Prince Andrew spoke publicly for the first time since stepping back from his role as a senior royal, revealing that the queen had told him that the death of Prince Philip had left “a huge void” in her life.
Andrew stepped back from public life in 2019, and has not performed any official royal duties in the wake of criticism over his friendship with late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, a candid interview he gave the BBC on the subject, and his lack of co-operation with American authorities.
On Sunday, where he and Prince Edward thanked members of royal estate staff after a service at The Royal Chapel of All Saints, in Windsor, Andrew broke his silence to say the queen was being “incredibly stoic.” She had described Philip’s death as a “miracle,” Andrew said, and the family was “rallying around close” to support her. “He was a remarkable man. I loved him as a father,” Andrew said. “If you had a problem he would think about it…he was always someone to go to and listen.”
Prince Edward, alongside his wife Sophie and daughter Louise, said his father’s death was a “a dreadful shock,” which he was trying to come to terms with. The “extraordinary tributes” shared by the public had been “fantastic,” Edward said. “He might have been our father, grandfather, father in law. But he meant so much to so many other people.” The queen was “thinking of others before herself,” Sophie said. “As always,” added Edward.
The Daily Mail reported Sophie had told mourners at the church that Philip’s death had been “so gentle, it was just like someone took him by the hand and off he went. Very, very peaceful and that’s all you want with somebody isn’t it? I think it’s so much easier for the person that goes than the people left behind, we’re all sitting here looking at each other going ‘This is awful.’”
In a statement, Princess Anne said: “You know it’s going to happen but you are never really ready. My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate…I would like to emphasize how much the family appreciate the messages and memories of so many people whose lives he also touched. We will miss him but he leaves a legacy which can inspire us all.”
Prince Charles spoke about his memories of his “dear papa” yesterday.