The entire British Royal Family is mourning the death of patriarch Prince Phillip, who served as royal consort to his wife Queen Elizabeth II for nearly 70 years, but the Queen is feeling his loss more than anyone, her children said in the days following his death Friday.
Princess Anne, the couple’s second child and only daughter, said in a Sunday statement her father had been her teacher, supporter and critic, but above all, an “example of a life well lived and service freely given,” that she has tried to emulate.
“You know it’s going to happen, but you’re never really ready,” Anne said of her father’s death, a sentiment echoed by her youngest brother Prince Edward, who spoke to the press after a private church service Sunday at the Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park, on the grounds of the palace where Phillip died Friday.
Edward, the Queen and Phillip’s youngest son, told reporters “as much as one tries to prepare one’s self, it’s still a dreadful shock, and we’re trying to come to terms with that.”
Edward’s wife, Sophie, described the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing as “gentle,” saying, “It was like someone took him by the hand and then he went. Very, very peaceful and that’s all you want for somebody.”
Prince Andrew, the couple’s third child, told reporters at Windsor his mother described feeling “a huge void” in her life since her husband of 74 years died: despite being “an incredibly stoic person,” the Queen “is feeling it more than anyone,” Andrew said.
Prince Phillip died Friday at Windsor Castle after years of public speculation about his health. He was the oldest-ever male member of the royal family and the longest-serving consort to a British monarch. A private funeral will be held for Phillip Saturday at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where his grandson Prince Harry married his wife Meghan in 2018. Harry will reportedly travel to the U.K. from his home in California to attend, though pregnant Meghan will stay home on doctors’ advice.