Buckingham Palace is asking people not to break Covid-19 restrictions when paying tribute to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

People have started laying flowers outside the palace, but Sky News understands that the Royal Family does not wish for coronavirus restrictions to be broken.

People have gathered to pay tribute to the duke despite coronavirus restrictions

The government is “supporting the Royal Household” in its request that flowers are not laid outside the likes of Buckingham Palace at this time, a Cabinet Office spokesperson said.

“Although this is an extraordinarily difficult time for many, we are asking the public not to gather at Royal Residences, and continue to follow public health advice particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel,” they said in a statement.

“We are supporting the Royal Household in asking that floral tributes should not be laid at Royal Residences at this time.”

To discourage people from travelling to Buckingham Palace, the announcement sign placed on the gates outside has been taken down.

The duke died aged 99 earlier today (9 April), Buckingham Palace said, with a printed statement posted on the front gates as per tradition.

There is no official confirmation yet on how the country will mourn his death, but an announcement from the palace and Downing Street is expected.

Flowers line the front gates of the palace

Sky News understands a cabinet meeting will be held a 5pm to discuss plans for tributes and the funeral.

There will not be a state funeral for Philip, in accordance with his wishes. Such an event would have attracted thousands of people, requiring a mass police presence because of lockdown rules.

Current rules mean people can socialise outdoors in groups of six or two households.

A member of the public leaves flowers outside the gates of Buckingham Palace on Friday and (below) police officers on horseback observe

Philip’s royal funeral and burial are expected to take place at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where he and the Queen were staying during the COVID-19 pandemic, away from their family.

It is expected that eight days of official mourning will be observed.