Prince Charles, 72, is heartbroken over the loss of his father Prince Philip. “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,” Charles said outside of his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire on Saturday, April 10. “As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously,” he added.
He spoke somberly as he addressed media, wearing a navy blue suit, light purple shirt and burgundy tie. Charles went on to reflect about his “dear papa,” who was also formally known as the Duke of Edinburgh upon his 1947 wedding to wife Queen Elizabeth, 94. “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 and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that,” Charles said of his dad, who was 99 years old when he passed.
“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,” he went on. “It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time. Thank you,” he concluded the touching tribute before heading back into his home.
Philip’s recent hospitalization — which involved heart surgery — has been particularly difficult on eldest son Charles. The usually stoic Prince of Wales was seen wiping tears from his eyes as he left King Edward VII Hospital in London on February 20. At the time, Philip was admitted as a “precautionary measure.” He was later released from hospital on March 16, and photographed in a vehicle headed back to Windsor Castle. Sadly, the Queen’s husband of 72 years — who is also the father of Charles’ siblings Princess Anne, 70, Prince Andrew, 61, and Prince Edward, 57 — passed away on Friday, April 9.
“It is with deep sorrow that her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” a statement from the palace said, confirming his passing. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Palace. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family will join people around the world in mourning his loss.”
BBC reports that Prince Philip’s funeral will take place on April 17 at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the service will include a maximum number of 30 attendees — which also includes his grandson Prince Harry, 36, who is living in California. The appearance will mark Harry’s first visit to the United Kingdom since his controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey. His pregnant wife Meghan Markle, 39, will remain at home in Montecito.
“I can confirm that the Duke of Sussex will be attending his grandfather’s funeral and will be following COVID-19 protocols for travel to and from the U.K. as well as during his time in the country,” a representative confirmed to HollywoodLife. “The Duchess has made every effort to travel alongside the Duke, but unfortunately, she did not receive medical clearance from her physician,” they also said. It’s unclear of their 1-year-old son Archie would travel with Harry to the memorial.