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Prince Philip’s scaled-down funeral will lack the royal magic touch

Royal funerals are a chance for the monarchy to reassert itself—and the public to gawp as well as mourn

By Piers Brendon  
The funeral of Princess Diana in 1997. Credit: BRIAN HARRIS / Alamy Stock Photo

The funeral of Princess Diana in 1997. Credit: BRIAN HARRIS / Alamy Stock Photo

The life of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, virtually straddled the century between Spanish flu and Covid-19. His official departure, coinciding with our pandemic, will be gravely affected by it. So will the monarchy itself. This is because the elaborate funeral arrangements which have marked the demise of major royal figures since the time of Queen Victoria will be drastically curtailed. 

The Duke wanted to be interred without fuss, and in ceremonial terms he is going to get his wish. The congregation at St George’s Chapel will be limited to 30 people and even laying flowers has been discouraged.…

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