PRINCE Philip’s final journey will be on the back of a modified Land Rover he helped design rather than a traditional gun carriage.
The Duke of Edinburgh will be ferried at walking pace for eight minutes on a route inside Windsor Castle grounds with other senior royals following behind on foot.
The Land Rover will be a modified Defender 130 Gun Bus that was commissioned in 2005, with two made in a “belt and braces” approach in case one breaks down.
They were signed off by the Duke “some years ago” but have been heavily adapted over the last 12 months because of Covid.
The service will be limited to just 30 royal guests, not including pall-bearers and religious leaders.
Those attending will have to keep to Covid rules on social distancing and wearing face masks.
The Queen, however, will be able to stand close to, and be comforted by, those in her personal bubble.
Brits have been urged to stay away because of Covid risks and instead watch at home on telly.
The occasion will not be a State Funeral, which are normally reserved for sovereigns, but a ceremonial royal funeral similar to the Queen Mother’s in 2002.
Both would normally see the coffin carried on a gun carriage.
The Duke will not be lying in state. His body currently rests in the private chapel at Windsor after his death on Friday, aged 99.
His coffin is covered with his Personal Standard.
FOLLOW ON FOOT
On Saturday, he will be moved to the castle’s state entrance by pall-bearers, including his private secretary, Archie Miller Bakewell, one of his protection officers, two of his pages and two of his valets.
His coffin will be transferred to the Land Rover and the procession will leave at 2.45pm.
It will be led by the Band of the Grenadier Guards, of which the Duke was Colonel for 42 years.
They will be followed by the Major General’s Party, and then the Service Chiefs, reflecting Prince Philip’s close links with the Forces.
The car will be flanked by pall-bearers from the Royal Marines, Regiments, Corps and Air Stations.
They will walk for eight minutes until the procession reaches St George’s Chapel at 2.53pm.
The route of the procession will be lined by representatives from the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Highlanders, 4th Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland and the Royal Air Force.
Guns will be fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery for each minute of the procession.
A Guard of Honour will receive the coffin with the National Anthem as it arrives at the chapel, where pall-bearers, this time from the Royal Marines, will lift it and take it up the West Steps before stopping on the second landing.
There will be a pause for a minute’s silence at 3pm before the coffin is met by the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s medals and decorations, together with his Field Marshal’s baton and Royal Air Force Wings, will be placed on cushions at the altar.
He will be interred in the Royal Vault after the service.
Buckingham Palace said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has required us to make significant adaptations to the original arrangements for His Royal Highness’s funeral.
“However, we are certain that this occasion will be no less fitting a farewell to His Royal Highness, marking his significant duty and service to the nation and the Commonwealth.
“Despite these necessary changes, they still very much reflect the personal wishes of the Duke.
“There is sadness the public will not be able to physically be part of events.
“But the funeral will be broadcast to enable as many people as possible to be part of the occasion, to mourn with us and celebrate a truly extraordinary life.”
One Buckingham Palace aide said he was on “tenterhooks” about the Land Rover, having never seen it.
It was worked on by Foley Specialist Vehicles, based in Harlow, Essex, after a 45-minute meeting with the Duke at Sandringham.
The firm typically modifies the vehicle for shooting parties but it was not clear whether the Duke had used the motor for sport.
A senior Buckingham Palace official said: “The Duke of Edinburgh had a hand many years ago in the design of these vehicles.”
Meanwhile, some Brits said last night they would defy the order to stay away from the funeral.
Jennifer Collinge, 71, who travelled to Windsor from Preston, Lancs, said: “People all over the country will turn out on the streets to pay their respects next week.”
Chef Simon Malthouse, 55, of Windsor, said he “wouldn’t miss the funeral for the world”.
2.40pm: The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin will be accompanied by the Dean of Windsor Right Rev David Conner and the Lord Chamberlain Baron Parker as it is moved to the State Entrance of Windsor Castle.
It will then be placed on to the Land Rover.
2.45pm: The procession will begin, led by the band of the Grenadier Guards, of which The Duke of Edinburgh was colonel for 42 years.
Minute guns will be fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery from the east lawn of Windsor Castle for the duration of the procession. The Curfew Tower bell will toll.
The Land Rover will be flanked by pall-bearers from the Royal Marines, the Army and the RAF.
Prince Charles and other royals will follow on behind by foot — arriving at the west steps of St George’s Chapel eight minutes later.
2.53pm: A guard of honour and band from The Rifles will receive the coffin with the National Anthem as the coffin enters the Horseshoe Cloister.
Royal Marines will lift the coffin and proceed up the west steps, halting on the second landing.
A piping party will pipe the Side — the Naval ceremony which usually welcomes dignitaries aboard ship.
3pm: A minute’s silence will be held before the service begins. Prince Philip will then be interred in the Royal Vault.
On the day of his funeral, the Duke’s coffin will be draped with his personal standard, a wreath of flowers and his naval cap and sword.