Queen heartbreak as singing hymns to be BANNED at Prince Philip’s funeral

Prince Philip funeral: Captain Tom Orchard discusses plans

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Buckingham Palace said a small choir of four people will be allowed to perform hymns chosen by the Duke of Edinburgh but will be located in the nave away from the seated guests. But strict coronavirus rules mean family members are forbidden from joining in the singing.

At its heart, it is still a family event. We are following the Covid guidelines

Buckingham Palace spokesman

The ceremonial royal funeral takes place tomorrow in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle but will be very different to previous services held for Royal Family members as a result of the pandemic.

Palace officials said the Queen faced “some very difficult” decisions as she selected the limited number of guests allowed to attend, and had tried to ensure all branches of the Duke’s family were there.

A congregation of 30 people will attend the funeral, the maximum number of guests allowed under Covid regulations.

They will be seated in The Quire at the chapel and will have to wear face masks.

Rules stipulate face coverings are required by law when attending indoor places of worship, crematoriums and burial ground chapels.

The funeral was originally planned long ago for 800 guests but had to take into account the strict limit on numbers during the pandemic.

The Queen will be accompanied to the funeral in the state Bentley by a lady-in-waiting but will sit alone in St George’s Chapel.

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As the Queen is staying at Windsor with around 20 staff members, dubbed HMS Bubble, she is unable to form a support bubble with another household.

She will sit by herself in The Quire with all mourners following Covid guidelines and remaining socially distanced.

Couples who are within one household, such as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, will be able to sit together.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “At its heart, it is still a family event.

“We are following the Covid guidelines.

“There was a limit on who could be invited as a guest and Her Majesty wanted to ensure that all branches of the Duke’s family were there, and had to make some very difficult decisions about who would be there.

“For those that unfortunately can’t be there, I’m sure they will be making their own private arrangements about how they commemorate the Duke, and indeed celebrate the Duke.”

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The funeral takes place at 3pm but the ceremonial elements will begin an hour earlier, including a procession which sets off at 2.45pm, followed by the arrival of a Land Rover carrying the coffin and a national minute’s silence.

There will be no public element to the funeral which will take place entirely on the grounds of the castle.

Original plans for military processions through London or Windsor have been scrapped and the Royal Family has urged the public not to gather at the castle or other royal residences.

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