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Prince Philip funeral Order of Service in full – no eulogy and subtle link to Diana

A touching song performed at Princess Diana’s funeral and the weddings of her children will be among those to ring out from St George’s Chapel tomorrow.

The Order of Service published ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday afternoon shows a string of musical pieces with deep personal connections to the royal.

It also reveals key themes that will sit at the heart of the service, including the Duke’s “unwavering loyalty” to the Queen and his “courage, fortitude and faith”.

No sermon will be delivered during the ceremonial royal service, in keeping with Philip’s wishes, and there will not be a eulogy.

His love of the sea and long association with the Royal Navy permeates the Order of Service, which has been released by Buckingham Palace ahead of Saturday’s proceedings.

Here is everything we know about the service ahead of the duke’s funeral at 3pm tomorrow…

Flowers left as tributes are pictured outside St George's Chapel
Flowers left as tributes are pictured outside St George’s Chapel

What music will be played?

Music chosen by Philip, who served in the navy, includes the hymn Eternal Father, Strong to Save – traditionally associated with seafarers and the maritime armed services.

Written in 1860 by William Whiting, it was inspired by the dangers of the sea described in Psalm 107.

Prince Philip

sang the extra verse at the funeral of the man who taught him to fly while he was a Royal Navy officer.

It was also sung at the funeral of Philip’s beloved uncle, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, who was murdered by the IRA in 1979, as well as at the departing services of George Bush Snr and John F Kennedy.

Rhosymedre by Vaughn Williams will also form a part of the deeply religious service.

Rhosymedre was performed at Princess Diana's funeral
Rhosymedre was performed at Princess Diana’s funeral

The sweeping and highly emotional rendering of a traditional British folk song was also played at Princess Diana’s funeral and the weddings of Prince Harry and Prince William.

A Jubilate which was written for St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, at Philip’s request and a psalm which he requested should be set to music and which was first sung in honour of his 75th birthday will also form part of the service.

Who will speak at the funeral?

The Quire in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle
The Quire in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle

No members of the royal family will read lessons or give readings and there is to be no eulogy.

This is in keeping with the Queen Mother’s funeral in 2002 when the delivery of readings was left to the clergy, and there was no eulogy then either.

No sermon will be delivered during the ceremonial royal service, in keeping with Philip’s wishes to get things done in a speedy, efficient manner.

His grandson the Duke of Sussex said as he paid tribute earlier in the week: “I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, ‘Oh do get on with it!”‘

David Conner, the Dean of Windsor, will pay tribute to Philip’s “kindness, humour and humanity”, and emphasise his loyalty to his wife.

“With grateful hearts, we remember the many ways in which his long life has been a blessing to us,” he will say of the duke, who died aged 99 last Friday.

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No members of the royal family will speak during the duke's funeral
No members of the royal family will speak during the duke’s funeral

“We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the Nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith.

“Our lives have been enriched through the challenges that he has set us, the encouragement that he has given us, his kindness, humour and humanity.”

The Blessing will be pronounced by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Meanwhile, the duke’s love of carriage-driving will be a poignant feature on the day, with his carriage, which he designed himself, and ponies making an appearance.

The Dean of Windsor will lead the service
The Dean of Windsor will lead the service

The polished dark green four-wheeled carriage, accompanied by two of Philip’s grooms, will stand in the Quadrangle of the castle as the duke’s coffin is carried past in a procession on a Land Rover hearse.

It was Philip’s most recent carriage, which he began using at the age of 91 for riding around Windsor and other royal estates, having had it built eight years ago.

With the carriage will be the duke’s two black Fell ponies – Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm.

How will the event unfold?

A tight timetable for the transportation of the duke's body will be followed
A tight timetable for the transportation of the duke’s body will be followed

Mourners will arrive and be conducted first to the Dean’s Cloister and then on to the Galilee Porch.

From there they will view the procession and await the arrival of Her Majesty The Queen, who will then be led to her seats along with others attending the event.

Everyone will be asked to stand when the coffin is removed from a Land Rover and carried to the west steps of the Chapel, where it will rest at 3pm for a one minute national silence before being carried inside.

While this is ongoing the four person choir of three choristers and one soprano will sing passages from the Bible accompanied by an organist.

The organist will perform Schmucke dich, o liebe Seele BWV 654 by Johann Sebastian Bach, Adagio espressivo (Sonata in A minor) by Sir William Harris, Salix (The Plymouth Suite) by Percy Whitlock, Berceuse by Louis Vierne and Rhosymedre by Vaugh Williams.

How proceedings will unfold
How proceedings will unfold

The Dean of Windsor will then begin the service in proper which is as follows:

Order of Service

The bidding (delivered by the Dean)

Eternal Father, strong to save (sung by the choir)

The first lesson (Ecclesiasticus 43. 11-26, delivered by the Dean)

The Jubilate (sung by the choir)

The second lesson (John 11. 21-27, delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury)

Psalm 104 (performed by the choir)

The Lesser Litany (performed by the choir)

Invitation to prayer (the responses)

The collect (delivered by the Dean)

The prayers (delivered by the Archbishop)

The anthem (performed by the choir)

The commendation (delivered by the Dean)

The styles and titles of Prince Philip (delivered by Garter Principal King of Arm)

A lament (performed by Pipe Major of The Royal Regiment of Scotland)

The Last Post (performed by the Buglers of the Royal Marines)

A period of silence

Reveille (performed by the State Trumpeters of the Household Cavalry)

Action Stations (performed by the Buglers of the Royal Marines)

The Blessing (delivered by the Archbishop)

The National Anthem (delivered by the choir)

The mourners leave the church while the organist performs Prelude and Fugue in C minor BWV 546 by Johann Sebastian Bach

The Guests

Due to coronavirus restrictions only 30 people will be able to attend the service, which will be televised on the BBC.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will watch the service on television and observe the minute’s silence from his country residence Chequers, in Buckinghamshire.

The PM is not attending to allow for as many royal family members as possible to join the congregation – limited to just 30 under Covid-19 rules.

The duke’s final send-off will be a royal funeral like no other, with coronavirus restrictions meaning the Queen must sit alone and socially distanced, with all guests wearing face masks and sitting two metres apart from those not in their household.

The songs will be performed by a choir of just three choristers and one soprano, with the congregation forbidden from singing.

Princes William and Harry will not walk side-by-side in the procession

Among those attending will be the Prince of Wales and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall, the Queen and Philip’s other children, their grandchildren including the Duke of Cambridge and Harry, three of Philip’s German relatives, three of the Queen’s cousins and Philip’s carriage driving companion Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

William and Harry, whose troubled relationship has been well documented, will not walk side by side in the funeral procession.

They will be separated by their cousin Peter Phillips as they walk in a line behind their grandfather’s coffin.

Heathrow Airport said no planes will land or take off for six minutes to coincide with the minute’s silence.



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