Leaders to pay tribute to Philip as ‘grandfather of the nation’ is mourned

PA Reporters
·4-min read

Watch: UK leaders pay tribute to Duke of Edinburgh

Leaders from the four corners of the UK will pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh on Monday as the royal family mourns the loss of “the grandfather of the nation”.

Politicians across Great Britain and Northern Ireland will offer their respects to Philip, whose death the Queen has described as “having left a huge void in her life”.

The early return of parliaments in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff come after a weekend which has seen all four of Philip’s children speak movingly about the loss of their father.

Watch: Andrew: 'We’ve lost almost the grandfather of the nation'

After a church service in Windsor on Sunday, where some of the royals said prayers for Philip, the Duke of York revealed the personal feelings of the Queen.

He said: “She described it as having left a huge void in her life but we, the family, the ones that are close, are rallying round to make sure that we’re there to support her.”

Andrew said his mother is “an incredibly stoic person”, with his sister-in-law the Countess of Wessex adding that the Queen is “thinking of others before herself”.

The Earl of Wessex said his mother is “bearing up” and that the “wave of affection” for his father and “fantastic” tributes are appreciated by the family.

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The Earl and Countess of Wessex, with their daughter Lady Louise Windsor (Steve Parsons/PA)

Andrew described the death of his father as resonating with many people, saying: “We’ve lost almost the grandfather of the nation.”

After the service at Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor, Sophie candidly described the circumstances of the duke’s death as “very peaceful” when she chatted to a member of the congregation, saying it was if “somebody took him by the hand and off he went”.

It is understood the Queen attended a private church service within Windsor Castle.

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The Duke of York talks with Crown Estate staff at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor (Steve Parsons/PA)

In a message released later on Sunday, the Princess Royal added her thanks to the public, as she paid tribute to her father as someone who “leaves a legacy which can inspire us all”.

Anne said: “My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate.”

Queen and Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in 2014 (PA)

Philip died peacefully at Windsor Castle on Friday morning, two months before his 100th birthday.

Edward said Philip’s death was a “dreadful shock”, and the family was still “trying to come to terms with that”.

Andrew, who stepped down from royal duties over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2019, said his father had been a “remarkable man” who was “so calm” and always ready to listen if someone had a problem.

The Prince of Wales had spoken warmly of his “dear papa” on Saturday, describing him as having “given the most remarkable, devoted service to the Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth”.

MPs will return to the House of Commons a day early from their Easter break to voice their condolences.

The Welsh and Scottish Parliaments are being recalled, while the Northern Ireland Assembly will also see members pay tributes on Monday.

Only 30 people – expected to be Philip’s children, grandchildren and other close family – will attend the duke’s funeral on Saturday afternoon as guests.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he will not attend the funeral to allow as many family members as possible to attend during coronavirus restrictions.

The Duke of Sussex is reported to have arrived in the UK from the US, but this has not been confirmed by Buckingham Palace or Harry’s spokesperson.

His wife the Duchess of Sussex had been advised by her doctor not to travel for the funeral, which will be televised and take place entirely in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Watch: Queen is ‘thinking of others before herself’