The Queen has conducted her first royal duty since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh on Friday 9 April. Just four days after the passing of her husband of 73 years, the monarch hosted a ceremony in which the Earl Peel formally stood down as Lord Chamberlain, whose office organises royal ceremonies.
The private event at Windsor Castle marked the retirement of Peel, the most senior official in the Queen's household. He most recently oversaw arrangements for Prince Philip's funeral, known as Operation Forth Bridge, which takes place on Saturday 17 April. He passed over his responsibilities to former MI5 spy chief Andrew Parker a week before the duke's death, reports the BBC.
The 30 mourners allowed at the funeral under the government's coronavirus rules will have to adhere to social distancing rules and must wear masks. Prince Philip, who famously hated fuss, had planned a royal ceremonial funeral, rather than a State funeral, giving him the same status as Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. His coffin will be transported to the ceremony in a Land Rover that he himself helped design.
Guests expected to join the Queen at the funeral are close senior members of the royal family only, including the Duke of Sussex, who has already arrived in the UK after flying over from his Californian home; the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Andrew and his children, Princess Eugenie and Beatrice, and Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Prince Philip "passed away peacefully" at Windsor Castle on Friday morning aged 99. He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.
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