LONDON — Prince Harry and his brother Prince William will not walk side-by-side in the ceremonial procession behind their grandfather Prince Philip’s coffin before his funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday, according to new details released by Buckingham Palace Thursday.
Their cousin Peter Phillips will walk between the brothers as they escort the coffin to St. George’s Chapel, Alexander de Montfort, the senior secretary to the Lord Chamberlain’s Office, told a media briefing.
It will be their first appearance in public together since Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, gave a bombshell interview to American media mogul Oprah Winfrey last month, when the couple made multiple revelations and allegations about their treatment by the royal family.
But de Montfort refused to comment when asked whether the positioning of William and Harry was an effort to minimize family tensions.
However, he did say that military “uniforms will not be worn,” at the funeral.
Protocol suggests that Harry, who undertook two tours of Afghanistan, can only wear a suit with medals at royal functions. He lost his honorary military titles after deciding to step back as a senior working royal.
British media reports had also suggested that Prince Andrew, who stepped down from royal duties over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2019, was considering wearing an admiral’s uniform. Buckingham Palace did not respond to NBC News’ request for comment on the issue.
De Montfort said, William and Harry will be joined in the ceremonial procession by Andrew, their father Prince Charles, and Philip’s other children, Princess Anne and Prince Edward, among a handful of other royals and officials.
The image of the brothers will likely stoke memories of 1997, when they somberly walked behind their mother, Princess Diana’s coffin, alongside their grandfather, who died at Windsor Castle on Friday at 99.
Prince Philip’s coffin will be carried on top of a specially adapted Land Rover, which he had a hand in designing, de Montfort said, adding that Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the royal family will follow in cars.
The funeral service will then be held at St George’s chapel, which was last seen on global screens when Harry and Meghan were married there in 2018.
Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, will not attend the funeral and has remained in California on the advice of her doctor, Buckingham Palace said over the weekend.
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The final order of service and seating plan will be published on Saturday, the Lord Chamberlain’s Office said, adding that the funeral would adhere to Covid-19 restrictions and be limited to 30 guests.
As a result, de Montfort said there will be a reduced choir and no congregational singing. Attendees will also don face masks as they enter the chapel for the religious service.
The service, expected to last 50 minutes, will include a blessing by the Archbishop of Canterbury and be led by the Dean of Windsor. A rendition of the national anthem will occur along with a sounding of “Action Stations” a bugle call, at the special request of the Duke of Edinburgh, a former marine.
Philip’s coffin will then be interred in the royal Vault in St George’s Chapel.
The British public have been urged to stay away from gathering outside royal residences due to coronavirus concerns, but a national minute of silence will mark the start of the service at 3 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET), ending with symbolic artillery fire.
However, crowds flocked to royal residences, including Buckingham Palace in central London and Windsor Castle about 25 miles away, to lay floral tributes and hand-written notes in the wake of Philip’s death last weekend.