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William and Harry will walk behind Prince Philip's casket at funeral

The scene should echo a poetic moment in royal family history, when the brothers famously walked with their grandfather at their mother's funeral.
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Prince Philip died at the age of 99 last week.Karwai Tang / WireImage
/ Source: TODAY

Prince William and Prince Harry will play a key role in their grandfather's funeral procession on Saturday.

The brothers will both serve as pallbearers flanking Prince Philip's casket, according to an announcement from Buckingham Palace on Thursday. They will not walk side by side; their cousin Peter Phillips, who is the son of William and Harry's aunt, Princess Anne, will walk between them, a royal official said.

As they enter the church service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the princes will stand behind the casket alongside their father, Prince Charles, and his siblings, Prince Edward, Prince Andrew and Anne.

William and Harry's involvement should serve as a poetic moment, since the late prince famously walked alongside his grandsons at their mother Princess Diana's funeral in 1997.

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Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles followed the coffin of Princess Diana in a procession from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey in 1997. Anwar Hussein / Getty Images

William, 38, and Harry, 36, released statements in recent days remembering their grandfather, who died on April 9 at 99. Harry, who shared a history of military service with his grandfather, recalled how he was funny, witty and charming.

"My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour," he said. "He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm — and also because you never knew what he might say next.

William called his grandfather "an extraordinary man."

"My grandfather’s century of life was defined by service — to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family," William said. "I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life — both through good times and the hardest days."

Philip's funeral will take place on Saturday at 3 p.m. at St. George's Chapel, with all ceremonial aspects taking place within the grounds of Windsor Castle, the palace said.

The Dean of Windsor, Bishop David Conner, will conduct the funeral service, which is expected to last 50 minutes, and Philip will be laid to rest in the Royal Vault in St. George's Chapel afterward. The late prince is currently lying at rest in the private chapel in Windsor Castle.

During the service, which will include 30 attendees, the congregation will wear masks and a small choir of four will sing music selected by Philip. In accordance with public health guidelines, the attendees will not sing.

David Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon whose mother was the queen's late sister, Princess Margaret, and Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Anne's husband, will be among the pallbearers.

The funeral will mark the first time William and Harry will be seen in public together since Harry and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, held a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in March.

Meghan, who is pregnant with the couple's second child, will not attend the funeral because she didn't receive clearance to travel from her physician.

Many other members of the royal family are also expected to be in attendance, including William's wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. Members of the public were encouraged to stay at home and follow the event on TV or radio.

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