London, April 11: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II has described the death of her husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, as having left a huge void in her life”, their son Prince Andrew the Duke of York said on Sunday.
As he left a memorial service for his late father, who passed away aged 99 on Friday, Prince Andrew said his passing was a “terrible loss” and the family was grateful for all the messages of support and condolence.
“It’s a great loss. We’ve lost almost the grandfather of the nation,” Prince Andrew told reporters.
I feel very sorry and supportive of my mother, who’s feeling it more than everybody else. The Queen, as you would expect, is an incredibly stoic person and she described his passing as a miracle, and she’s contemplating. She described it as having left a huge void in her life. We as a family are rallying around to support her, he said, on being asked about his mother’s emotions.
About his late father, he added: He was a remarkable man. I loved him as a father. He was always somebody you could go to and he would always listen.
Among those at the Sunday service at a chapel in Windsor Great Park was the Queen’s youngest son, Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex.
“However much one tries to prepare oneself for something like this it’s still a dreadful shock,” said Prince Edward.
“And we’re still trying to come to terms with that. And it’s very, very sad. But I have to say that the extraordinary tribute and the memories that everybody has had and been willing to share has been so fantastic,” he said.
“It just goes to show: he might have been our father, grandfather, father-in-law, but he meant so much to so many other people,” he added.
Prince Edward said royal staff would feel a “very personal” loss following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death and his heart goes out to them.
Special services of remembrance are being held across the UK on Sunday as the country observes an official week-long period of national mourning.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who is also expected to officiate at Prince Philip’s funeral next Saturday, led a memorial service at Canterbury Cathedral.
“For the Royal Family as for every other, no words can reach into the depth of sorrow that goes into bereavement,” he said.
In reference to Prince Philip, he said the senior royal as the longest-serving consort to a British monarch had shown “a remarkable willingness to take the hand he was dealt in life and straightforwardly to follow its call, to search its meaning to go out and on as sent to inquire and think, to trust and to pray”.
Britain’s period of national mourning will end after April 17, when Prince Philip’s funeral will take place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. (PTI)