Prince Philip's Family Just Asked The Public Not To Leave Flowers For Him. Here's Why

In light of COVID-19, the mourning process for Prince Philip will look far different from what the public may have expected. Traditionally, British citizens leave flowers outside of the home of the royal family member who dies. Mourners placed approximately 60 million flowers outside of Princess Diana's Kensington Palace home, for instance, when she died in 1997 (via Town and Country).


However, the royal family asked on Friday that mourners refrain from leaving flowers outside of Prince Philip's home, Buckingham Palace. They requested that the public mourn from afar and abide by COVID-19 safety guidelines, especially because Britain has lost 150,000 lives to the virus, according to The New York Times. The official statement from the palace reads, "During this time, the royal family ask that members of the public consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of The Duke of Edinburgh." 

The royal family asked mourners not to gather in crowds, and to sign a virtual Book of Condolence

In continuation of the official palace statement, the royal family also asked mourners not to gather in crowds, as it would violate government guidelines on COVID-19 safety protocol. "In accordance with public health advice, members of the public are asked to continue to follow the current Government guidance, not to gather in crowds, and not to visit Royal residences to pay their respects," the statement reads.


In addition, the royal family mentioned on Twitter that the public would not have a chance to sign the Book of Condolence, which is another royal tradition. However, the palace did launch an online Book of Condolence, which is available for anyone around the world to sign.

Unfortunately, much of the public ignored the royal family's requests and gathered in front of the palace to mourn the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. BBC reported that police were stationed outside of Buckingham Palace to reinforce social distancing as mourners laid flowers at the gates.