The eldest son and heir of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip followed directly behind his father's coffin, which was carried in a custom Land Rover designed by the late Duke

By Stephanie Petit
April 17, 2021 10:00 AM
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Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R), Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (L) and Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Prince Charles (alongside Princess Anne) leads the funeral procession for Prince Philip, followed by Prince Edward, Prince William, Peter Phillips and Prince Harry.
| Credit: ALASTAIR GRANT/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Charles has assumed a poignant role in Prince Philip's funeral: leading the procession behind his father's coffin.

The eldest son and heir of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip followed directly behind his father's coffin, which was carried in a custom Land Rover designed by Philip from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle to St. George's Chapel, where the late Duke will be interred.

Next to Charles was his sister Princess Anne, the Queen and Philip's second eldest child and only daughter.

Listen below to the episode of our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day for more on Prince Philip's funeral.

Their younger brother, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, made up the second line in the procession. They were followed by three of Prince Philip's grandsons: Prince William, Peter Phillips and Prince Harry.

Prince Philip funeral
The funeral of Prince Philip
| Credit: Adrian Dennis/WPA Pool/Getty Images

On Thursday, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall visited the gardens of Marlborough House in London to view flowers and messages of condolence that were left by members of the public outside Buckingham Palace for Prince Philip.

As Prince Charles, 72, took in the tributes to his father — including a bench decorated with handmade cards and artwork, a toy Land Rover (the duke's favorite British-made vehicle) and thousands of bouquets — he appeared emotional. Camilla, 73, also appeared to be wiping away tears.

Prince Charles and Camila
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall view public tributes to Prince Philip
| Credit: Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty
Prince Charles and Camila
Prince Charles
| Credit: Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty

In a video message released on Saturday, Charles said that he believed his father, who he called his "dear Papa," "would have been amazed" by the outpouring of love and support.

"My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that," the eldest child of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth said. "It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time."

Saturday's service will be known as a ceremonial royal funeral and not a state funeral, which is generally reserved for monarchs. The funeral plans take into account the country's COVID guidelines and are "much reduced in scale with no public access," a palace spokesman announced over the weekend.

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Queen Elizabeth had to make "some difficult decisions" regarding attendance at Prince Philip's funeral, which was limited to 30 people due to COVID-19 protocols.

"Ironically, it is probably how he would have liked," former palace spokeswoman Ailsa Anderson says in this week's issue. "No fuss, no bother. Right through his life, he never knew what all the fuss was about."