Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Duke of Edinburgh mourning guidance

Last updated: 15 Apr 2021 - see all updates
Published: 10 Apr 2021

Guidance for the mourning period during the COVID-19 pandemic following the announcement from Buckingham Palace of the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

10 Apr 2021
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Duke of Edinburgh mourning guidance

Mourning period

Following the announcement from Buckingham Palace of the death of His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on 9 April, a period of National Mourning is now being observed, and will continue until the morning after the funeral.  The information below sets out guidance for the mourning period during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Scottish Government understands that the public will wish to pay their respects at this time but this must be done in accordance with restrictions in place to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to these restrictions, there will be minimal ceremonial activity with no opportunity for public gatherings. Media channels and the Scottish Government website will broadcast further reports and information as they become available.

The overriding consideration is that plans remain consistent with regulations and guidance on public gatherings and physical distancing.

Funeral arrangements and ceremonial activity

Details about the timing and arrangements for the private funeral of His Royal Highness have been published on the British Monarchy website at

To mark the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh on 9 April 2021, there will be a national one minute silence at 3pm on Saturday 17 April.

Businesses and organisations that remain open may wish to make arrangements for observing the national one-minute silence, which will be observed across the UK. 

Public services

Public Services are expected to continue throughout the mourning period in the same way that they are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travel information

Travel within Scotland for outdoor socialising, recreation and exercise will be allowed from Friday 16 April. People must continue to Stay Local for other purposes such as non-essential shopping, and public transport capacity will continue to be limited. Read more at: travel guidance

Non-emergency health care

Health Services in Scotland will continue to operate in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines. For information regarding health services in Scotland, please go to the Scottish Government website or contact your local NHS Board.

Emergency services

Emergency Services will continue to operate in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.

Condolence messages

Condolence messages have been conveyed to Her Majesty The Queen by the First Minister on behalf of the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament was recalled on 12 April to consider a Motion of Condolence following the death of The Duke of Edinburgh. Read the First Minister's statement.

Books of Condolence 

A Book of Condolence is available online at the Royal Household website:

Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, no physical Books of Condolence will be available.


Given the current COVID-19 travel restrictions, the public should not attempt to travel to Edinburgh or any other Royal location to pay their respects. There will be no opportunities for the public to lay flowers at any official location in Scotland.


Flags on Scottish Government Buildings will be flown at half-mast from the day of death to the day of the private funeral service, both days inclusive.  Other public and private bodies in Scotland may wish to take similar action at their own discretion and if doing so, ensure they continue to observe the current physical distancing measures.

When flags are flown at Half-mast, they are flown two-thirds of the way up the flagpole, with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flagpole. Flags should be flown 24 hours per day.

Gun salutes

A Death Gun Salute was fired from Edinburgh Castle, under the control of the Ministry of Defence, at midday on Saturday 10 April.

The national one minute silence on Saturday 17 April will be marked by the firing of Minute Guns from Edinburgh Castle and other Saluting Stations elsewhere in the UK. A single round will be fired at 15:00 and again at 15:01.

More information will be made available on the Ministry of Defence website and on the Royal website

Further information

For further information, please refer to and

First published: 10 Apr 2021 Last updated: 15 Apr 2021 -