Boris Johnson will not go to Prince Philip’s funeral, and will instead give up his seat to allow another family member to attend.
It comes after Buckingham Palace revealed that only 30 people would be attending the duke’s funeral, in an effort to follow COVID-compliant protocols.
A statement from a Downing Street spokesman said: “As a result of the coronavirus regulations, only 30 people can attend the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“The prime minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday.”
The Conservative Party has also announced that it will suspend national campaigning ahead of next month’s local elections until Tuesday, and again on Saturday.
Prince Philip’s funeral will take place next Saturday at 3pm, with the public encouraged to watch on television and stay away from the area.
Prince Harry will be travelling from his home in the United States to attend, although his pregnant wife Meghan has been advised not to travel. It is understood she made every effort to join her husband but was not given clearance to travel by her doctor.
A full guest list for the funeral will be released next week, as plans are finalised.
On Friday, Boris Johnson praised Prince Philip’s lifelong “ethic of service” as he led political tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh.
“He was the longest serving consort in history, one of the last surviving people in this country to have served in the Second World War at Cape Matapan, where he was mentioned in despatches for bravery,” the prime minister said.
“And in the invasion of Sicily, where he saved his ship by his quick-thinking and from that conflict he took an ethic of service that he applied throughout the unprecedented changes of the post war era.
“Like the expert carriage driver that he was, he helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life.
“He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.
“With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.
“We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen.”