Prince Philip, like the Queen and many other royals have had plans for their funeral in place since the 1960s. Codenamed Operation Forth Bridge, the plans for the chain of events after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, were regularly updated to reflect his wishes.
'Not wanting a fuss'
Despite being the Crown’s longest serving consort, as a royal frequently known for ‘not wanting a fuss,’ Prince Philip insisted that he would not receive a state funeral or publically lie in state, honours typically reserved for the monarch and their spouse. Instead, he had chosen to receive a smaller royal ceremonial funeral to ensure he felt faithfully represented.
Based on reviews from Buckingham Palace staff, in consultation with the Queen and Prince Philip, plans were revised in accordance with current restrictions meaning that, following a military escort, just 30 mourners, selected from senior royals, attended the service. The funeral was broadcast to the nation and family members and close friends that could not attend were given login details to watch a livestream of the funeral without commentary.
The Duke took a refreshing view on planning ahead for later life, being the guiding force behind his funeral plans. He wanted to centre much of the end of life celebration on links to his naval heritage and was keen to reference his birth in Greece as a former Greek and Danish prince.
Planning his own day
Having served in World War II with distinction, and having enjoyed long and special associations with each of the armed forces, his wishes were for a military funeral conducted at St George’s Chapel, where he will rest in the Royal Vault. When the Queen dies, his remains will be moved to another chapel within St George’s where they will be buried next to each other, to spend eternity side-by-side.
we are deeply privileged to have enjoyed a very long and happy association with the Duke of Edinburgh over many decades.
Prince Philip painstakingly helped design a specially modified Land Rover over many years to carry him on his final journey. Its design began in 2003 with final adjustments being made 16 years later, in 2019. Upon his request, the Defender was painted Dark Bronze Green mirroring the colour of many military Land Rovers.
The Land Rover is thought to have meant a lot to the Prince, with his love for the British 4X4 manufacturer enduring for over 70 years. Thierry Bolloré, chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover said that "we are deeply privileged to have enjoyed a very long and happy association with the Duke of Edinburgh over many decades."
The incredible level of detail went down to including a careful selection of his 61 medals, decorations, awards and insignias placed on burgundy velvet and gold piped cushions.
With the knowledge that almost one in five people don’t know any of their loved one’s funeral wishes and less than 1% know all of their loved ones wishes, Prince Philip’s planning demonstrates that there can be great liberty in planning your own funeral to ensure it truly reflects your wishes.