QUEEN ELIZABETH II and the Royal Family have been told they should cover the cost of Prince Philip’s funeral themselves rather than the UK taxpayer.
During an interview with Express.co.uk, anti-monarchy campaigner Graham Smith, the CEO of Republic, launched an attack on the Queen and the Royal Family and said anyone who is not the monarch should not have their funeral and the policiing costs associated with it paid for by the UK taxpayer. Republic is an organisation that campaigns for the abolishment of the Royal Family and wants Queen Elizabeth II to be replaced by an elected, democratic head of state.
Mr Smith said regarding the prospect of the UK taxpayer paying for the funeral of the monarch’s spouse: “I don’t think we should.
“I can understand with the monarch if you are the head of state and there is a state funeral offered then you might understand why the taxpayer would pay for it.
“I think it would be childish to suggest we do not do that with the Queen.
“I think with Prince Philip he is a private citizen, he happens to be the husband of the monarch.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip have been married since 1947 (Image: Getty)
Prince Philip is 99-years-old (Image: Getty)
“They have got plenty of their own money they can arrange and afford their own funeral.”
He continued: “I don’t see why the taxpayer should be asked to do that.
“It will cost the taxpayer a lot anyway because of the policing.
“I am sure it will be a public event which will attract a number of reasonably large crowds.
“I just think that royals tend to conflate themselves with the state and they seem to think everything they do needs to be funded by us.
“I think that it is not appropriate, and I hope that point is being made clear to them while Prince Philip is still alive.”
Despite Mr Smith’s concerns, according to The Mirror, Prince Philip has “expressed a preference for something a little more simple”.
Royal reporter Zahra Mulroy explained: “He may be entitled to a full-blown state funeral, but the Duke has expressed a preference for something a little more simple – and he’s been closely involved with the arrangements, which are being coordinated by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office at Buckingham Palace.”
The Queen became monarch at the age of 25-years-old (Image: Getty)
She added: “Rather than lying in state at Westminster Abbey, it’s thought that the Duke’s body will lie at St James’ Palace instead, where Princess Diana lay for several days before her funeral in 1997. The public would not be allowed to view the body.
“As for the funeral itself, it’s believed the guest list will be comparatively paired back with only family, friends and heads of state from Commonwealth countries attending a service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, in the style of a military funeral.”
The Independent also reported the Duke of Edinburgh does not want “the fuss” of a full state funeral.
Additionally, a 2013 Parliamentary document explained: “The process for deciding when a state funeral should be held for a person other than the Sovereign is relatively unclear, not least since it happens so rarely and at long historical intervals. There is no official process set out in public.”