Prince Edward wipes away tears as Duchess of Edinburgh makes heartfelt birthday speech

Prince Edward wiped away tears as his wife the Duchess of Edinburgh called him "the best of fathers" and "most loving of husbands".

Ahead of the Duke of Edinburgh's 60th birthday on Sunday, Sophie described how like his father Prince Philip, Edward "never seeks compliments for himself" in a speech at Headingley Stadium in Leeds.

At the end of the Community Sport and Recreation Awards, the duchess said: "Which is why I am grateful for this chance to be able to publicly celebrate and compliment him."

Sophie shared that her husband was "so happy and humbled" when the late Queen Elizabeth II made him a Knight of the Garter in 2006, and "equally delighted and moved" when King Charles made him Duke of Edinburgh last year.

With the royals both misty-eyed, she told the audience on Friday: "Both he deserves in equal measure, and I am so proud of the man he is.

"He is the best of fathers, the most loving of husbands and he is still my best friend."

She added: "I encourage you to take a walk through his CV of affiliations and marvel at the breadth of them...

"Whatever he is doing he gives 150% of himself, and if all else fails he gives any energy he has left out to our exhausted dogs or laying waste to the garden."

Wrapping up her speech, the duchess said: "So, here's to you my darling Edward and may I, along with all your family and so many friends, and so many others, wish you the happiest of birthdays."

They then embraced while the room applauded the remarks.

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Sophie also said the couple are "both incredibly proud to support" the monarch, while Edward cracked a joke with young rugby league players after he was given a gift.

The duke and duchess were both presented with Leeds Rhinos shirts, with Edward's emblazoned with "HRH 60" on the back.

He laughed as he was given the gift, and called Sophie's "more subtle". Acknowledging the joke about his age, he added: "Thanks a bunch. I really need to be reminded."

William sees Earthshot Prize in action

Elsewhere, Prince William visited The Kia Oval in south London to celebrate an Earthshot Prize winner's new contract with the cricket ground.

The prince set up the prize in 2020, inspired by US President John F Kennedy's 'moonshot' pledge in the 1960s to land a man on the moon within a decade. Instead of space travel, Earthshot aims to find solutions to the world's environmental challenges.

The heir to the throne met with Pierre-Yves Paslier, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Notpla, which won one of the royal's £1m prize funds in 2022 for developing a seaweed-based biodegradable alternative to plastic.

The new product has been used for takeaway food boxes and will be supplied to sports and entertainment caterer Levy for use in the Kennington cricket ground, as well as in venues like Wimbledon's All England Lawn Tennis Club and the O2 Arena.

Speaking to the Earthshot alumni on Friday, William smiled and said: "I've got a big grin on my face, here you go Pierre - lift off."