Prince Philip funeral updates – Queen's 'new rock' is Sophie Wessex after Countess' incredible display of support

SHE is the lesser spotted royal – yet it is Sophie Wessex  who  has  become the surprise official messenger since Prince Philip’s death on Friday.

It was the Countess of Wessex who explained what was rightly too painful for Her Majesty to convey just 48 hours after the death of her beloved husband.

Watched by her slightly startled husband Edward, she said: “It was so gentle, like someone took him by the hand, and then he went. Very peaceful, which is what you want for somebody, isn’t it?”

The day before, the 56-year-old Countess lowered her Range Rover’s window to say the Queen had been “Thinking of others before herself, she’s amazing”.

What gave her response added poignancy was that she had clearly shed some tears.

Unforunately the Queen will have to bravely sit on her own during Prince Philip's funeral because of strict coronavirus rules.

The only person who could sit with her during the funeral is expected to be Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, Philip's private secretary.

He is the only other member of the 20-person Windsor Castle Covid bubble – known as 'HMS Bubble' – likely to be at the funeral.

The Earl Peel had overseen arrangements for the Philip's funeral – known as Operation Forth Bridge – before handing responsibility to his successor, former MI5 spy chief Baron Parker, just over a week before the duke died peacefully at Windsor Castle.

And it is understood the Queen will also wear at mask during the funeral so as not to break the strict coronavirus rules.

Read our Royal Family live blog below for the latest news and updates…

  • Alice Peacock

    WINDSOR BUSINESSES GEARING UP FOR BUSY DAY ON DUKE'S FUNERAL

    A Windsor cafe worker said they are expecting the Berkshire town to be "very busy" on the day of Philip's funeral.

    The duke is due to be honoured with a ceremonial royal funeral at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

    Tone Mendez, who has worked at the nearby Clairmont's cafe for 12 years, said he may be working from 3am that day due to an expected influx of visitors.

    Authorities have already warned well-wishers not to visit the town on the day of the funeral due to concerns over the potential transmission of Covid-19.

    And Mendez said they had received a letter from the council, saying they were not allowed to put out any tables from Friday night until six o'clock on Saturday.

  • Alice Peacock

    ARMED FORCES GEARING UP FOR PHILIP’S FUNERAL

    The Armed Forces are stepping up preparations for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral as senior officers paid tribute to the Queen’s Consort.

    Philip’s funeral will feature servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF – alongside top military brass – this Saturday at Windsor Castle.

    Soldiers from the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) are reportedly working to prepare the special Land Rover – that the duke helped design – which will carry his coffin on Saturday.

    Lieutenant General Paul Jaques, who served with REME, said about the duke, his unit’s former colonel-in-chief: “He was engaged with us and used to visit us probably once or twice every single year since 1969.

    “And he had an enormous passion for all things engineering. In his own words ‘If it wasn’t invented by God, it was invented by an engineer’.”

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    EUGENIE'S POIGNANT TRIBUTE TO 'DEAREST GRANDPA' PHILIP

    Princess Eugenie has paid a heartfelt tribute to her "dearest Grandpa" the Duke of Edinburgh, pledging to look after "Granny" the Queen for him.

    Looking back on happier days, the princess, 31, who just weeks ago gave birth to her first child, began her message to the duke on Instagram with: "Dearest Grandpa, We all miss you. You would be so touched by all the tributes that have been shared with me the past few days.

    "People remember sitting next to you at a dinner, or shaking your hand once, who remember you saying hello in passing, or remember how much their DofE award meant to them. I remember learning how to cook, how to paint, what to read. I remember laughing at your jokes and asking about your spectacular life and service in the navy.

    "I remember incinerating the sausages and you swooping in to save the day. I remember your hands and your laugh and your favourite beer. I will remember you in your children, your grandchildren and great grandchildren.

    "Thank you for your dedication and love for us all and especially Granny, who we will look after for you. With all my love Eugenie."

  • Niamh Cavanagh

    PRINCESS ANNE IS SEEN FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE FATHER'S DEATH

    Princess Anne has been seen for the first time since her beloved dad Prince Philip's death.

    The hard-working Princess Royal returned to the day job this afternoon on the Isle of Wight.

