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Westminster Abbey to toll bell 99 times at 6pm tonight for Prince Philip after royal's death weeks before 100th birthday

WESTMINISTER Abbey’s bell will toll 99 times at 6pm tonight for Prince Philip after the royal died weeks before his 100th birthday.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who had been married to the Queen for 73 years, passed away "peacefully" at Windsor Castle this morning.

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Now Westminster Abbey will toll its tenor bell once every 60 seconds, 99 times, from 6pm this evening in tribute to the duke.

In 1946 the duke Married the Queen in Westminster Abbey, and they celebrated anniversaries including their Silver, Golden and Diamond Wedding anniversaries with services there.

Prince Philip was also President and Chairman of the Westminster Abbey Trust, set up in 1973, to raise funds for the restoration of the exterior of the Abbey.

Following his death the Abbey will be open from Friday, 9th – Sunday, 11th April 2021 for private prayer and worship.

The Dean of Westminster said: “It is with profound sadness that we learn of the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who served HM The Queen and our nation with an unwavering commitment. 

“We remember, above all, a self-effacing sense of duty that has been a benchmark of moral purpose in public life for so many years. 

“We note with deep gratitude his contribution to the military, charities and young people. 

“We are also deeply thankful for his support of our Abbey church, including his work to raise funds for the restoration of the Abbey.”

Mourners have descended on Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to pay their respects to Prince Philip but are being dispersed by police.

Her Majesty will now begin eight days of mourning before he is buried in Frogmore Gardens at Windsor Castle.

Due to the pandemic he will not be given a state funeral and his body will lie at rest at Windsor Castle ahead of the service funeral in St George's Chapel.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the "extraordinary" Prince Philip, and said the whole country would mourn the passing of a "much-loved and highly respected public figure".

Tributes have poured in from around the world for the hardest-working member of the Royal Family after serving his country for more than seven decades.

The pandemic will have a major impact on the carefully laid funeral arrangements, made in consultation with the duke.

With lockdown restrictions still in place, the public elements of the final farewell will not be able to take place in their original form.

As the consort of the Queen, Prince Phillip is entitled to a state funeral.

But in keeping with the duke’s no-fuss public image, it is believed that he had asked not to be given a full state funeral.

Instead, it is thought that he requested what would fundamentally be a military funeral, with a private service held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor and burial in Frogmore Gardens.

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