Duke of Edinburgh’s unique final wishes: Here’s what to expect in the heartbreaking aftermath of Prince Philip’s death

The royal steps to expect.
Loading the player...

It is with the deepest sadness that we learn of Prince Philip’s death, aged 99.

The Palace today confirmed the news in a statement, writing: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The statement continued: “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course.”

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Now, as the heartbreaking announcement reaches ears across the world, many are left wondering: What happens when Prince Philip dies?

Royal fans are mourning Prince Philip.


Since retiring from public life in 2017, Prince Philip made only a handful of appearances alongside his wife the Queen.


How does the public find out when Prince Philp dies?

When Prince Philip passed away, Buckingham Palace pinned a physical announcement on their gates, they also released a formal statement with media, as well as announcing the news on their social media channels.

The Duke’s passing came via an official statement from Buckingham Palace.


Royal mourning and flags at half mast

Eight days of official mourning will be observed by all staff at the palace, while the British Royal Family will be in mourning for two weeks and The Queen will be given up to a month to mourn her love.

Flags across the UK at major institutions and military establishments with a focus on naval flags given Prince Philip’s ties with the Royal Navy would be flown at half-mast.

Like with the passing of Princess Diana, the Royal Standard flag at Buckingham Palace (you see it when the Queen is in residence) would not be lowered to half-mast.

However, during Diana’s death there was such a public outcry over the flags that the Queen did break protocol and fly the Union Flag for the first time ever at half-mast from Buckingham palace.

Since Diana’s death, the Union Flag flies at half-mast for members of the Royal Family who have passed away.

Flags will be held at half mast to mark the passing of the Prince.


Prince Philip’s funeral and burial

Prince Philip is entitled to a state funeral, however it is believed that is not the Duke’s wishes.

In addition, given the current climate in the UK with COVID-19 causing widespread lockdown, there likely wouldn’t be a large public service.

That would likely suit the Duke just fine – his aides say that the Queen’s husband would prefer not to have the “fuss” of a lying-in-state or a full state funeral.

It’s expected that instead of Westminster Abbey, Prince Philip’s body will lie at St James’s Palace (which is where Princess Diana lay for several days before her funeral).

The public would not be allowed to view the body.

In line with his no-fuss desires, Prince Philip will be laid to rest in Frogmore Gardens, in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

This means he might not be buried with his wife, as many of Britain’s monarchs and consorts are laid to rest in Westminster Abbey and St George’s Chapel.

However as both of The Queen’s parents and younger sister are all buried at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, The Queen could break with tradition and be buried alongside her loved ones here.

How long will Queen Elizabeth mourn the death of her husband & when will she be required to return to work?

Her Majesty will be given up to a month to mourn her love.


In the case of the Duke dying before his wife, Queen Elizabeth is allowed an official mourning period of eight days.

All royal affairs will be put on hold during this time, out of respect for Her Majesty’s loss.

The Queen will be allowed a further 30 days to mourn her life partner, before being expected to make a full return to public life and duties.

For more on Prince Philip and his vibrant life, read the stories below

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has died aged 99

Prince Philip’s funeral plans are underway – here’s what we know so far

Remembering Prince Philip: Our favourite pictures of the beloved royal from his vibrant, spritely youth

He was “an alpha male in a beta role”, but according to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, the Duke of Edinburgh’s influence has been profound

Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip shared a beautiful love story

Related stories