  • Alice Peacock

    HARRY AND MEGHAN ‘REGRET’ TIMING OF INTERVIEW

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reportedly have “regrets” over the timing of their interview with Oprah Winfrey – but say they had no control over when it was aired.

    The bombshell interview aired while Prince Philip was in hospital, just weeks before his death.

    A source close to the pair reportedly told Heat Magazine that while they may regret the timing of the interview, it was something they felt they had to do.

    Harry had not seen the Duke of Edinburgh in over a year following his decision to quit the Royal Family.

  • Alice Peacock

    FUNERAL PLANS

    Philip’s coffin will be carried from Windsor Castle in the back of an open-top Land Rover he helped develop with the Army.

    He will reportedly be laid in a lead-lined coffin made of oak.

    The Duke’s coffin was made alongside one for the Queen but no one knows how old it is as the company inherited them in 1991.

    And it is unlikely to be shown at the funeral on Saturday as it will be draped in the Duke’s personal standard.

    Although Philip will one day be buried with the Queen in the memorial chapel in Frogmore Gardens, his body will lie in the Royal Vault until the day comes.

  • Alice Peacock

    QUEEN & ROYALS TO WEAR FACE MASKS TO PRINCE PHILIP’S FUNERAL

    The Queen will wear a face mask at Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday.

    Her Majesty, 94, and other royals will not be exempt from Covid rules as her beloved husband is buried on Saturday with just 30 mourners present.

    Just 30 guests will be in attendance and the Queen will not take part in the procession from Windsor Castle.

    Prince William and Harry, who arrived back in the UK two days ago for the funeral, and other senior royals will follow the Land Rover on foot.

    A minute’s silence will be held across the nation at 3pm to remember Philip’s 70-plus years of service.

     

  • Alice Peacock

    SOPHIE WESSEX BECAME QUEEN'S ROCK AFTER PHILIP'S DEATH

    She is the lesser spotted royal – yet it is Sophie Wessex  who  has  become the surprise official messenger since Prince Philip’s death on Friday.

    It was the Countess of Wessex who explained what was rightly too painful for Her Majesty to convey just 48 hours after the death of her beloved husband.

    Watched by her slightly startled husband Edward, she said: “It was so gentle, like someone took him by the hand, and then he went. Very peaceful, which is what you want for somebody, isn’t it?”

    The day before, the 56-year-old Countess lowered her Range Rover’s window to say the Queen had been “Thinking of others before herself, she’s amazing”.

    What gave her response added poignancy was that she had clearly shed some tears.

  • Alice Peacock

    AXE ON THE MALL – MAN ARRESTED NEAR BUCKINGHAM PALACE

    A man allegedly seen wielding an axe near Buckingham Palace has been arrested by six armed cops.

    The Met Police said officers were on patrol on The Mall in London at around 6.30pm on Tuesday when they spotted the man with the weapon.

    A bald suspect, in his 40s and wearing sunglasses, was led to the back of a police van by armed cops.

    Photos taken by onlookers showed cops placing what is thought to be the axe inside a white bag.

    Three police cars and a van remain parked on the road as the investigation continues. There are no reports of any injuries.

  • Alice Peacock

    PRINCE ANDREW 'DEMANDS' TO DRESS AS ADMIRAL FOR PHILIP’S FUNERAL

    Prince Andrew reportedly told the Queen he wished to dress as an Admiral for Prince Philip’s funeral – despite deferring the title after the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal.

    The Duke of York, who stepped back from public duties over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein 18 months ago, was made an honorary Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy on his 55th birthday in 2015.

    He was due to be promoted to Admiral on his 60th birthday last year, but offered to defer the role until he cleared his name and returned to public life.

    Now, the 61-year-old prince has reportedly told the Queen and senior officials he wished to attend his father’s farewell as an Admiral, The Daily Mail reports.

  • Alice Peacock

    QUEEN AND PHILIP'S FIRST HOME WILL BE TURNED INTO A MUSEUM

    The villa in Malta where the Queen and Prince Philip lived between 1949 and 1951 is undergoing a huge £9 million restoration, to transform the home into a museum.

    The five-year project is underway on the two-storey villa near the capital of Valletta.

    The aim was to promote the relationship between the Mediterranean island and the UK, and the Royald Family, the Daily Mail reported.

    A huge effort was needed to save the villa, where

    Then-Princess Elizabeth was in her first years of her marriage when she lived at the home, from 1949 and 1951.

