Prince Philip's funeral – The man who might walk Queen into Duke's service as she leans on 'HMS Bubble'
THE Queen could be accompanied by Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell at Prince Philip’s funeral.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s loyal private secretary, who is part of HMS Bubble, is expected to provide support to the monarch at Saturday’s service.
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Prince Philip passed away at Windsor Castle on Friday aged 99 – sparking an outpouring of grief.
Only 30 mourners will be able to go to Saturday's ceremony due to coronavirus restrictions – and Brigadier Bakewell is understood to be the only non-royal person able to attend.
Brigadier Bakewell is part of “HMS Bubble” at Windsor Castle – the monarch’s reduced household.
Therefore, he could be allowed to support the Queen during the ceremony at St George's Chapel, Windsor. This could mean walking her into the service or sitting near her.
Royal sources told the Telegraph last night the Queen would sit alone at the funeral service – unless a member of the Windsor bubble joins her. Other members of the family will sit two metres apart in keeping with social distancing rules.
Very little is known about Bakewell, who has kept himself out of the spotlight.
The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English in January 2019 said that an unnamed source had described him as “charming, old school, Establishment – and completely wet”.
According to Royal Central, he started working for Prince Philip in 2010 – and later became his most senior and trusted aide.
The brigadier represented the Duke at numerous official events when the Prince was unable to attend, while also managing his diary right up until his retirement from Royal duty in 2017.
Everyone in attendance at Saturday's funeral will have to wear face masks and will not be allowed to sing.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: "We have made it very clear that the service will be Covid-compliant."
Other royals who will likely have to sit two metres away from everyone else at the funeral include Prince Harry and his cousin Peter Phillips.
Couples like Prince Charles and wife Camilla will be allowed to sit together – but two metres away from others.
Philip's coffin will be carried from Windsor Castle in the back of an open-top Land Rover he helped develop with the Army.
The Sun reported this week how the Queen's closest aides have drawn around her in the wake of Prince Philip's death.
Her page Paul Whybrew, who appeared alongside Her Majesty in the James Bond sketch at the London 2012 games, and "humble" Angela Kelly, the Queen’s personal assistant and senior dresser, are among those offering companionship.
Another important figure is the monarch's head groom, Terry Pendry, with whom she rides regularly.
It comes after the Queen returned to royal duties yesterday – just four days after her husband passed away.
She hosted a ceremony as the Earl Peel formally stood down as Lord Chamberlain.
Returning to her official role so soon after her bereavement typifies the Queen's deep sense of duty and service.
Prince Andrew has said his mother is bearing up stoically and the family have been rallying round to support her.
Meanwhile, Prince William has pledged to uphold Philip's wishes and continue to support his grandmother and "get on with the job".
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