Prince Philip

'A Lump In The Throat And A Tear' Ahead Of Prince Philip's Funeral

General Sir Patrick Sanders, Commander Strategic Command, says preparations for the Duke's funeral have been "incredibly moving".

A senior British Army officer has told Forces News "there's a lump in the throat and a tear" while preparing for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.

More than 730 members of the Armed Forces will participate in Prince Philip's funeral ceremony on Saturday, which will take place entirely at Windsor Castle.

Having taken part in the funeral rehearsals, General Sir Patrick Sanders, Commander Strategic Command, told Forces News the preparations have been "incredibly moving".

"You can't help but stand a little bit taller, you can't help but feel the hairs go up on the back of your neck and think of His Royal Highness," he said.

"There's a lump in the throat and a tear.

"We'll miss him."

Gen Sir Patrick said the military will "play a very obvious visual part" in the funeral ceremony.

This will include military street liners within the walls of Windsor Castle, military personnel flanking the funeral party and military bands present and he says he has "immense pride and a sense of real privilege" to be at the funeral.

"Prince Philip was Colonel Commandant to The Rifles for 68 years, he's a serving war veteran, he's someone that we have immense professional respect for," Gen Sir Patrick said.

"It matters, both to me personally and I think I can say for all of us in uniform at the funeral, an enormous amount to be able to see him off."

Prince Philip wearing bearskin as Colonel of Grenadier Guards at 2011 Trooping the Colour 110611 CREDIT MOD
Gen Sir Patrick Sanders said the loss of Prince Philip will be felt across all three military services (Picture: MOD).

Despite being considered a naval man due to his active career in the Navy, Philip held military titles across all three services.

This included a 68-year association with The Rifles, with Philip handing his role as Colonel in Chief of the regiment to the Duchess of Cornwall in July 2020.

"At one point the regiment was named after him, it was the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment," Gen Sir Patrick said.

"We have benefited enormously from his leadership, from his patronage and just from the simple direct interest that he's taken in generations of soldiers.

"We feel enormously proud and honoured that he has been associated with us for that long and we're very, very sad that he is no longer with us."

And Gen Sir Patrick said his loss will be felt across all three services.

"I think there's a lot in the fact that our values are shared… those decent values of dedication, of a lifetime of service, of courage and of straightforward dealing with people," he said.

"I think… all of us in the Armed Forces felt a very direct link to him and looked at him with such respect and with a sense of an exemplar, a hero, if you like, that we would want to follow."