Queen will bid a private farewell to husband Prince Philip before his coffin leaves Windsor Castle for funeral

THE Queen will bid a private farewell to Prince Philip before his coffin leaves Windsor Castle for his funeral.

The grieving monarch will say an intimate final goodbye to her husband of 73 years before his journey to St George's Chapel.

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She has been the "epitome of dignity" since the duke's death aged 99 last Friday, reports the Daily Mail.

And Her Majesty, 94, is said to be "in control" amid final preparations before the service.

Tonight she shared a candid photograph of herself and Philip on the Scottish Highlands, taken by Prince Edward's wife Sophie, the Countess of Wessex in 2003.

Philip’s send-off in St George’s Chapel has been scaled back by Covid but there will be no shortage of pomp and ceremony, Buckingham Palace revealed.

Colourful military rehearsals taking place around Windsor hinted at a monumental event befitting a man who served in the Navy and stood by the Queen for decades.

Courtiers have worked around the clock to ensure as many of the Duke’s wishes as possible are included.

Among them will be a touching Navy send-off before his coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault.

It comes as…

  • Prince Harry and William won't stand near each other at Philip's funeral on Saturday
  • The full guest list of 30 attendees was revealed
  • The Queen will sit alone after arriving in a Bentley with a Lady in Waiting
  • The pall bearers at Prince Philip's funeral will be members of the Royal Marines
  • Pregnant Meghan Markle will make 'private arrangements' to mark the funeral
  • A band of military personnel will walk in front of Prince Philip's coffin

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said yesterday: “While clearly the plans have been modified to take into account public health guidelines, the ceremonial aspects of the day and the funeral service itself are still very much in line with the Duke’s wishes.”

Palace officials yesterday released details of Saturday’s funeral — the result of an enormous amount of planning in the week since Philip’s death.

His coffin is currently at the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle.

On Saturday it will be covered by his personal standard along with his naval cap, sword and a wreath of flowers.

It will be moved to the Inner Hall at 11am by a bearer party from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The funeral starts at 2pm with prayer by the Dean of Windsor, David Conner.

Twenty minutes later, family members who are not in the procession party will be driven to St George’s Chapel.

At 2.27pm, as the Band of the Grenadier Guards plays in the castle quadrangle, the Duke’s specially adapted Land Rover Defender will appear.

Philip’s coffin will be laid on the back of the vehicle at 2.41pm by the bearer party.

At 2.44pm the Queen and her lady-in-waiting will leave the Sovereign’s Entrance at Windsor Castle in their Bentley as the National Anthem is played.

A minute later, a nine-strong family procession, led by Prince Charles and Princess Anne, will follow the coffin, joined by a personal protection officer, private secretary, two pages and two valets.

As the Queen’s Bentley reaches the rear of the procession it will pause briefly.

The forward part of the procession will then turn towards St George’s Chapel.

Once outside the West Steps, a bearer party made up of Royal Marines will lift the coffin from the Land Rover — as a Royal Navy piping band plays.

The coffin will be carried up the steps before halting on the second landing — with all members of the Royal Family then pausing with the nation for a minute’s silence.

Those not already wearing masks will then have to put one on before entering the chapel — in line with Covid regulations.

The bearer party will then carry the coffin to the Quire — the oldest part of the chapel — and place it on a platform called a catafalque.

Family members who have walked in the procession will take their places in the Quire alongside the other mourners.

The Palace said music requested by Philip in funeral plans have been specially-adapted to cope with Covid rules.

The 67-year-old countess – Penelope "Penny" Knatchbull – is Philip's carriage-driving companion.

Towards the end of the service, the Last Post will be sounded by Buglers of the Royal Marines from the west end of the nave.

The Dean will then give the commendation as the coffin is lowered into the Royal Vault — with a final goodbye from the Queen.

Prince Harry, 36, has been in self-isolation at Frogmore Cottage after flying in from the US.

A Palace spokesman said: “All those who have travelled internationally have followed the appropriate guidelines and will be attending the service in line with applicable guidelines travelling over for a funeral.”

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