What happens when Prince Philip dies

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The world was plunged into uncertainty on Thursday morning when royal staff from across Britain were summoned to London for a “highly unusual” meeting at Buckingham Palace. reports citing Independent.

Speculation abounded over whether the 91-year-old Queen or her 95-year-old husband, Prince Philip, had died.

The Palace was quick to make clear that both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were in good health – but that Prince Philip would be taking a step back from public duties.

With both Royals now in their 90s, it wasn’t the first time concerns over their health have been raised.

The Guardian recently revealed the secret plan in place for when the Queen does eventually die, known as “London Bridge is Down”, but yesterday’s events have left many Britons wondering what happens when Prince Philip passes away.

1) How we’ll find out

In the event of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death, it is expected that the news will first be confirmed to the BBC.

If he dies overnight, the announcement is likely to come at 8am local time.

2) No-‘fuss’ funeral

While the Queen’s consort is entitled to a full state funeral, Prince Philip has previously insisted that he does not want the “fuss” of lying in state at Westminster Hall.

“The process for deciding when a state funeral should be held for a person other than the Sovereign is relatively unclear, not least since it happens so rarely and at long historical intervals,” a 2013 Parliamentary document states.

“There is no official process set out in public,” it adds.

The Times has previously reported that the Palace of Westminster is always on six-hour notice to prepare Westminster Hall for a lying-in-state, but authorities have reportedly been told this will not be necessary for Prince Philip.

It is thought that his body would lie at St James’s Palace instead, where Princess Diana lay for several days before her funeral in 1997.

The public would not be allowed to view the body, according to the Daily Beast.

The funeral is likely to be a low-key affair, with only Prince Philip’s family, friends and heads of state from Commonwealth countries attending a service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

3) Burial

The Duke of Edinburgh would then be buried in Frogmore Gardens, in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Most of Britain’s monarchs are buried in Westminster Abbey and St George’s Chapel, but both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are buried in a mausoleum in Frogmore Gardens.

Queen Victoria chose to buried there alongside her husband, who died 40 years before her on 14 December, 1961.

4) Period of mourning

After Prince Philip has died, if the Queen survives him, she will be expected to enter into an official period of mourning, which is believed to last eight days.

During that period, laws will not be given the Royal Assent and affairs of state will be put on pause out of respect.

5) Return to public duties

A further period of official Royal Mourning is expected to continue for 30 days, after which, it is believed, the Queen would make a full return to public duties.

It is unlikely that she will follow in the steps of Queen Victoria, who lived largely in isolation in Balmoral Castle in the four decades following her husband’s death until she passed away on 22 January, 1901.

2017.05.06 / 17:59
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