    She moved to Malta when her husband, Prince Philip, was based there, in command of the Royal Navy Frigate.

  • Alice Peacock

    ARMED FORCES GEARING UP FOR PHILIP’S FUNERAL

    The Armed Forces are stepping up preparations for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral as senior officers paid tribute to the Queen’s Consort.

    Philip’s funeral will feature servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF – alongside top military brass – this Saturday at Windsor Castle.

    Soldiers from the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) are reportedly working to prepare the special Land Rover – that the duke helped design – which will carry his coffin on Saturday.

    Lieutenant General Paul Jaques, who served with REME, said about the duke, his unit’s former colonel-in-chief: “He was engaged with us and used to visit us probably once or twice every single year since 1969.

    “And he had an enormous passion for all things engineering. In his own words ‘If it wasn’t invented by God, it was invented by an engineer’.”

  • Alice Peacock

    EXTENSIVE TV COVERAGE OF FUNERAL EXPECTED

    Prince Philip’s funeral day will receive extensive TV coverage both in the UK and around the world.

    The day will be covered around the globe on TV with a live broadcast on BBC.

    The Royal Family has asked the public not to travel to Windsor Castle for Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday April 17.

    The funeral will begin with a national minute’s silence at 3pm.

  • Alice Peacock

    HARRY AND MEGHAN 'REGRET' TIMING OF INTERVIEW

    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reportedly have "regrets" over the timing of their interview with Oprah Winfrey – but say they had no control over when it was aired.

    The bombshell interview aired while Prince Philip was in hospital, just weeks before his death.

    A source close to the pair reportedly told Heat Magazine that while they may regret the timing of the interview, it was something they felt they had to do.

    Harry had not seen the Duke of Edinburgh in over a year following his decision to quit the Royal Family.

  • Alice Peacock

    PHILIP'S COFFIN MADE FOR HIM DECADES AGO

    Prince Philip's coffin, which is English oak, lined with lead, was made for him many decades ago.

    The exact circumstances surrounding the coffin's construction is a mystery, according to Royal Central, with there being no record of exactly when the funerary box was made.

    According to the Daily Mail, the coffin is so old that nobody at the Royal Undertakers actually knows for certain how long ago it was made.

    Leverton and Sons ‘inherited’ the coffin back in 1991 when they became the official Royal Funeral Directors.

     

  • Alice Peacock

    PRINCE WILLIAM SHARES MEMORIES OF ‘EXTRAORDINARY GRANDPA’

    The Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex have recalled their grandfather as an individual, “authentically himself”, filled with warmth and wit and devoted to the monarch.

    Reflecting on how his grandfather’s “century of life was defined by service”, 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.”

    He added: “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.”

    Credit: PA
  • Alice Peacock

    PRINCE HARRY HAS FLOWN THOUSANDS OF MILES FOR FUNERAL

    Prince Harry has flown 5,000 miles from the US to be at Windsor Castle on Saturday — where he will meet senior royals for the first time since “Megxit” and his contentious Oprah Winfrey chat.

    He will walk behind Philip’s coffin alongside brother Prince William and dad Prince Charles, just weeks after he claimed they were trapped inside the Royal Family.

    But a Palace source insisted: “I’m sure Charles will be very happy to see his son.

    “It’s been more than a year. The Prince is very much looking forward to seeing him.”

    Harry last saw the royals at the Westminster Abbey Commonwealth Day service on March 9, 2020.

  • Alice Peacock

    PRINCE PHILIP CLASSIC QUOTES

    The Duke of Edinburgh was famous for his quick wit and dry sense of humour. Here are a few of his classic quotes:

    • “The French don’t know how to cook breakfast” – after being served bacon, eggs, smoked salmon, kedgeree, croissants and pain au chocolat by Regis Crepy.
    • “I would like to go to Russia very much – although the bastards murdered half my family” – when asked if he would like to visit the then Soviet Union back in 1967.
    • “I wish he’d turn the microphone off” – while watching Elton John perform at the Royal Variety Show, 2001.
    • “You have mosquitoes. I have the press” – while speaking to a Caribbean hospital matron, 1966.

