He could now be lying in state in Westminster Hall with many thousands filing past his coffin day and night, as they did before the last funeral of a royal consort, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, in 2002.
Instead, in line with his own ‘no fuss’ mantra, Prince Philip is at rest in the small private chapel at Windsor Castle, visited by just a handful of family and friends.
But at least we are all able to have a proper look at this charming, little-known royal sanctuary and also to hear about it from the man who designed it — the Duke himself.
At the same time, we can also hear his considered views on life and death, religion, royal funerals, royal marriages — and everything else from garden design to Middle East peace talks (not to mention his irritation with pop concerts, ‘bug hunters’, plans for a Windsor oil rig and certain modern architects) — in a unique, unseen television portrait of the man himself.
In one of the last (and most extensive) interviews he ever gave, the Duke was in irrepressible form as he also offered us what now amounts to a guide to all the key elements of Saturday’s funeral.
It is part of a fascinating new BBC film packed with engaging glimpses of the Duke, many of which have never been seen before.
The Duke: In His Own Words features no ‘experts’, no grainy newsreel clips — just pure, undiluted Prince Philip.
These interviews were originally filmed some years ago as part of an acclaimed BBC series on Windsor called The Queen’s Castle. However, only a portion of the original material was included in that series.
To mark his passing, the producer, Andy Goodsir, has gone back through this mine of original footage to produce an entirely new tribute programme.
Narrated by the BBC’s Mishal Husain, it focuses not on the castle but on the Duke himself. At which point, I must declare an interest, since I have written this programme and the interviewer was me.
However, I can honestly say that these were some of the most enjoyable interviews I can recall, for the simple reason that the Duke was so passionate about every aspect of what will now be his final resting place (and was also very funny when I occasionally veered off into ‘damn fool question’ territory). Take the private chapel, for example. After the devastating fire of 1992, which destroyed so much of this ancient castle, the Queen put the Duke in charge of restoration. Except, he wanted to make the castle even better than it was.
So, the glum Victorian kitchen conversion went back to its true medieval splendour.
The Duke showed me the remains of an old portcullis he had unearthed and then steered me through a side door.
‘When I got back after the fire, and was looking at all this destruction,’ he recalled, ‘it struck me that you could just fit a chapel into here. Because before that the chapel was also a passageway.’ Now, it is a separate place of peaceful contemplation, unseen by visitors.