasted seven days.

Flags have been flying at half-mast since at Buckingham Palace and at Windsor Castle since Philip's death was announced.

National Mourning

It is the Government that decides on the length of National Mourning which lasts for several days after the funeral.

There is expected to be a minute silence for the late duke on the day of his funeral.

On the morning of Philip's funeral, flags on Government buildings will fly at half-mast.

Muffled church bells will ring out across the country at noon today to mark the death of Prince Philip.

The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has just announced that after discussing it with Church of England leaders half-muffled tolling or chiming of a single bell 99 times will take place at noon today.

Royal Family tributes

The Queen may record a televised speech in tribute of her late husband as she did for her mother, the Queen Mother, in 2002.

The rest of the family may release their own statements in the coming days.

Online book of condolence

The Royal Family has set up a book of condolence for mourners to sign following Philip's death.

Anyone wishing to send messages to the Queen and her family can do so online, in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Royal Family tweeted: "An Online Book of Condolence is now available on the Royal website for those who wish to send a personal message of condolence."


Parliament has been recalled from its Easter recess to allow MPs to pay tribute to the duke.

The House of Commons is expected to meet from Monday at 2:30pm.

Downing Street and officials confirmed the move to reconvene a day earlier than scheduled.


TV stations scrapped their schedules on Friday to make way for tributes after the duke's death made headlines around the world.

The funeral is expected to be televised by the BBC and other broadcasters.

Coffin at rest

Traditionally the duke's coffin would have been moved to the Chapel Royal at St James's palace and remain there for several days, however, it remains at Windsor Castle.

The coffin is unlikely to be moved for fear that it may draw crowds.

The Queen Mother lay in state in Westminster Hall allowing hundreds of mourners to pay their respects in 2002.

Prince Philip insisted that he did not want this honour.

The Royal Family are expected to hold their own private vigil around the coffin.

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