Members of the Household Division practice at Pirbright Barracks ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral (Picture: MOD).
Prince Philip

Prince Philip's Funeral: What Was The Military's Role?

The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral took place at Windsor Castle.

Members of the Household Division practice at Pirbright Barracks ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral (Picture: MOD).

More than 730 members of the Armed Forces took part in the funeral ceremony for the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip's funeral took place entirely at Windsor Castle, on 17 April.

Because of coronavirus restrictions, only 30 people, in addition to the clergy, were allowed to attend

However, the Armed Forces played a key role during the ceremonial aspect of the funeral, showing the Duke's military affiliations.

All three services were involved in the funeral.

A Bearer Party found by The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, moved Prince Philip's coffin from the Private Chapel to the Inner Hall at Windsor Castle in the morning.

By the early afternoon, the Service Detachments were in position in the castle's Quadrangle.

They included:

  • Royal Navy
  • Royal Marines
  • Band of the Royal Marines
  • Royal Fleet Auxiliary
  • The Queen's Royal Hussars
  • The Grenadier Guards
  • The Coldstream Guards
  • The Welsh Guards
  • The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland
  • Royal Gurkha Rifles
  • The Rifles
  • REME
  • Intelligence Corps
  • Royal Air Forces
  • Guidon, Colour and Truncheon Parties

The Household Cavalry and the Foot Guards were also present at the Quadrangle.

The bands on the Quadrangle played for just over 10 minutes.

Members of the Household Division march during the rehearsals for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral (Picture: MOD).
More than 730 military personnel are set to take part in the ceremonial funeral for the Duke of Edinburgh (Picture: MOD).

The Bearer Party found by The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, moved the coffin from the Inner Hall to the State Entrance.

A walking procession departed the State Entrance, as the Service Detachments, the Service Chiefs, the pall bearers, the Major General Commanding the Household Division and his staff gave a royal salute.

The Bearer Party also oversaw the placing of the coffin on the Land Rover.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired minute guns for the duration of the procession from the East Lawn.

The Windsor Castle Guard gave a royal salute as the coffin passed on the parade ground, though the drummer did not sound.

The Band of the Grenadier Guards stopped playing and marched through into Denton's Commons as the procession approached Horseshoe Cloister.

Meanwhile, the Rifles Guard of Honour in Horseshoe Cloister gave a royal salute.

The Service Chiefs, the Major General Commanding Household Division and his staff halted on the north side of the West Steps and turned to face the coffin.

A Royal Navy Piping Party was be in position on the south side of the West Steps of St George's Chapel.

Once the Land Rover became stationary, they piped the 'Still'.

A different Bearer Party, this time found by the Royal Marines, lifted the coffin from the Land Rover.

As the pall bearers took positions, the Piping Party piped the 'Side'.

The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, positioned on the East Lawn, fired a gun to signal the beginning and end of the national minute's silence.

Personnel stand on parade during rehearsals for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral (Picture: MOD).
Personnel from the British Army, Royal Navy and RAF have been preparing for Saturday's event (Picture: MOD).

Once the doors to St George's Chapel had closed behind the coffin, the Royal Navy Piping Party piped the 'Carry On'.

The Land Rover, Service Chiefs, Realm Defence Advisers, bodyguards, Military Knights of Windsor, along with representatives of Service Detachments, dispersed in silence for the duration of the funeral.

Inside the chapel, a Pipe Major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland played a lament.

Buglers of the Royal Marines sounded the 'Last Post'.

After a period of silence, the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry played the Reveille and the buglers of the Royal Marines sounded 'Action Station' – a specific request of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Cover image: All three services have been rehearsing ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral service (Picture: MOD).