The Royal Family may have to wear masks and practice social distancing at Prince Philip’s no-frills funeral.
The Duke of Edinburgh passed away in his sleep on Friday morning, leading to an outpouring of grief from around the world for a man who dedicated much of his life to helping the monarch in her service.
Next Saturday is when the funeral will be held – eight days after the 99-year-old’s death.
His wife the Queen, who was married to the Duke for 73 years, must now sign off on arrangements for her beloved husband’s funeral tomorrow after talks with Princes Charles and William.
And it is set to be far removed from what might be expected for a senior royal.
With the UK still in lockdown despite some rules being relaxed on Monday, the public elements of the funeral will not take place.
Current rules on funerals in England mean only a maximum of 30 people can attend and they must socially distance if they do not live together or share a support bubble.
The monarch, her children and other relatives therefore may have to wear face coverings and stay two metres away from one another if they are not from the same household.
In line with Philips’ wishes – and typical of the man who hated any fuss – he will not have a state funeral and there will be no lying-in-state – which would involve thousands of people queueing to view the coffin.
The stripped back affair is expected to be held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and will be televised, but organisers are said to be desperate to avoid anything that might attract mass gatherings.
Under the earlier arrangements, in place for years and codenamed Forth Bridge, thousands of people would have been expected to flock to London and Windsor for a military procession of Philip’s coffin.
Hundreds of members of the armed forces would have been called upon to line the streets in honour of the Duke, along with thousands of police officers, to control crowds and protect members of the Royal Family.
A memorial service – again not something the duke wanted – might be held at a later date after the nation has dealt with the pandemic.
It is likely there will be some military involvement to honour the duke’s service to the armed forces.
This will most likely be socially distanced and in the confines of Windsor Castle’s grounds.
Much will depend on guidance issued to the Royal Household from the Government, all of which has to be agreed by the Queen.
But the exact final arrangements will depend on how the UK is coping with the outbreak and the R number – the rate at which the virus spreads among the population.