A CLOSE female confidante of Prince Philip will be among the 30 guests attending the Duke’s funeral tomorrow.
Penelope Bradbourne, 67, also known as Countess Mountbatten of Burma, became one of Philip’s closest friends in later life after he decided to teach her carriage driving in the mid 1990s.
She is said to have been such such a trusted friend that in recent years she was nicknamed “And Also” by royal aides as she was invited to so many events at which Philip was due to appear, according to the Daily Mail.
Now she finds herself among the very few people allowed to attend his funeral after covid restrictions means just 30 people could attend.
Sarah Ferguson – ex wife of the Duke’s second son Prince Andrew – is among those for whom there is no space, although she is said to be supporting the Queen by going for daily walks with her at the moment.
In fact Penelope Knatchbull, once known as Lady Romsey and later Lady Brabourne, is the only person in attendance who’ll not be either a direct blood relation of the Duke or someone who has married a blood relation.
It is a sign of just how close Penny, as she is known to friends, and the Duke remained that she will join the Queen, Philip’s four children, eight grandchildren and their spouses at tomorrow’s service in Windsor.
Read our Prince Philip funeral live blog below for the latest updates…
QUEEN WILL ‘CARRY ON’ SERVING COUNTRY
The Queen will carry on serving the country after the death of her beloved husband as she stands by her vows to “devote her whole life” to the UK.
According to a lady-in-waiting, the Queen will stand by the vows she made at her Coronation – “my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service”.
“Obviously there will be a gap while she is getting over it, but she has faced the possibility in her own mind and the vows she made at the Coronation are still with her,” the lady-in-waiting told the Daily Mail.
“The real Elizabeth is a very humble person. Her secret, that she divulged to me a very long time ago, is acceptance.”
Princes William and Harry will be kept 12ft apart as they walk behind Prince Philip’s coffin on Saturday.
Seating plans for all 30 guests at the ceremony have yet to be revealed — but Harry and Wills will have to stick to Covid guidelines on maintaining a safe distance.
Buckingham Palace said the tricky arrangements have been agreed by all members of the family and represent Her Majesty’s wishes.
DUKE OF EDINBURGH BEGAN TEACHING COUNTESS MOUNTBATTEN CARRIAGE DRIVING IN 1994
The Duke of Edinburgh began teaching carriage-driving to Countess Mountbatten of Burma almost 30 years ago.
The 67-year-old countess, Penelope “Penny” Knatchbull, previously known as Lady Romsey and later Lady Brabourne, became one of Philip’s closest confidantes.
Philip first began teaching her the daredevil equestrian sport in 1994 and they remained firm friends for the rest of his life.
They were often pictured together at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, sometimes riding mini motorcycles around the carriage driving course.
PRINCE PHILIP’S PROJECT
The duke, who served with distinction in the Second World War and held special associations with all the Armed Forces, requested that the original Belize Green bodywork be switched to Dark Bronze Green, a colour used for many military Land Rovers.
He also designed the open top rear section where his coffin will rest, made to his exact specifications, including the rubber grips on silver metal pins known as the “stops” or “stoppers” which perform the crucial task of preventing the coffin from moving.
Details on the vehicle include matching green hubs, a black front grille, a single cab and no registration plates.
Eighteen years after the duke began the Land Rover project, the vehicle will finally be used for its intended function on Saturday.
The polished sturdy, utilitarian vehicle, with its heavy duty wheels and angular structure, stands as a showcase for the duke’s practical nature, and his passion for functional design and engineering.
The Defender was made at Land Rover’s factory in Solihull in 2003 and Philip oversaw the modifications throughout the intervening years.
MINUTE’S SILENCE AT 3PM ON SATURDAY
A national minute’s silence will take place at 3pm at the start of Prince Philip’s funeral.
The country will remain in national mourning until and including the day of the funeral.
THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S 16-YEAR PROJECT TO DESIGN HIS OWN LAND ROVER HEARSE
The Duke of Edinburgh’s project to custom build his own Land Rover hearse spanned 16 years, with Philip requesting a repaint in military green and designing the open top rear and special “stops” to secure his coffin in place.
Philip’s modified Land Rover Defender TD5 130 chassis cab vehicle has been unveiled for the first time, two days before his final farewell in St George’s Chapel.
The duke, who died aged 99 on Friday, made the final adjustments in 2019, the year he turned 98.
He first began the long-lasting venture to create his own bespoke hearse in collaboration with Land Rover in 2003, the year he turned 82.
WHO WILL ATTEND PRINCE PHILIP’S FUNERAL?
Here is the guest list:
1. The Queen
2. The Prince of Wales
3. The Duchess of Cornwall
4. The Duke of Cambridge
5. The Duchess of Cambridge
6. The Duke of Sussex
7. The Duke of York
8. Princess Beatrice
9. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi
10. Princess Eugenie
11. Jack Brooksbank
12. The Earl of Wessex
13. The Countess of Wessex
14. Lady Louise Windsor
15. Viscount Severn
16. The Princess Royal
17. Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence
18. Peter Phillips
19. Zara Phillips
20. Mike Tindall
21. Earl of Snowdon
22. Lady Sarah Chatto
23. Daniel Chatto
24. Duke of Gloucester
25. Duke of Kent
26. Princess Alexandra
27. Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden
28. Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse
29. Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
30. The Countess Mountbatten of Burma
FUNERAL GUESTS WILL WEAR FACE MASKS
Buckingham Palace has confirmed the Queen, like all the 30 guests invited to the service, will wear a face mask during the funeral which will last 50 minutes.
A palace spokesman said the monarch had to make “difficult decisions about who would be there” due to Covid restrictions limiting mourners.
Harry has spoken in the past about how he and William are on “different paths” and have good and bad days in their relationship.
Asked whether arrangements for the procession reflected the royal siblings’ relationship, a Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “This is a funeral, we’re not going to be drawn into those perceptions of drama, or anything like that, this is a funeral.
“The arrangements have been agreed, and they represent Her Majesty’s wishes, so we’re not going to say anything more on that.”
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