The Queen has put her grandson Peter Phillips between Prince William and Harry as they walk behind Prince Philip's coffin on Saturday.

The move has been dubbed "elegant" by a royal expert after the brothers' public fallout.

Princess Anne's son, 43, who has previously been described as the Queen's "favourite" grandson, will ensure the estranged brothers are kept 12ft apart during the eight-minute walk in line with Covid rules.

Buckingham Palace confirmed Her Majesty wanted the pair split as she bids farewell to her husband of 73 years at Windsor Castle.

Royal biographer Penny Junor said of the brothers’ rift: “The Queen has found an elegant solution to a very awkward problem.

The Queen has put her grandson Peter Phillips between Prince William and Harry as they walk behind Prince Philip's coffin on Saturday
The Queen has put her grandson Peter Phillips between Prince William and Harry as they walk behind Prince Philip's coffin on Saturday

“I imagine it has been difficult but she’s been all over the detail. It is such a terrible shame it has come to this. I think the rift between those two brothers is really tragic.

“After all they have been through together during a difficult childhood and adult life, I hope they can sort it out.”

The princes will first gather with other royals at 2.41pm for the procession, the Sun reports.

They will leave at 2.45pm for an eight-minute walk to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Princess Anne's son, 43, will ensure the estranged brothers are kept 12ft apart during the eight-minute walk in line with Covid rules
Princess Anne's son, 43, will ensure the estranged brothers are kept 12ft apart during the eight-minute walk in line with Covid rules

Princess Anne’s son Peter — a pal of both William, 38, and Harry, 36 — will stand between them meaning they will be at least 12ft apart as the coffin is driven on a converted Land Rover.

More details released on Thursday revealed Philip’s eldest children Charles and Anne will lead the procession, followed by Princes Andrew and Edward, side by side.

Behind them will walk Harry, William and Peter.

Those walking in the procession will not have to wear a mask while outside.

Twenty other members of the family, including Camilla and Kate, will make their way to the chapel separately by car.

A reduced choir of just four singers will feature during the service — with the guests not allowed to sing under Covid funeral rules.

Once inside the chapel on Saturday, the brothers will split into pairs with William beside Peter, and Harry next to the Earl of Snowdon.

The Queen will be driven to the ceremony in her state Bentley and, like all guests, will be wearing a mask at all times. It is understood she will sit alone in the chapel.

A national minute’s silence will be held at 3pm to signal the start of the funeral service, which is expected to last until 3.50pm.

All mourners will sit two metres apart to comply with pandemic guidelines.

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Asked if arrangements for the procession reflected the brothers’ relationship, a Buckingham Palace spokesman added: “This is a funeral.

“We are not going to be drawn into perceptions and drama. The arrangements have been agreed and represent Her Majesty’s wishes.”

Prince William and Harry stood side by side at their mother Princess Diana's funeral in 1997.