Prince William said he will "miss my Grandpa" in his first statement following Prince Philip's death.

"My grandfather's century of life was defined by service - to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family," Prince William said.

"I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life - both through good times and the hardest days. I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her. I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!

"My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation. Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support The Queen in the years ahead. I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job."

Prince Harry, who was said to be staying at Frogmore Cottage inside the grounds of Windsor Castle, has added to his tribute to his grandfather.

"My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm-and also because you never knew what he might say next," Prince Harry said on his Archewell charity website.

"He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke. But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right 'til the end.

"He has been a rock for Her Majesty The Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, and while I could go on, I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, 'Oh do get on with it!'

"So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself. You will be sorely missed, but always remembered-by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts.

"'Per Mare, Per Terram,"' Harry's tribute ended, quoting the motto of the Royal Marines - By Sea, By Land.

 

PRINCE PHILIP'S FINAL NOD TO AUSTRALIA

An Australian representative will stand in front of St George's Chapel for Prince Philip's funeral as part of a final homage to Australia.

Commodore Guy Holthouse, Australia's Defence Advisor in the UK, will be positioned in front of the chapel when the Duke of Edinburgh is laid to rest at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

Mr Holthouse met the Queen on March 31 at an event marking the 100th anniversary of the Royal Australian Air Force. It was Her Majesty's first royal engagement this year.

Prince Harry returned to Britain for the first time since Megxit, while the Queen said Prince Philip's passing would leave a "huge void" in her life.

Preparations are continuing for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral, to be held on Saturday at 3pm local time (midnight AEST).

As Prince Harry bunkers down in a coronavirus-enforced isolation at Nottingham Cottage, his former home inside Kensington Palace, central London, details of his grandfather's final moments have been revealed.

His passing was "so gentle", his daughter-in-law, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, said following a church service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in the grounds of Windsor Great Park.

"It was just like somebody took him by the hand and off he went," she said.

The Queen attended a private mass in Windsor Castle as she started to come to terms with the loss of her husband of 73 years.

She described his death as leaving a "huge void" in her life, according to Prince Andrew.

The coffin of ahead-of-his-time eco-Prince — who was among the first to highlight climate change in the 1950s — will be carried in an electric Land Rover. Picture: Splash
The coffin of ahead-of-his-time eco-Prince — who was among the first to highlight climate change in the 1950s — will be carried in an electric Land Rover. Picture: Splash

The Queen's family has rallied around Her Majesty since the duke's passing last week, with regular visits from Sophie, 56, wife of her youngest son Prince Edward, 57, and Prince Andrew, 61, who all live nearby.

Prince Harry, 36, slipped into Britain late on Sunday night local time, but was not photographed at London's Heathrow Airport.

"I saw him getting into an escorted car," a witness told The Sun.

Prince Harry travelled alone because Meghan, 39, expecting the couple's second child within months, was too pregnant to fly.

He was greeted with snow in London on his first day back in the UK from sunny California, where he moved after stepping down from royal duties in March last year.

Prince Harry returns with some trepidation following his sit-down interview with new neighbour Oprah Winfrey, in which he claimed Prince Charles stopped taking his calls and that the Royal Family was "racist".

 

 

Prince Philip thought that Prince Harry and Meghan's interview with Winfrey was "madness" and that "no good would come of it".

The duke had also told friends that Prince Harry and Meghan's American move was "not the right thing, either for the country, or for themselves."

But Prince Philip, who died 62 days before 100th birthday, was philosophical in the end.

"It's his life. People have got to lead their lives as they think best," he told friends, according to biographer Gyles Brandreth.

The ahead-of-his-time eco-Prince - who was among the first to highlight climate change in the 1950s - will be carried in an electric Land Rover, instead of a traditional gun carriage.

There will be a procession from the State Entrance of Windsor Castle to St George's Chapel.

The duke personally oversaw the arrangements for his funeral, codenamed Operation Forth Bridge, and had ordered a $1600 woollen coffin.

The modest touch was part of the fuss-free prince's character.

A former White House butler, Lynwood Westray, told an American news outlet of the duke's refusal to stand on ceremony.

Prince Philip insisted that he poured Mr Westray, an African American butler, a drink when he was alone in the Red Room in the White House in 1979 following a function.

"If you let me pour it, I'll have one with you," the duke said, according to Mr Westray.

Undertakers Leverton and Sons, the founding members of the Association of Green Funeral Directors who also organised Princess Diana's funeral in 1997, were appointed to take care of the duke's arrangements.

The woollen coffin will be draped in Prince Philip's personal flag, topped with a floral wreath and his naval cap and sword.

 

Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry, along with Prince Edward, and Prince Andrew, were expected to follow the coffin in the procession.

The Band of the Grenadier Guards, of which the Duke of Edinburgh was Colonel for 42 years, will lead the procession.

Military guns will be fired by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery from the East Lawn of Windsor Castle each minute during the expected eight-minute funeral march.

The arrangements have been pared back owing to coronavirus restrictions, however the duke had rejected a formal State Funeral that would have been attended by leaders from across the globe.

Only 30 mourners were expected, with the official list to be published on Thursday.

Sophie and Prince Edward's children Lady Louise Windsor, 17, and James, Viscount Severn, 13, were tipped to attend.

Sophie, a former businesswoman who grew up in Kent, has become close to the Queen.

Prince William and Kate's children Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 5, and Prince Louise, 2, were not expected to go because of their ages.

Princess Anne said her father's death, even at 99, was a shock.

"You know it's going to happen but you are never really ready," she 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.

"We will miss him but he leaves a legacy which can inspire us all."

stephen.drill@news.co.uk

Originally published as William, Harry break silence on Philip's death



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