His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GCVO GBE

10 June 1921 - 9 April 2021


 Funeral Arrangements

It has been announced by Buckingham Palace that the funeral of His Royal Highness will take place in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, at 15:00 on Saturday 17 April. For all information regarding the Funeral and associated observances please consult www.royal.uk


National Mourning

A period of National Mourning has commenced and will last until the end of 17 April. Details of National Mourning are set out in guidance issued by the Government and available here.

Buckingham Palace has communicated The Queen's wish that the Royal Family observe two weeks of Royal Mourning starting on Friday 9 April. Royal Mourning will be observed by Members of the Royal Family and their Households, together with troops committed to Ceremonial Duties. During this period, Members of the Royal Family will continue undertaking engagements appropriate to the circumstances.

A national one-minute silence will be observed at 15:00 on the day of His Royal Highness’s funeral.


 Flag-Flying Instructions

All official flags, including the Union Flag, will be flown at half-mast from now until 08:00 on the day following the funeral. Flags may be flown overnight during this period but should remain at half-mast. Official flags in this instance are defined as Union Flags, the national flags of the home nations, ensigns and ships’ colours.

Any non-official flags flying or due to be flown should be taken down and replaced with a Union Flag flying at half-mast. Official flags scheduled to be flown should be flown as planned but at half-mast.

Flags will be flown at half-mast during this period, including on days which would otherwise be flag-flying days. The only exception is when The Queen is present within a building or its precincts, at which time the Royal Standard will be flown at full mast.

The flag flown should be clean and in a state of good repair. When flags are flown at half-mast they should first be raised to the top of the flagpole, and then lowered to a point two-thirds of the way up, with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flagpole. When lowering a flag, it should first be raised to the top and then lowered to the ground. Flagpoles which are more than 45 degrees from the vertical should fly no flag as half-masting is not possible.

The flying of flags on buildings of Her Majesty’s Government is determined by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and administered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), subject to the instructions of the Prime Minister, and the advice and guidance of Garter King of Arms.

This protocol will apply to Flag Stations (establishments listed in the Queen’s Regulations for the Army), naval and RAF establishments, at home and abroad; all British Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates; and on all buildings of Her Majesty’s Government, Parliament, agencies and devolved administrations throughout the United Kingdom.

Devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales will issue instructions for the flying of the Union Flag and others official flags on buildings in their estate and others as necessary. In Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Office will issue instructions for buildings covered by the Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000.

The Governments of the Commonwealth Realms, British Overseas Territories and Dependencies will be following the same flag protocol as set out above.

The instructions above are not binding on local authorities, public institutions, or others. They will need to take their own decisions as to flag-flying; but the above protocol may be useful for guidance.

The flying of flags in general is subject to planning laws, which state that flags may not be flown without planning consent, unless they fall into certain categories. For details of these categories please see http://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/resources/union-flag-faqs. It also comes under the general oversight and authority of the Earl Marshal, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; and Lord Lyon King of Arms, in Scotland.


The Titles of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh was granted the style and title of Royal Highness on 19 November 1947; on the next day, 20 November, he was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, of Greenwich in the County of London. These peerages are hereditary and on the death of His Royal Highness have passed to his eldest son, HRH The Prince of Wales. In the event of the Prince of Wales or any subsequent holder of these titles succeeding to the Crown, these titles and all others held will merge with the Crown.

His Royal Highness was made a Prince of the United Kingdom by Letters Patent of the present Queen dated 22 February 1957. A declaration of the same date communicated Her Majesty’s will and pleasure that her husband be known as His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh.

His Royal Highness’s style and titles will be declared at his funeral by Garter Principal King of Arms, in accordance with custom.


The Armorial Bearings of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Duke of Edinburgh arms4The Arms, Crest and Supporters were granted by a Royal Warrant of George VI dated 8 March 1948, with revisions to the Arms made by Royal Warrant dated 27 June 1949. [College of Arms references: I.81/206 and 254].

The blazon is as follows:

Arms: Quarterly: First Or semée of Hearts Gules three Lions passant in pale Azure ducally Crowned or. Second Azure a cross Argent; Third Argent two Pallets Sable; Fourth Argent upon a Rock Proper a Castle triple towered Sable masoned Argent windows port turret-caps and vanes Gules.

Crest: A plume of Ostrich Feathers alternately Sable and Argent issuant from a Ducal Coronet Or.

Mantled: Or and Ermine

Supporters: Dexter A Savage crowned with a chaplet of Oak Leaves girt about the loins with a Lion skin and supporting in the dexter hand a Club proper; Sinister A lion queue fourchée ducally Crowned Or and gorged with a Naval Coronet Azure.


His Royal Highness’s coronet (displayed over his shield) was specified as composed of crosses pattée and fleurs de lys.

Following the death of John Magufuli, President of Tanzania, special instructions have been received that as a mark of respect, UK Government Buildings should lower their Union Flags to half-mast today Thursday 18 March 2021 until until 2000 hours this evening. 

Any other UK national flags flown alongside the Union Flag when it is at half-mast should also be at half-mast. If a flag of a foreign nation is normally flown on the same stand as the Union Flag, it should be removed.

Local authorities are not bound by this request but may wish to follow it for guidance. Devolved administrations are responsible for issuing instructions for the flying of the Union Flag on buildings in their estate and others as necessary. Enquiries regarding the correct protocols for the flying of Union and other flags should be addressed to the Officer in Waiting at the College of Arms in the first instance.

Register to receive up-to-date advice from the College of Arms on official flag-flying days, instructions for flying flags at half-mast, and other relevant information, here.

 You can now register to receive up-to-date advice from the College of Arms on official flag-flying days, instructions for flying flags at half-mast, and other relevant information. Please visit this page to submit your details.

St Stephens House ACB patent compressedTHE SOCIETY OF ST STEPHEN’S HOUSE: A grant of Arms, Crest and Badge was made by Letters Patent of Garter, Clarenceux and Norroy and Ulster Kings of Arms dated 2 November 2020. The Letters Patent recite briefly this institution's history, founded in Oxford in 1876, and now a Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford. The blazon is as follows:

Arms: Per chevron Gules and Sable in chief two Cross Crosslets and in base a Celestial Crown Or.

Crest: Upon a Helm with a Wreath Or and Gules An Eagle rising wings displayed and inverted Or supporting with the dexter wing a Candlestick Gules therein a candle Argent enflamed proper.

Badge: A Cross crosslet Or surmounted by a Closed Book Gules leaved Argent and charged with a Key wards upwards Or.

Vincent 444College of Arms Ms Vincent 444: Nicholas Upton (died 1457) wrote a highly-regarded treatise on heraldry, knighthood and the art of war known as Libellus de Officio Militari. A copy of this, known as the Baddesworth version, was compiled in 1458. This College of Arms manuscript consists of a fine copy of the Baddesworth version, created by Robert Glover, Somerset Herald, in 1572. It subsequently belonged to Augustine Vincent, Windsor Herald (died 1626), and came with many other manuscripts collected and created by him, to the College of Arms, courtesy of a bequest by Ralph Sheldon of Beoley in Worcestershire.

This opening relates to an idealised account of the ceremony by which a knight was created; with copies of medieval illuminations showing the investiture with a collar, and with spurs. Coll Arm Ms Vincent 444 pp. 170-171.

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