U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not attend Prince Philip's funeral

By Heather Cichowski, with files from Zach Harper

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not attend Prince Philip's funeral

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not attend Prince Philip's funeral. The Duke of Edinburgh is set to receive a ceremonial royal funeral service on April 17, but the event has restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. With only 30 people able to attend, the prime minister has elected to give up his spot to another member of the Royal Family.

"The prime minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday," read the statement from Downing Street.

The Queen, Prince Philip, Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Amber Rudd during a ceremonial welcome for Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos and his wife at Horse Guards Parade in London on Nov. 1, 2016. Photo: © Stefan Wermuth - WPA Pool/Getty Images

When it was announced by the Royal Family that the Duke of Edinburgh had passed away at age 99 on April 9 at Windsor Castle, Boris paid his respects on social media and in a speech.

In his tweet, Boris applauded Philip for his service to his country and called him "above all, Her Majesty The Queen's loyal consort."

He ended his message, "We are a kingdom united in both grief and gratitude; grief at Prince Philip's passing, and gratitude for his decades of selfless service to the country."

The Conservative leader also delivered a three-minute speech outside of 10 Downing Street after hearing the news of the duke's passing.

Funeral plans for Prince Philip were announced on April 10. The Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest in a service on April 17 at 3 p.m. local time at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. The ceremony will be conducted by Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

MORE: Bhutan royals offer prayers and light 1,000 butterlamps in memory of Prince Philip

The guest list for the funeral has not been revealed at this time, but Prince Harry will fly back from the United States to attend the service. Duchess Meghan is expected not to attend because she is pregnant with her and Harry's second child, and her doctor has advised her against travelling at this time. The 39-year-old is due in the summer.

Related news