The Duke of Edinburgh arranged for a press photographer to hide in a fake pillar by the entrance to the chapel — to get the perfect image of his funeral.

Arthur Edwards, 80 — who became a friend while snapping the royals for The Sun — was positioned to capture the coffin coming up the steps.

He said: ‘With a letterbox-shaped slit, it was like the bird-watching hides where Prince Philip spent hours of his retirement at Sandringham.

‘When his coffin went past my hidey-hole and into the chapel — my last sight of the man I photographed for 40 years — I was overwhelmed with memories of an incredible man.

‘From the most unusual vantage point of my years photographing the royals, I was close enough to see Prince Charles look broken.

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‘Close to tears, I could see he realised the weight of the task ahead to look after his mother and the monarchy.’

Prince Philip planned his funeral for almost two decades with military precision, requesting a Land Rover Defender TD5 130 which he had been modifying himself since 2003.

He also selected the medals, decorations and insignia which were displayed at the funeral, which saw the royal family come together to say their final farewell to the Duke at a low-key service on Saturday.

Households were seated two metres apart to follow Covid-19 regulations. It meant the Queen had to sit alone in the chapel, clad in mourning black and wearing a face-covering like the rest of the limited congregation of 30.

As the world watched, she bowed her head during the national minute’s silence in honour of her late husband. The one-hour service, between 3pm and 4pm, was viewed by 11 million people on the BBC.

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