Wednesday, May 12, 2021

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Prince Philip: The Queen returns to royal duties after Duke of Edinburgh’s death

The Queen has returned to royal duties four days after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.

The monarch hosted an audience with Earl Peel as he formally stood down as Lord Chamberlain.

The royals are observing two weeks of mourning but members of the family will continue "to undertake engagements appropriate to the circumstances", a royal official said.

Prince Andrew said at the weekend that the family "are rallying round to make sure that we’re there to support" the Queen.

Watch and follow live coverage of Prince Philip’s funeral service on Sky News from 12:30pm on Saturday

Earl Peel had overseen arrangements for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral – known as Operation Forth Bridge – before handing responsibility to his successor a week before his death.

During Tuesday’s ceremony at Windsor, the Queen accepted his insignia of office and wand.

The event was recorded in the Court Circular – a list of the events attended by the monarch and the royals.

Former MI5 spy chief Baron Parker is the new Lord Chamberlain and will be in overall charge of Saturday’s funeral, which takes place in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.

Coronavirus measures mean only 30 people will be allowed to attend. Around 800 people were set to be invited as part of planning that took place before the pandemic.

There is no confirmation yet on who will be invited, but Prince Harry is set to be there after flying in from America and immediately going into quarantine.

Under the funeral plans, the duke’s coffin will be carried to the chapel on a specially modified Land Rover, which he helped to design.

The Prince of Wales and members of the Royal Family will take part in the procession on foot, immediately behind the duke’s coffin, together with staff from Philip’s household.

Princes William and Harry paid their own tributes to their grandfather on Monday.

William said the duke’s "century of life was defined by service – to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family".

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Harry said he would be "remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke".

He added: "Like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end."

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