A royal fan has lashed out at coronavirus restrictions in place for Prince Philip’s funeral, calling it a “mediocre service for a great man”.

Senior royals have gathered to pay their respects to the Duke of Edinburgh at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle today.

However, only 30 people are allowed to attend owing to lockdown rules.

Police and the town’s mayor have also urged members of the public to stay away.

Speaking outside the historic castle, Professor Chris Imafidon, from Essex, who says he met Philip on a few occasions, told the PA news agency: “I think it’s a disgrace, there should be more people here, especially when there are plans for people to return to football stadiums.

“It’s such a mediocre service for a great man, his contribution to helping working-class people generally has been enormous.

“He has done so much for this country, there should be a big public celebration of his life.

“People have been asked not to come, so I think it will be a quiet atmosphere, I just feel so sad.”

The Duke of Edinburgh's funeral is set to begin at 3pm after a national minute’s silence, and is expected to last around 50 minutes.

At 2.41pm, the coffin will be carried out of Windsor Castle’s state entrance.

Three minutes later,the Queen will have a “moment of reflection”to look at her husband’s coffin from her car before it is taken into the chapel.

After the service, Philip will be interred in St George’s Chapel’s Royal Vault.

Thames Valley Police have implemented number plate checks, erected barriers, and deployed armed and mounted officers on patrol to guard the castle.

Sniffer dogs have also gone through phone boxes and drains as part of police searches.

  • Pay tribute to Prince Philip here in moving online book of condolences

Another Windsor resident expressed sadness that the “country is missing out” on properly commemorating the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.

Ian Mawhinney, 56, said it has been a sombre period for the town, but he feels the Royal Family are “setting an example” by limiting numbers at the event in line with Covid rules.

He said: “I think it’s really important to mark the event. It’s been a very sombre time for the town.

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“Living in Windsor you realise how much they do for the community and the country.

“You sense the loss more here. It’s been a very sombre few weeks.

“I’m quite torn about the measures… I think the country is missing out on something.

“I think the Royal Family are setting an example. Having a small event is not what they would have wanted but they will adapt and… honour [Philip] in their own way.”

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