Prince Charles releases moving tribute to his ‘dear papa’ Prince Philip

UK – (WARSOOR) – Prince Charles has paid a moving tribute to his father for years of “remarkable, devoted service to the Queen”, as the palace unveiled details of the Duke of Edinburgh’s low-key funeral on Saturday.

The prince said he was “deeply grateful” for public support following Prince Philip’s death at the age of 99. “As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously,” he told reporters outside Highgrove House in Gloucestershire.

Prince Charles said that his father was “a much-loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth, who also I think, share our loss and our sorrow.”

He added: “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 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.”

Prince Philip’s funeral will be held on 17 April in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, and a nationwide minute’s silence will be observed as it begins at 3pm.

With numbers strictly limited by coronavirus rules, the ceremony will be televised and only 30 guests will attend instead of the planned 800.

The Queen and other family members are expected to wear masks and remain socially distanced as they gather to say their final farewell to the duke.

The Duke of Sussex will attend but the Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant, has been advised by doctors not to travel from the couple’s home in California.

Downing Street said Boris Johnson would also not attend, in order to make room for more members of the royal family.

The duke’s coffin is expected to be transported to the chapel in a specially-modified Land Rover he helped to design, followed by Prince Charles and senior royals on foot.

The route of the procession will be lined by representatives from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, the Army and RAF, with the cortege led by the Band of the Grenadier Guards.

The official period of mourning will end with the conclusion of the ceremony, the palace said. Officials also repeated their plea for well-wishers to stay away from Windsor.

Public elements of Operation Forth Bridge – the codename for the duke’s funeral plans – have been abandoned due to fears that crowds could gather to pay tribute to the duke, potentially undermining coronavirus guidance.

“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,” they said.

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