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Prince Charles and Camilla pay emotional visit to view floral tributes to Prince Philip
15 April 2021, 11:46 | Updated: 15 April 2021, 12:38
The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall were visibly moved as they viewed flowers left by the public in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The couple read notes of condolence and drawings by young children that had been left in tribute as they visited Marlborough House Gardens near The Mall in London on Thursday.
The Duke of Edinburgh will be laid to rest on Saturday at 3pm. A national silence will take place at that time in his memory after his death aged 99.
Flowers and tributes had been left outside both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Officials moved tributes left outside the palace to the private area to stop crowds gathering due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
One tribute viewed by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall bore the message: “Sending our love and condolences on the loss of your beloved Prince Philip. Yours always.”
Another read: “RIP Prince Philip - We just wanted to reach out and let you have our heartfelt condolences - the world has lost an incredible life.”
A model Land Rover left by a member of the public had the message “The Duke, RIP” written on the roof.
Another note read: “Thank you for all that you have done for our country and looking after our lovely Queen. Rest in Peace and rise in glory.”
Further tributes were being paid to Prince Philip today by the Earl of Wessex who acknowledged the memories of Prince Philip of recipients of the Duke of Edinburgh's award.
He said: "Reading just some of the wonderful memories you have shared about your experiences of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award and, in some cases, of meeting my father, has been truly uplifting.
At Marlborough House Gardens today, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall viewed a selection of flowers that have been left by members of the public in memory of The Duke of Edinburgh. pic.twitter.com/XXBwZcyxJd— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) April 15, 2021
"I think I may have said once that he was a man that once met, never forgotten. He had a unique ability to make a lasting impression in a remarkably short time.
"I, like all my family, have a lifetime of lasting impressions, inspiration, shared passions and love. He may have departed this world, but his spirit and ethos lives on through his award, through each and every life touched, transformed, inspired; then, now and in the future.
"Thank you one and all for helping to create such an extraordinary tribute."
It is understood the Queen has decided that senior royals attending the service should be in civilian clothing.
The move means the Duke of Sussex will not have to face being one of the only close family members who is not in uniform at Saturday's service.
Harry lost his honorary military titles after deciding to step down as a senior working royal.
Reports had also suggested that the Duke of York, who spoke of his father as being "the grandfather of the nation," was considering wearing an admiral's uniform.
Andrew stepped down from royal duties over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2019.
He was due to be promoted to Admiral in 2020 to mark his 60th birthday but this did not go ahead following the fallout from his disastrous Newsnight appearance.
The no-uniform rule has been described as "the most eloquent solution to the problem," a military source told The Sun.
The decision is a break with tradition for ceremonial royal funerals and will contrast with the strong military presence which will be on show to honour Philip, who served with distinction in the Second World War.
Protocol suggests that Harry, who did two tours of Afghanistan, can only wear a suit with medals at royal functions.
As plans were finalised for the funeral, the royal family released a touching photo of the Queen and the duke surrounded by their great-grandchildren.
The previously unseen image shows the Queen and the duke sitting with the youngsters on a sofa during a family get-together and with the little ones appearing on best behaviour.
The Duchess of Cambridge captured the moment on her camera in 2018 when the Queen and Philip's seven great-grandchildren were at Balmoral.
A number of other images showing the duke with members of the royal family - including his son the Prince of Wales - were posted on official royal Twitter accounts.
The Queen has continued to work as she grieves, carrying out an official engagement on Wednesday to formally welcome her new Lord Chamberlain to his post.