Princess Anne says Royal family were 'never really ready' for Prince Philip's death

11 April 2021, 16:41 | Updated: 11 April 2021, 17:10

Princess Anne has called Prince Philip her "supporter and teacher" in an emotional message
Princess Anne has called Prince Philip her "supporter and teacher" in an emotional message. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Princess Anne has said the Royal family were "never really ready" for the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh in an emotional tribute to her father.

Prince Philip's only daughter paid tribute to her "teacher, supporter and critic" in the touching statement released two days after he died at the age of 99.

She wrote: "You know it's going to happen but you are never really ready. 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.

"His ability to treat every person as an individual in their own right with they own skills comes through all the organisations with which he was involved. I regard it as an honour and a privilege to have been asked to follow in his footsteps and it has been a pleasure to have kept him in touch with their activities. I know how much he meant to them, in the UK, across the Commonwealth and in the wider world.

Read more: 'A great life leaves a very great gap': Prince Philip honoured at Canterbury memorial

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"I would like to emphasis how much the family appreciate the messages and memories of so many people whose lives he also touched. We will miss him but he leaves a legacy which can inspire us all."

The Queen said private prayers for her beloved Duke of Edinburgh as she attended a Sunday mass in Windsor Castle.

The monarch, who is head of the Church of England, has a deep Christian faith and will be drawing on this in her time of grief.

The Queen is understood not to have attended the worship in the private chapel, where the duke's coffin remains at rest, draped in his personal standard and adorned with a wreath of flowers.

Read more: 'Ceremonial' funeral for Prince Philip to take place next Saturday

Read more: Prince Philip 1921- 2021 - Her Majesty's 'Strength and Stay'

The mass was also not in St George's Chapel, which is currently closed and is where Philip's funeral will take place on Saturday.

The Duke of Edinburgh's death was so peaceful "it was like someone took him by the hand and off he went", the Countess of Wessex said.

Speaking to well wishers after leaving a church service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor on Sunday, Sophie said Philip's passing was "right for him".

"It's such a shock but at the same time you know it's going to happen but when it happens it's just this massive, massive hole," she said.

"It was right for him and it was so gentle, it was just like someone took him by the hand and off he went.

"It was very, very peaceful and that's all you want for somebody, isn't it?"

Sophie added: "So I think it is so much easier for the person that goes than the people who are left behind.

"We are all sitting here looking at each other going 'this is awful'.

"But equally, look at all the tributes.

"It's just amazing."

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