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Family affair for the duke’s funeral service

Only 30 people can attend funerals as guests during the current Covid restrictions.

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The royal family (Victoria Jones/PA)

The royal family (Victoria Jones/PA)

The royal family (Victoria Jones/PA)

The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will be a family affair attended by close relatives, with the guest list limited to just 30 because of coronavirus restrictions.

The Queen and Philip’s children and grandchildren will gather to pay their respects to the much-loved royal patriarch, who died on Friday at the age of 99.

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The Queen and her family at a service to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan in St Paul’s Cathedral in 2015 (David Bebber/The Times/PA)

The Queen and her family at a service to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan in St Paul’s Cathedral in 2015 (David Bebber/The Times/PA)

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The Queen and her family at a service to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan in St Paul’s Cathedral in 2015 (David Bebber/The Times/PA)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not be present to allow for as many family members as possible to be there amid the Covid-19 rules.

The duke’s long-standing close aide, his private secretary Brigadier Archie Miller Bakewell, will be one of the few, and possibly only, non-royals invited to attend the historic occasion inside St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on Saturday.

Brigadier Miller Bakewell had been the duke’s right-hand man for 11 years, taking on the role in 2010.

  1. The Queen
  2. The Prince of Wales
  3. The Duchess of Cornwall
  4. The Princess Royal
  5. Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence
  6. The Duke of York
  7. The Earl of Wessex
  8. The Countess of Wessex
  9. The Duke of Cambridge
  10. The Duchess of Cambridge
  11. The Duke of Sussex
  12. Princess Beatrice
  13. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
  14. Princess Eugenie
  15. Jack Brooksbank
  16. Lady Louise Windsor
  17. Viscount Severn
  18. Peter Phillips
  19. Zara Tindall
  20. Mike Tindall
  21. Princess Alexandra
  22. The Duke of Gloucester
  23. The Duchess of Gloucester
  24. The Duke of Kent
  25. The Duchess of Kent
  26. Prince Michael of Kent
  27. Princess Michael of Kent
  28. Earl of Snowdon
  29. Lady Sarah Chatto
  30. Brigadier Archie Miller Bakewell

It will be a royal funeral like no other, with the Queen and her family wearing face masks and socially distancing as they gather to say their final farewell.

The Queen had the difficult task of deciding who should attend the service in honour of her husband of 73 years.

It was originally planned long ago for 800 guests but had to take into account the strict limit on numbers during the pandemic.

The Queen’s four children and their spouses – the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex – will be present.

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The royal family in St George’s Chapel ahead of Harry and Meghan’s wedding (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The royal family in St George’s Chapel ahead of Harry and Meghan’s wedding (Jonathan Brady/PA)

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The royal family in St George’s Chapel ahead of Harry and Meghan’s wedding (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The Queen and Philip also had eight grandchildren: Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, the Duke of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn.

The Duchess of Cambridge, a future queen, will also attend.

The grandchildren’s other spouses – Mike Tindall, Jack Brooksbank and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi – may attend to support their wives, but, the Queen might, given they are not senior royals, decide to include other relatives or members of the household instead.

While Harry will be there, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant with her second child, will not.

She will remain in California after she was not given medical clearance by her doctor to travel.

Meghan is due to give birth in the summer and previously suffered a miscarriage.

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Harry will attend the funeral, but Meghan will not (Steve Parsons/PA)

Harry will attend the funeral, but Meghan will not (Steve Parsons/PA)

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Harry will attend the funeral, but Meghan will not (Steve Parsons/PA)

The decision comes in the wake of the bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview in which the Sussexes accused the royal family of racism and removes the potentially difficult prospect of Meghan appearing in public with the Windsors.

It will also be the first time Harry has appeared with his family since he quit as a senior working royal last year.

The duke is following Covid-19 protocols for travel to and from the UK, as well as during his time in the country.

It will also be the first time the Duke of York has attended a televised official royal event since he stepped down from royal duties over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The Queen is also likely to invite her cousins and their spouses: Princess Alexandra, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, who have offered loyal support and service over the years.

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The Queen with her niece Lady Sarah Chatto (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Queen with her niece Lady Sarah Chatto (Andrew Milligan/PA)

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The Queen with her niece Lady Sarah Chatto (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The Queen is close to the children of her late sister Princess Margaret – her nephew the Earl of Snowdon and niece Lady Sarah Chatto – and is likely to want them to be present as a source of comfort.

The Queen and Philip’s 10 great-grandchildren – Savannah and Isla Phillips; Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Cambridge; Mia, Lena and Lucas Tindall; Archie Mountbatten-Windsor; and August Brooksbank – are considered too young to attend the televised proceedings as all are aged 10 and under.

The 30 limit rule does not include clergy and the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Dean of Windsor will preside over the service.

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