LONDON (Reuters) - Queen Elizabeth's daughter-in-law Sophie said the death of the monarch's husband two months ago had left a "giant-sized hole" in the lives of the British royals, in an emotional interview aired on Wednesday.
Prince Philip, Elizabeth's husband for more than seven decades, died in April aged 99.
A tearful Sophie, 56, the Countess of Wessex who is married to the queen's youngest son Prince Edward, said the grieving process for the royal family was taking longer because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
"The normal way of things isn't normal yet, so we're not necessarily doing the things that we would normally have done with him," she told BBC radio.
"It's only when you would do the normal things that you would have done with them, and you suddenly realise that they are not there, that you really start to have an 'oh my goodness' moment," she told BBC radio.
Asked how the family were coping, she said: "He's left a giant-sized hole in our lives.
"Unfortunately the pandemic has slightly skewed things in as much as it's hard to spend as much time with the queen as we'd like to. We've been trying to, but of course it's not that easy."
Sophie and Edward are full-time working royals but until recently did not have a high public profile.
But since Prince Harry and his wife Meghan gave up official duties and moved to the United States, and the queen's second son Prince Andrew stepped down from royal engagements over his relationship with disgraced late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, they have taken on greater prominence.
"There is increased interest in us as a family but, if it raises more awareness of the issues I care about, then that can only be a good thing," Sophie said.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Gareth Jones)