Dear Papa was very special, says Charles

By BBC On Sat, 10 Apr, 2021 22:07 | 3 mins read
Prince of Wales, Charles. PHOTO | SCREENGRAB

The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to his “dear papa”, the Duke of Edinburgh, saying that he and the Royal Family miss him “enormously”.

He said the duke, who died at Windsor Castle on Friday, aged 99, had given the “most remarkable, devoted service” to the Queen, the Royal Family, the country, and the Commonwealth.

Prince Charles said his father was a “much loved and appreciated figure”.

His comments came after details of Prince Philip’s funeral were announced.

Speaking from his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire, Prince Charles said over the last 70 years his father had “given the most remarkable, devoted service to the Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth”.

The prince said the Royal Family were “deeply touched” by the number of people in the UK, around the world and the Commonwealth, who he said shared “our loss and our sorrow”.

He added his “dear papa” was a “very special person who… above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him”.

The prince said he and his family were “deeply grateful” for this, adding: “It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”

Buckingham Palace has announced that a national minute’s silence will mark the start of the duke’s funeral next Saturday at 15:00 BST at St George’s Chapel, in Windsor.

The arrangements, which “very much” reflect Prince Philip’s wishes, have been adapted in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Duke of Sussex will fly in from his home in the US to join other members of the Royal Family at the ceremony.

But his wife the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant with their second child, has been advised by her doctor not to travel, the spokesman added.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not attend the ceremony “to allow for as many family members as possible”, No 10 said.

Earlier, royal gun salutes across the UK and at sea marked the duke’s death.

There will be eight days of national mourning – to end on 17 April – ahead of the televised funeral, which will be a ceremonial event rather than a large state affair usually associated with the death of a monarch.

Prince Philip will also not lie in state – where members of the public would have been able to view his coffin.

His coffin will instead lay at rest in the private chapel at Windsor Castle and will be draped with the duke’s personal standard with a wreath of flowers on top.

The Royal Family will observe two weeks of mourning, although royal engagements will continue where appropriate.

Union flags will remain at half mast and the Royal Standard will be at full mast.

A spokesman for the Palace said: “Whilst this is a time of sadness and mourning the coming days will be an opportunity to celebrate a remarkable life.”

Only 30 people – expected to be the duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend the ceremony as guests.

On the day of the funeral, Prince Philip’s coffin will be transported from Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel in a specially modified Land Rover he helped to design.

Members of the Royal Family including the Prince of Wales will walk behind the coffin, and the Queen will travel separately to the chapel.

Military guns will fire during the procession, which will take eight minutes, and the curfew bell will toll.

Eight pallbearers will carry the coffin, draped with duke’s standard, with a wreath and the duke’s naval cap and sword on top, up the west steps into the chapel. It will be greeted by the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

These 10 people are not included in the number of attendees allowed.

A guest list will be released on Thursday.

After the service, the duke will be interred in the Royal Vault of the chapel.

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