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17 April 2021, 10:06 | Updated: 17 April 2021, 10:20
On Saturday, The Duke of Edinburgh will be memorialised and laid to rest at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Here’s the order of service, and all the music and hymns we’ll hear at Prince Philip’s funeral.
As funeral arrangements are set in place for Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, it appears many of the usual traditions, from hymn-singing to bugle-playing, will be a little different this year.
At his own request, the funeral will be a pared-down affair at the beautiful St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, the chosen place for many royal services.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, there will be no congregational hymn-singing. However, Buckingham Palace has revealed there will be plenty of beautiful music for reflection and thanksgiving, performed by a small choir and organist.
Here’s what to expect from Prince Philip’s funeral, from the music and performers, to how to watch.
A Royal ceremonial funeral, rather than a state funeral, will take place for the Duke of Edinburgh on Saturday 17 April at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
The coffin will leave Windsor Castle at 2.40pm, and the procession will begin at 2.45pm. Buckingham Palace has said the funeral will begin with a national minute’s silence at 3pm, as the coffin is brought into St George’s Chapel.
Guests will be limited to 30, with only family members and close friends expected to attend.
Members of the public will not be able to pay their respects in person, but the funeral will be televised.
At the Duke’s request, the memorial service will focus on remembering his military ties and charity patronages. His body will lie in a closed chapel throughout the service.
Before the service, we will hear the following melodies for reflection and remembrance.
During the service, an SATB choir comprising three lay clarks from St George’s Chapel choir and a soprano will sing a selection of hymns and choral arrangements, conducted by James Vivian and with organist Luke Bond.
Here’s all the music we’ll hear, as the nation pays its respects to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
The Buglers of the Royal Marines will then sound A Lament and The Last Post. After a moment of silence the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry will sound Reveille, before The Buglers of the Royal Marines sound The National Anthem.
After the service, organist Luke Bond, Assistant Director of Music at St George’s Chapel, will play Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C minor.
The Royal Family has confirmed that for the memorial, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh had handpicked all the music himself. The Duke’s choices are imbued with his long, proud legacy with the Royal Navy, and a deep love of Britain’s musical heritage.
‘Eternal Father, Strong to Save’, known as the naval hymn, was one deeply beloved by the Duke, who had a long and cherished relationship with the military. As a young man in 1940, he entered Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth and was commissioned the following year as a sub-lieutenant, before becoming Lieutenant and serving at sea in the Second World War.
The less familiar-sounding Russian Kontakion of the Departed, which the choir will perform towards the end of the service, is an ancient chant with origins in the Russian Orthodox liturgy. It expresses the sorrow of loss, but with a reminder of the Christian hope of everlasting life.
The funeral for the Duke of Edinburgh will be televised on national TV, at 3pm on Saturday 17 April.