Queen left with 'huge void' after Prince Philip's death, Andrew reveals in tribute to 'grandfather of the nation'April 11, 2021
THE Queen has been left with a "huge void" after Prince Philip's death, Prince Andrew revealed today as he paid a moving tribute to the "grandfather of the nation".
The 61-year-old said the family are rallying around his mother after the Duke passed away aged 99 on Friday following more than seven decades of service to the country.
🔵 Read our live blog for the very latest news on Prince Philip's death…
The prince said the 94-year-old monarch had described her husband's passing as a "miracle".
He said: "She described it as having left a huge void in her life, but we the family – the ones that are closer – are rallying round to make sure we're there."
And he told reporters he would always treasure his memories of his father, describing him as "so calm" and "always someone you can go to".
🔵 Read our live blog for the very latest news on Prince Philip's death…
It comes as:
- Philip’s funeral will be broadcast to the nation on TV next Saturday, with Charles leading a procession to the chapel at Windsor Castle
- The Duke of Edinburgh told son Charles he must 'lead the family and look after the Queen' in hospital heart-to-heart
- Boris Johnson will not attend the funeral to allow more space for the Royal Family
- Mourners flock to Buckingham Palace – but officials remove tributes in a bid to keep crowds under control
- The Queen was 'by her husband's side' as he died – and Philip spent his final days enjoying the sunshine
Andrew, speaking publicly for the first time since his Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis in 2019, said the death of his father was a "terrible loss".
"My father said to me on the telephone a few months ago, 'We're all in the same boat', and we must always remember that," he said.
The prince thanked the public for the outpouring of support and tributes – saying they had been "absolutely amazing".
And he said of his father: "He was a remarkable man.
"I loved him as a father. He was so calm."
He added Brits have lost the "grandfather of the nation", and said his mother the Queen "is feeling it probably more than anyone else".
But he said the monarch is "incredibly stoic".
'MEANT SO MUCH'
Meanwhile Sophie Wessex, who was yesterday tearful as she said the Queen had been "amazing", also looked emotional today.
Remembering the Duke of Edinburgh, she said: "He always exchanged words with everybody because it didn't matter what anybody was doing in and around the estate here (at Windsor) and everywhere else, they all meant a lot to him and he always took a very personal interest in everything that they were doing.
"So they all have got stories to tell and most of them are quite funny as well."
Her husband Prince Edward, who attended the church with the small group of Royals, said: "It's a bit of a shock.
"However much one tries to prepare oneself for something like this, it's still dreadful shock, and we're trying to come to terms with that.
"It's very, very sad."
However, he thanked Brits for their "extraordinary tributes" and the memories people have shared with the family.
"It goes to show show he might have been our father, grandfather, father-in-law, but he meant to much to so many other people," he said.
After visiting the chapel, All Saints, the royals – including the Queen and Duke's granddaughter, Lady Louise – met those who live and work at Windsor to hear their stories of Prince Philip.
The dukes of York and Wessex rushed to be by the Queen's side after Prince Philip's death.
Prince Andrew is understood to have been among the first to return to Windsor Castle to comfort his mother.
The Duke of York, who lives at the Royal Lodge on the Windsor estate, arrived at the back entrance to the Queen's private apartments yesterday.
And Sophie Wessex yesterday stopped to speak to reporters after visiting the monarch.
She had tears in her eyes as she spoke of Her Majesty's strength, and said: "The Queen has been amazing."
The three spoke out hours after Prince Charles said goodbye to his "dear papa".
In an emotional statement last night, Charles said he misses his father "enormously" and the Duke would be "so deeply touched" by the outpouring of grief.
SOPHIE'S TEARS AFTER VISITING THE QUEEN
"I particularly wanted to say that my father, for I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to The Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth," he said.
"As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously."
He added: "My dear Papa was a very special person, who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him.
"From that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that."
Meanwhile, the Queen yesterday shared a touching photo tribute to her husband of 73 years.
Her Majesty referred to Prince Philip as "my strength and stay all these years" in a speech she made celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in 1997.
The royals shared an image of the couple smiling for an official portrait on their official Instagram account.
And the caption includes parts of the toast the Queen made to her husband 24 years ago.
She had said: "He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know."
It was revealed yesterday that Prince Philip's televised funeral will take place on April 17 at 3pm in the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Brits have entered a week-long period of official mourning – while the Royal Family will mourn for a fortnight.
And the prince – who had firmly told his family he didn't want a state funeral – will be taken to St George's Chapel by a specially-modified Land Rover.
His son Charles and grandsons Harry and William will join an eight-minute procession to the chapel.
Philip died at Windsor Castle at the age of 99 after saying he was "not looking forward to being 100".
He spent his final days enjoying the sunshine – and, true to form, insisting on taking care of himself rather than relying on aides.
He refused to wear his hearing aid and reportedly chastised staff who put a wheelchair in his private rooms.
It's understood he fell gravely ill on Thursday night. But any discussions about taking him back to hospital were reportedly dismissed by the Queen.
Prince Philip had recently been discharged from the wards after his longest-ever stay. He had undergone surgery for a heart condition.
And Prince Harry is understood to be on his way back from the States now – as he'll need to quarantine for five days when he arrives and provide a negative test to avoid a longer isolation.
The Duchess of Sussex, 39, was advised not to travel due to her pregnancy – although Palace officials say she made "every effort" to be by her husband's side.
It means the Duke of Sussex, who is known to have been very close to his grandfather, is returning alone – and preparing to see his close family for the first time since he and Meghan quit the UK in March 2020.
It will also be the first time the family has met face-to-face since Harry and Meghan's bombshell interview with Oprah aired in March this year.
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