Prince Philip: Politicians across UK to pay tribute to 'grandfather of nation'

12 April 2021, 07:26 | Updated: 13 April 2021, 05:20

MPs will return to the House of Commons today to pay tribute to Prince Philip
MPs will return to the House of Commons today to pay tribute to Prince Philip. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Politicians across the UK will pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh on Monday as parliaments return early from their Easter breaks.

Leaders from all four corners of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will return to their respective legislatures today to offer their respects to Prince Philip

It comes as the royal family mourns the loss of "the grandfather of the nation" Prince Philip, whose death the Queen has described as "having left a huge void in her life".

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 also being recalled, while the Northern Ireland Assembly will also see members pay tributes on Monday.

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.

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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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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.

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."

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".