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Prince Philip's death has left 'huge void' in Queen's life, says son Andrew

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In this August 1951 photo, Princess Elizabeth stands with her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne
In this August 1951 photo, Princess Elizabeth stands with her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne   -   Copyright  Eddie Worth/AP Photo
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Queen Elizabeth II has described the death of her husband, Prince Philip, on Friday as "having left a huge void in her life,” their son Prince Andrew said on Sunday.

Andrew, the third of the couple’s four children, attended church at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor along with other members of the royal family, two days after the 99-year-old Philip died at Windsor Castle.

“We’ve lost, almost, the grandfather of the nation,” he said. “And I feel very sorry and supportive of my mother, who’s feeling it probably more than everybody else.”

His younger brother, Prince Edward, called Philip’s death a “dreadful shock” but said the 94-year-old queen was “bearing up.” Edward’s wife, Sophie, said the monarch was “thinking of others before herself.”

The Queen and Prince Philip's eldest son, Prince Charles, offered a heartfelt tribute to his “dear Papa,'' on Saturday as Buckingham Palace offered the broad outlines of a royal funeral that will be attended by the family and broadcast to the world.

Charles, Prince of Wales, offered a deeply personal video message saying the royal family was “deeply grateful’’ for the outpouring of support they’ve received following the death Friday of his 99-year-old father, Prince Philip.

The heir to the throne said he was touched by the number of people around the world who have shared his family’s loss and sorrow.

“My dear Papa was a very special person who I think, above all else, would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him,″ Charles said, speaking from his southwestern England home of Highgrove.

“And from that point of view, we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.’’

A remembrance service for Prince Philip was held at Canterbury Cathedral as the nation observes a period of mourning.

It was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, leader of the Church of England, who paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh.

"There was a willingness, a remarkable willingness, to take the hand he was dealt in life and straightforwardly to follow its call," he said.

When will the funeral take place?

Prince Philip’s funeral will take place on April 17 at Windsor Castle in a family service that will be closed to the public, Buckingham Palace officials have announced.

“Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognise the duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth,” a palace spokesman said on Saturday.

Palace officials added that the ceremony would be conducted strictly in line with government guidelines. They declined to say whether the royal family would be required to wear masks.

Funerals are currently restricted to 30 people or fewer under England’s coronavirus rules.

The palace said Prince Philip took part in planning his funeral and the focus on family was in accordance with his wishes. He helped to design the modified Land Rover that will carry his coffin.

Prince Harry, who stepped away from royal duties last year and now lives in California, will attend the service along with other members of the royal family.

His wife, the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, has been advised by her doctor not to attend.

Travellers from the US need a negative COVID-19 test before they get on the plane and face a 10-day quarantine upon arrival, which can end early if a test taken after five days comes back negative.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's office said he would not be at the funeral to “allow for as many family members as possible" to attend.

The palace appealed to the public not to gather in Windsor, and for those who wished to pay their respects to Philips to stay at home instead.

“While there is sadness that the public will not be able to physically be part of events to commemorate the life of the duke, the royal family asks that anyone wishing to express their condolences do so in the safest way possible and not by visiting Windsor or any other royal palaces to pay their respects,'' the palace spokesman said.

“The family’s wish is very much that people continue to follow the guidelines to keep themselves and others safe.''

Gun salutes were held across the UK on Saturday to honour the Queen's husband a day after he passed away at the age of 99.

The Duke of Edinburgh's death was marked with 41-gun salutes at noon at locations across the country, including the Tower of London and Edinburgh Castle, as well as in Gibraltar and on Royal Navy ships at sea.

What happens until then?

Flags on government buildings and royal residences have been lowered to half-mast and will remain there until 8 am the day after the funeral, according to the College of Arms, the body that oversees ceremonial protocol.

People have been urged by the palace and the government not to gather or lay flowers outside the royal residences to honour him.

The palace instead invited well-wishers to sign a book of condolences online to avoid crowds and queues and to donate to charity.

When the Queen Mother Elizabeth died in 2002, her coffin lay in state at Parliament’s Westminster Hall, and thousands of people filed past to pay their last respects.

But Prince Philip’s body will not lie in state, as per his wishes, nor will it be a state funeral.

The College of Arms the duke’s body will lie at rest in Windsor Castle, where he spent his final weeks with the Queen.

His funeral will be held in St George’s Chapel at the castle, the site of centuries of royal burials, and royal weddings - including Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding in 2018.