It’s the most significant death in the royal family for many years and, unsurprisingly, Buckingham Palace’s official website went dark when it announced the death of Prince Philip on 9 April, marking an eight-day mourning period for the British monarchy.
The announcement of the prince’s death was also placed on the gates of the palace. The Royal Family’s official Instagram account honoured England’s oldest consort with a picture of the Queen and Prince Philip. The poignant picture is captioned with a snippet from Elizabeth’s golden wedding anniversary speech in 1997, where she described the duke as her “strength and stay”.
Family members say “a huge void” has been left in the Queen’s life since her husband’s death, but she was still “thinking of others” during the difficult time.
Her son, Prince Andrew, says, “As you would expect the queen is an incredibly stoic person. “I feel very sorry and supportive of my mother, who is feeling it probably more than anybody else,” he adds.
We take a look at the family’s reaction to his death.
The Prince of Wales says he will miss his father “enormously”. Charles (72), the heir to the throne, first paid tribute to his “much-loved Papa” in a pre-recorded video before praising the prince in a public address at the weekend.
“I particularly wanted to say that my father, for I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to The Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth.
Charles described his father as a man who did not “suffer fools gladly”. “He was very good at showing you how to do things and would instruct you in various things,” he said. “I'm so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and in the Commonwealth who also share our loss and our sorrow. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time."
Charles and his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, marked their 16th wedding anniversary on the day Philip passed. Charles and Camilla have also changed their social media profile pictures to black and white crests to show respect to the royal patriarch.
The Duke of York – who has kept a relatively low profile since news broke of his alleged involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal – described his father as a “remarkable man” in a statement.
“I loved him as a father. He was so calm. If you had a problem, he would think about it," Andrew (61) said. "He was always someone you could go to." In the difficult days following his death, Philip’s children and grandchildren were "all feeling a great sense of loss," the duke said.
"We've lost almost the grandfather of the nation."
During a special pre-recorded interview with British broadcaster ITV, the duke’s only daughter shared heartfelt insights about her father and the things he valued. “He believed there were things outside [of school] which were necessary to help you develop as an individual, which played to your strengths and if [they] weren’t academic there were other things that would be your strength,” Anne (70) said in the documentary.
“Without him life will be completely different.”
The princess, who shared many personality traits with him, also remembered Philip’s love for technology. "From society's perspective he was able to keep pace with the kind of technological changes that have such an impact, but above all that it's not about the technology, it's about the people," she said.
Prince EdwardIn the same pre-recorded interview, Edward, the youngest of Philip and Elizabeth’s children, reflected on his father’s passion for sports which led him to create the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The Duke of Edinburgh Award has become one of the Duke’s most remarkable achievements, equipping and empowering young people from all communities to build the skills, confidence, and resilience they need to make the most out of life.
"The fact it has now spread to more than 140 countries, way beyond the Commonwealth, way beyond the English-speaking world, is enormous testament to that original vision," Edward (57) said.
The Earl of Wessex also opened up about his parents’ relationship. "My parents have been such a fantastic support to each other during all those years and all those events and all those tours and events overseas," he said. "To have someone that you confide in and smile about things that you perhaps could not in public. To be able to share that is immensely important.”
Edward’s wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, said though the family had expected Philip’s death, it still came as a shock. “I think it's so lovely for so many people to learn about what he did because I think quite a lot of things that have come out will have surprised some people,” she added.
She described Philip’s death as peaceful and said it was as if someone took him by the hand and gently led him away.
The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge
Kensington Palace, the household of Kate and William, retweeted the news of Philip’s passing shared by the official Royal Family Twitter account. Prince William, who is the president of the British Academy Film Awards (Baftas), bowed out of the Bafta awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall in London in the wake of his grandfather’s death.
William was expected to deliver a speech for the annual event via video. “In light of The Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, The Duke of Cambridge will no longer be part of Bafta programming this weekend,” the British Academy confirmed in a statement. “Our thoughts are with the Royal Family, to whom we offer our deepest sympathy at this time.”
The Duke and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, changed their avatars to black and white monograms in honour of Prince Philip, and posted a picture of him on their Royal Foundation homepage. Typically, members of the royal family are not expected to issue public comments during their period of mourning.
The Duke & Duchess of Sussex
Harry and Meghan, whose two-hour interview with Oprah was aired while Philip was recovering in hospital after heart surgery, shared a statement via their website on the day of Philip’s passing.
“In loving memory of his royal highness, the Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021. Thank you for your service, you will be greatly missed,” it read.
According to royal commentators, Prince Harry and his grandfather were said to have had an incredibly close relationship – both served in the British Army and they shared a passion for the military. Despite rumours of a royal rift, particularly after the bombshell Oprah interview, BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt says Harry stayed in touch with Philip.
“He said he used to FaceTime or Zoom to keep in contact,” Hunt said. “When it came to the end of the call, Philip would not press to end the call but flipped the lid on the laptop which entertained Harry immensely.”
SOURCES: CA.HELLOMAGAZINE.COM; ITV.COM; EDITION.CNN.COM; EXPRESS.CO.UK; USMAGAZINE.COM; INSTYLE.COM; ROYAL.UK