London: Prince Charles, the eldest son of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II, on Saturday paid tribute to his “dear Papa", saying that he was a “much loved and appreciated figure". Charles said his father, 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.
In a statement to the grieving nation, Prince Charles said his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, was a “much loved and appreciated figure". His comments came after details of Prince Philip’s funeral on April 17 were announced, the BBC reported.
Speaking from his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire, Charles, the 72-year-old heir apparent to the British throne as the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, 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". He 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".
Charles said 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".
Earlier, Buckingham Palace announced that a national minute’s silence will mark the start of the duke’s funeral next Saturday 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. Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex will fly in from his home in the US to join other members of the Royal Family at the ceremony, the BBC report said.
Only 30 people – expected to be the duke’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend the ceremony as guests, but Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has been advised by her doctor not to travel for the funeral, a Palace spokesman said. Members of the public have been asked not to attend any of the funeral events, in line with public health advice, and the Royal Family has asked people not to leave flowers and tributes at royal residences.