Prince Philip: Full military rehearsals under way ahead of Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral

Full military rehearsals are under way ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral this weekend.

About 730 men and women, from all branches of the armed forces, will be involved in Saturday’s ceremony.

The funeral has been scaled down because of the COVID pandemic but the armed forces will be at the centre of events inside Windsor Castle.

The rehearsals are taking place at Pirbright Barracks in Surrey, where a parade ground has been marked out to represent the Quadrangle in Windsor Castle.

Units involved in Saturday’s funeral include the Grenadier Guards, Royal Gurkha Rifles, the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and the Band of the Royal Marines.

The Band of the Grenadier Guards will lead the procession, chosen because the Duke of Edinburgh was Colonel of the Regiment for 42 years.

Lt Col Guy Stone, the Brigade Major, said: "The whole team has been incredible getting us to the stage we’re at now, whether it’s through the testing, whether it’s through setting up COVID compliant accommodation, it’s been remarkable.

"Everyone is working so hard to make this absolutely right."

Captain Gemma Darrington, who has been part of the logistics team behind the scenes, said: "We had people in here as early as Saturday getting set up.

"I’ve been going through the layout of the campus: where do you put people, where do you feed people.

"It’s a case of making sure the people on parade have everything they need to perform their duty."

Sergeant Bugler Jamie Ritchie will perform The Last Post on Saturday. It will be a poignant moment.

"I remember him being incredibly relatable as a person," he told Sky News.

Watch and follow live coverage of Prince Philip’s funeral service on Sky News from 12.30pm on Saturday.

"His speech (to us) was something we could all relate to having just come back from operations and deployment. It was a short speech but it got a lot of laughs.

"There will be four of us playing The Last Post and we’ll make sure we give the best possible performance to make Prince Philip proud if he was there listening."

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