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Queen Elizabeth has begun an eight-day period of mourning following the death of Prince Philip, her husband of 73 years. The Duke of Edinburgh passed away yesterday morning at the age of 99.
Buckingham Palace had yesterday released a statement that read, ‘His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course.’
Going by normal tradition the Queen will not carry out any royal duties during the next eight days, and not just that, affairs of state will also be put on hold. After the eight days have passed, the royal family will likely enter an additional period of official royal mourning for at least 30 days. The country however is expected to go into a 10-day period of mourning.
Yesterday, a framed plaque with the royal family’s statement announcing the Duke of Edinburgh’s death was placed outside of Buckingham Palace. It’s a longstanding tradition, but according to royal reporter Omid Scobie, the statement will be removed in the near future to prevent crowds from gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many mourners have already made their way to Buckingham Palace in London to pay their respects to the late Duke of Edinburgh, leaving bouquets of flowers outside.
The late Prince Philip, who suffered from health issues as of late, was involved in his own funeral plans prior to his death; the arrangements were made over several years, with the code name Operation Forth Bridge. The Duke of Edinburgh did not want a state funeral or a public lying-in and instead chose to have a royal ceremonial funeral.
The arrangements will have to be adapted due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, as it won’t be possible to have a large procession in London. Instead, the College of Arms confirmed today that Prince Philip’s funeral will take place at Windsor Castle and that members of the public will not be able to attend amid the COVID-19 crisis.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK