Prince Andrew made a rare public statement on Sunday, following the death of his father, Prince Philip. The Duke of York said his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has felt a "huge void in her life" since Philip's death on Friday. The Duke of Edinburgh was 99. Andrew, 61, has mostly withdrawn from the public eye due to his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew called his father's death a "terrible loss" and said the Royal Family is "rallying around" the Queen, reports the BBC. He also thanked mourners for the "absolutely amazing tributes" they have seen. "The Queen, as you would expect, is an incredibly stoic person," Andrew said. "She described it as having left a huge void in her life but we, the family, the ones that are close, are rallying round to make sure that we're there to support her."
"We've lost almost the grandfather of the nation"April 11, 2021
Philip was "so calm," Andrew recalled. "If you had a problem, he would think about it. He was always somebody you could go to and he would always listen so it's a great loss. We've lost almost the grandfather of the nation. And I feel very sorry and supportive of my mother who's feeling it probably more than everybody else."
Andrew is the third child of the Queen and Prince Philip and is eighth in line to the British throne, behind his older brother Prince Charles, his nephews Prince William and Prince Harry, and Charles' grandchildren. Andrew suspended his public duties in November 2019 after the backlash from his BBC interview that same month about his ties to Epstein. In May 2020, Buckingham Palace announced he permanently resigned from all public duties. He has rarely been photographed since then.
Andrew's comments on his father came after a special service at Windsor's Royal Lodge, also attended by Prince Edward, Edward's wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and their daughter Lady Louise Windsor. "However much one tries to prepare oneself for something like this, it's still a dreadful shock," Edward, the Quen's youngest son, said Sunday. "And we're still trying to come to terms with that. And it's very, very sad. But I have to say that the extraordinary tribute and the memories that everybody has had and been willing to share has been so fantastic."
Prince Charles, who is next in line to the British throne, spoke to the public in a brief video message the Royal Family shared on Saturday. "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," Charles said. "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." Philip's funeral is planned for Saturday, April 17.