Until recently, Peel had been in charge of overseeing the arrangements for Philip’s funeral, known as Operation Forth Bridge.
Those responsibilities have been taken over by his successor, Andrew Parker, the former head of MI5, Britain’s domestic spy agency. Parker started in the new job April 1, a week before Philip, 99, died at Windsor Castle about 22 miles west of London.
The funeral, which will take place Saturday at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, has been scaled down in accordance with pandemic restrictions. The chapel can accommodate up to 800 guests, but a maximum of 30 will attend.
Prince Harry has returned to Britain from California for the funeral and is in quarantine at Frogmore Cottage, the residence where he and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, lived before they gave up their royal jobs.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the queen may have to sit alone during the funeral. Government rules state that those attending must stay at least two meters (about 6½ feet) apart from anyone not in their own household or support bubble. Mourners must also wear face coverings and are advised not to sing.
Buckingham Palace said the royal family will spend two weeks in mourning, during which time members of the family, wearing mourning bands, will “continue undertaking engagements appropriate to the circumstances.”
The queen has continued to carry out a limited number of “engagements,” as they are called, during the pandemic. She participated in several video calls over the past year, and in July she knighted Tom Moore, the World War II veteran who raised millions for the National Health Service by walking laps across his garden.
During the retirement ceremony Tuesday, Peel, the royal aide, handed over his wand and insignia of office, according to the official record of royal engagements, and received the Royal Victorian Chain award.
Commentators and royal experts have said that there is little chance of the queen stepping down as Britain’s head of state following Philip’s death. But they say that the queen, who turns 95 next week, will continue to rely on younger family members to take on more royal duties.
Princess Anne, the queen and Philip’s only daughter, attended an official event Wednesday on the Isle of Wight, where she met with members of the Royal Yacht Squadron. Her father was once admiral of the prestigious sailing club.
In an earlier statement, she paid tribute to her father, calling him “my teacher, my supporter and my critic.”
Princess Eugenie, one of Philip’s eight grandchildren, shared memories in an Instagram post Wednesday of her “dearest Grandpa.”
“I remember laughing at your jokes and asking about your spectacular life and service in the navy,” she wrote. “I remember incinerating the sausages and you swooping in to save the day. I remember your hands and your laugh and your favourite beer.”
She promised to look after “Granny” — the queen — for him.