South Tyneside honours Duke of Edinburgh on day of funeral
People in South Tyneside are paying their respects to the Duke of Edinburgh on the day of his funeral.
The ceremony is taking place at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle at 3pm today, Saturday, April 17, after a week of national mourning following Prince Philip’s death aged 99 on Friday, April 9.
Only 30 mourners can attend due to covid restrictions, and no large public events can take place to mark the sombre occasion.
But Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Norman Dick, said the Duke would be honoured in the borough despite the circumstances preventing any ceremony, and thoughts would be with the Queen.
“Today is a very sad day as His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is laid to rest,” he said.
“We were all saddened to hear of his passing and have shared in the many touching tributes from around the world, praising his outstanding dedication to public service, his steadfast support to Her Majesty The Queen and his commitment and devotion to all the wonderful causes with which he was associated.
“During the national period of mourning, the council has continued to fly the Union Flag at half-mast and light South Shields Town Hall in purple – the colour of royalty – and we will of course be observing today’s national silence.
“Like communities across the globe, the people of South Tyneside will be united in their thoughts to reflect on the remarkable life of His Royal Highness. Our thoughts are very much with The Queen and Royal Family at this very sad time.”
A national minute’s silence is taking place at 3pm in honour of the Duke.
Television coverage of the funeral in the UK starts at 12.30pm on Saturday on BBC One, the BBC News Channel and BBC iPlayer.
ITV's coverage will begin at 1.15pm and Sky One's funeral programme starts at 2.45pm BST, according to the Radio Times.
The Shields Gazette has been running an online book of condolence, and will feature an eight-page supplement in the paper on Monday, April 19, commemorating the funeral.
Jean Mulley, church warden at St Hilda’s in South Shields town centre, said Prince Philip will be remembered with special prayers at a mass at 10am on Saturday.
Places of worship are allowed to open during covid restrictions, so long as conditions are met.
She said: “We will pray for the repose of his soul and at the same time giving thanks for his long and wonderful life. We will also pray for her Majesty the Queen and all the Royal Family as they mourn the loss of their loved one. “
Ms Mulley said a candle of repose for the Prince burns in St Hilday’s Lady Chapel, and he had been remembered in a mass on Sunday, April 10.
“Last Sunday our morning Mass reflected on his passing , giving thanks for a long and wonderful life, for a life well spent in service to Her Majesty,” she said.
"The service concluded with the playing of the National Anthem and then the organist played Eternal Father strong to save - the seafarers hymn in acknowledgement of the Duke’s service to the Navy.”