UK officials urged people not to gather or lay flowers following the death of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, a sign of how longstanding traditions will have to be put aside due to the pandemic.
Well-wishers congregated outside Buckingham Palace and laid floral tributes on Friday, following the news of the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing at Windsor Castle, at the age of 99. “The Royal Family have the safety and wellbeing of the public in mind during these challenging times,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. “In accordance with public health advice, members of the public are asked to continue to follow the current government coronavirus guidelines, particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel.”
The British public has also been urged not to attempt to attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, which will take place following a period of national mourning — though the date has not been announced. PM Boris Johnson’s government is relaxing pandemic restrictions in England from Monday. But social-distancing rules will remain in place. The ceremony will also have to take into account pandemic rules, which limit the number of mourners able to attend to 30.
Meanwhile, Gun salutes echoed around the UK on Saturday as the military paid solemn tribute to Prince Philip.