Princes William and Harry, along with senior politicians including the British prime minister, paid tribute to Prince Philip on Monday, as preparations were underway for his funeral on the grounds of Windsor Castle this coming weekend.
Prince Harry chose a more light-hearted message while his brother and heir to the throne Prince William called their grandfather, who died last Friday at the age of 99 after over seven decades of marriage to Queen Elizabeth II, an “extraordinary” man.
“He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the monarch, a decorated serviceman, a prince and a duke,” Harry, 36, said.
“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.”
William, 38, said in a separate statement: “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.
“My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation … I will miss my grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job,” he added.
It is thought that Prince Harry has arrived back in England from the United States ahead of the funeral.
He was spotted on a British Airways flight from Los Angeles which arrived at Heathrow on Sunday afternoon, the British newspaper The Sun reported.
He will be able to attend the funeral on “compassionate grounds” under government guidance despite strict quarantine rules in place which could have prevented him from going.
Prince Harry will have to remain in quarantine on the other days.
His wife, Meghan, duchess of Sussex, will not be attending the event due to her pregnancy with their second child.
The funeral for Philip will be held on Saturday afternoon in Windsor.
Due to coronavirus restrictions in place, only 30 people are allowed to attend the funeral.
Members of the public have been urged not to gather at the ceremony by police and the British government.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced at the weekend he would be giving up his space at the funeral so that another family member would be able to attend.
On Monday, lawmakers gathered for a special parliament session at the House of Commons to pay tribute to Philip, who held the title of duke of Edinburgh.
Dressed in black, they held a minute’s silence before Johnson gave his speech.
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“By his unstinting service to The Queen, the Commonwealth, the armed forces, the environment, to millions of people young around the world and to countless other causes, he gave us all a model of selflessness, of putting others before ourselves,” he said.
“He made this country a better place, and for that he will be remembered with gratitude and with fondness for generations to come.”
Opposition leader Keir Starmer followed, and said: “Britain will not be the same in his absence. For most of us, there’s never been a time where the duke of Edinburgh was not present.
“At every stage of our national story for the last seven decades, he has been there. A symbol of the nation we hope to be at our best. A source of stability. A rock.”
Parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also had special sessions to honour the late consort.
In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said he was “a thoughtful man, deeply interesting and fiercely intelligent.”
Mark Drakeford, the first minister of Wales, said he extended the “sincerest sympathies” to the family “at the end of an exceptional life lived.”
Arlene Foster, first minister of Northern Ireland, described the duke as a “true intergenerational legacy to our youth, our United Kingdom and the world’s environment.”
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