    WILL AND HARRY SPEAK ON PHONE AHEAD OF FUNERAL

    Prince Harry and William have reportedly had a chat on the phone, ahead of their first face-to-face meeting in a year at Prince Philip’s funeral. 

    The brothers will be reunited at the ceremony at Windsor Castle on Saturday afternoon – with Kate Middleton expected to act as a peacemaker.

    The Duke of Sussex returned to the UK on Sunday and is staying at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor to quarantine for five days ahead of his grandad's funeral on Saturday.

    Meghan Markle, 39, who is heavily pregnant, made “every effort” to travel but didn’t receive medical clearance from her physician, a Senior Palace Official and Buckingham Palace spokesman said.

    It marks Harry’s first visit to the UK since he and Meghan stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family and since their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.

    PRINCE ANDREW DEMANDS TO DRESS AS ADMIRAL FOR PHILIP'S FUNERAL

    Prince Andrew reportedly told the Queen he wished to dress as an Admiral for Prince Philip's funeral – despite deferring the title after the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal.

    The Duke of York, who stepped back from public duties over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein 18 months ago, was made an honorary Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy on his 55th birthday in 2015.

    He was due to be promoted to Admiral on his 60th birthday last year, but offered to defer the role until he cleared his name and returned to public life.

    Now, the 61-year-old prince has reportedly told the Queen and senior officials he wished to attend his father's farewell as an Admiral, The Daily Mail reports.

    Her Majesty is expected to make a decision on Andrew's outfit in the next 24 hours.

    PRINCE HARRY HAS FLOWN THOUSANDS OF MILES FOR FUNERAL

    Prince Harry has flown 5,000 miles from the US to be at Windsor Castle on Saturday — where he will meet senior royals for the first time since “Megxit” and his contentious Oprah Winfrey chat.

    He will walk behind Philip’s coffin alongside brother Prince William and dad Prince Charles, just weeks after he claimed they were trapped inside the Royal Family.

    But a Palace source insisted: “I’m sure Charles will be very happy to see his son".

    Harry last saw the royals at the Westminster Abbey Commonwealth Day service on March 9, 2020.

    • Alice Peacock

      QUEEN ‘LOST’ WITHOUT PHILIP, SAYS DUKE’S COUSIN

      The Queen will be completely “lost” without Prince Philip as he was her “world”, one of his grieving relatives has revealed.

      Lady Myra Butter, a cousin to the Duke of Edinburgh, described Her Majesty’s sense of loss following his death as “incalculable.”

      Speaking about his dedication to duty, Lady Myra told ITV “nobody could have done that job” as Philip did.

      And when asked what the Queen has lost, and what her husband meant to her, she replied: “The world, I think. Incalculable.

      “There’s nobody, in my mind, who could have done that job. Nobody. Dedicated to it, and very intelligent….and youthful,” she said.

      “He was a step behind walking, but he was never a step behind as a person.”

      Read the full story here.

    • Alice Peacock

      PHILIP'S FINAL JOURNEY

    • Alice Peacock

      FUNERAL PLANS

      Philip's coffin will be carried from Windsor Castle in the back of an open-top Land Rover he helped develop with the Army.

      He will reportedly be laid in a lead-lined coffin made of oak.

      The Duke's coffin was made alongside one for the Queen but no one knows how old it is as the company inherited them in 1991.

      And it is unlikely to be shown at the funeral on Saturday as it will be draped in the Duke's personal standard.

      Although Philip will one day be buried with the Queen in the memorial chapel in Frogmore Gardens, his body will lie in the Royal Vault until the day comes.

    • Alice Peacock

      ARMED FORCES GEARING UP FOR PHILIP’S FUNERAL

      The Armed Forces are stepping up preparations for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral as senior officers paid tribute to the Queen’s Consort.

      Philip’s funeral will feature servicemen and women from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army and RAF – alongside top military brass – this Saturday at Windsor Castle.

      Soldiers from the Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) are reportedly working to prepare the special Land Rover – that the duke helped design – which will carry his coffin on Saturday.

      Lieutenant General Paul Jaques, who served with REME, said about the duke, his unit’s former colonel-in-chief: “He was engaged with us and used to visit us probably once or twice every single year since 1969.

      “And he had an enormous passion for all things engineering. In his own words ‘If it wasn’t invented by God, it was invented by an engineer’.”

      Source: Read Full Article