Prince Charles gave a moving speech in honor of his father Prince Philip — his “dear Papa” — who died on Friday at age 99.
On Saturday, Charles, the Prince of Wales, spoke to reporters on royal grounds. “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 continued, “And, as you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously. He was a much loved and appreciated figure, and apart from anything else I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth who also I think, share our loss and our sorrow.”
“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,” said the 72-year-old father of Prince William and Prince Harry. “And from that point of view, we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time. Thank you.”
Earlier that day, funeral arrangements were announced for the Duke of Edinburgh, who will be laid to rest on April 17 in a smaller ceremony adhering to pandemic restrictions. Buckingham Palace also shared video footage of a 41-gun salute fired every minute for 40 minutes, noting that The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in London used the same guns fired for the Duke’s 1947 wedding ceremony with Queen Elizabeth and her 1953 coronation.
A palace spokesperson shared that during the funeral, Philip’s coffin will be transported in a Land Rover that he and Prince Charles co-designed, with the royal family walking behind it. Buckingham Palace also confirmed that Prince Harry, who has not visited his family since moving to California with Meghan Markle and their son Archie, will attend the service. However, Markle, who is pregnant with the couple’s second child, will not come on the recommendation of her doctor.
In February, Prince Philip, who retired in 2017, was hospitalized for a pre-existing heart problem at King Edward VII Hospital, where Charles paid him visits. According to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, Philip did not have a close relationship with Charles during the early years of fatherhood and through Charles’s rocky marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales. However, the father and son softened toward each other over the years. Prince Philip passed away on the 16th wedding anniversary of Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
In November, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth celebrated their own anniversary, marking 70 years of marriage, by releasing an official portrait on social media. The Queen had previously described Philip as “my strength and stay.”
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