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Here's why Prince William and Prince Harry aren't walking side by side at Prince Philip's funeral

The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral will be held on Saturday

Matthew Moore

On Thursday, it was revealed that Prince William and Prince Harry would be walking alongside their cousin, Peter Phillips, at their grandfather's funeral on Saturday.

MORE: The royals who will be attending Prince Philip's funeral confirmed

There has been much speculation as to why the two brothers aren't walking side by side, but the reason is very simple. While much has been said about the siblings' rift, the decision for them not to walk next to each other has nothing to do with their strained relationship. 

Peter is the Queen and Prince Philip's first-born grandchild, therefore his prominent central position in the funeral procession makes perfect sense. Protocol dictates that the eldest royal stands in the middle, followed by the next eldest to his or her right, and the youngest to the left - hence why Peter will be flanked by William to his right and Harry to his left.

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At the funeral, the royal brothers and their cousin will walk in the same row behind Prince Edward and Prince Andrew, and ahead of Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and the Earl of Snowdon.

The other members of the processional party are Prince Charles, Princess Anne, a personal protection officer, a private secretary, two pages and two valets.

The procession will start at the state entrance of Windsor Castle and end at St George's Chapel, where the funeral will take place at 3pm with a minute's silence.

The service will be broadcast on BBC One and members of the public have been advised to watch the procession on television instead of travelling to Windsor.

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The service will take place at St George's Chapel

MORE: Who will accompany the Queen on her way to Prince Philip's funeral?

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A Buckingham Palace statement said: "While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of The Duke, the Royal Family ask that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other Royal Palaces to pay their respects."

It added: "The family's wish is very much that people continue to follow the Government guidelines to keep themselves and others safe. His Royal Highness's funeral will be broadcast to enable as many people as possible to be part of the occasion, to mourn with us and celebrate a truly extraordinary life."

The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin will be carried in a specially-modified Land Rover, which the royal had a part in designing. The commissioned vehicle is part of the original plans as approved by the late Prince.

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The brothers will walk alongside their cousin

During his life, it is understood that he played a role in commissioning two vehicles; one will be used in the service, while another is available as a back-up.

MORE: Why the Queen is unlikely to wear a veil to Prince Philip's funeral

The Queen has had to draw up a vastly reduced guest list for the funeral, which was originally meant to have 800 people, but can only have 30 under coronavirus guidelines.

Her four children, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, will all be attending.

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The guest list had to be reduced from an original 800

Charles, Anne and Edward's spouses, the Duchess of Cornwall, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence and the Countess of Wessex respectively, will also be in attendance.

Prince Philip's grandchildren will also attend the funeral and most of them will be joined by their spouses: the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, Zara and Mike Tindall, Peter Phillips, and Prince Philip's youngest grandchildren, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

Prince Harry's wife Meghan was advised not to travel to the UK by her doctor as she's in the later stages of her pregnancy. The Duchess is pregnant with the couple's baby girl and has remained in the US with their one-year-old son, Archie.

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