On Tuesday, in a statement, the Palace said: “The Duke of Edinburgh remains at King Edward VII’s Hospital where he is receiving medical attention for an infection. He is comfortable and responding to treatment but is not expected to leave hospital for several days.”
Given the announcement, many were left with the worrying thought: What happens when Prince Philip dies?
Is Prince Philip out of the woods?
While the suggestion thus far from Buckingham Palace is that all is well with Philip, who is due to reach his 100th birthday this June, it’s not a surprise that many are concerned for his health.
It does, however, pay to take note of the Palace statement – where it affirms Philip is “comfortable and responding to treatment”.
It takes us back to 2018 where Philip underwent hip surgery – it was a tricky and uncertain time, but he got over it.
Prince Philip’s recovery and quality of life
While Philip isn’t getting any younger, exactly, there’s still absolutely no reason why he can’t make a solid recovery from his latest infection.
In the days following Prince Philips hip surgery back in 2018, Now To Love spoke to Hip and Knee Orthopaedic Surgeon, Professor Warwick Bruce, who mused, “He’s so fit! He stands up straight, he walks well. He should be fine – people very rarely die from joint replacements.”
Dr. Bruce added that once Prince Philip has recovered, he’ll be up and mobile in no time.
“He should be able to walk as far he wants to, swim, bike riding, and doubles tennis if he wishes.”
“Riding a horse may be out of the picture but he’d certainly be able to continue carriage-riding (a hobby he shares with his granddaughter Lady Louise).”
How will the public find out if Prince Philip dies?
When Prince Philip passes away, it is expected that the news will first be confirmed by British broadcaster the BBC and of course the Royal Family via their social media channels.
Should his death happen overnight, the announcement is likely to come at 8am London local time, which is 7pm Australian time.
Royal mourning and flags at half mast
Eight days of official mourning would be observed by all staff at the palace.
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.
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?
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.
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