Queen Elizabeth II has been "amazing" since her husband, Prince Philip, died on Friday at age 99, according to Sophie, Countess of Wessex. The countess made the comment as she and her husband, the Queen and Philip's youngest son Prince Edward, left Windsor Castle on Saturday morning. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were married for over 70 years before his death.
As Edward and Sophie drove away from the castle, she rolled down the window and briefly spoke to Sky News' Rhiannon Mills. "The Queen has been amazing," Sophie said. Edward, 57, is 12th in the line of British succession, behind his older brother Prince Charles, his nephews Prince William and Prince Harry, William and Harry's children, and his other brother, Prince Andrew, and Andrew's daughters. The Queen and Philip also had a daughter, Anne, Princess Royal, who is 15th in the line. Anne has not commented on her father's death. Andrew was also been seen leaving Windsor Castle.
Charles spoke out in a video statement the palace released on social media Saturday. "He 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 Commonwealth, who share our loss and our sorrow," Charles, who is next in line to the throne, said. "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. 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."
The Royal Family announced Philip's death Friday morning. The family later announced the plans for his funeral on Saturday, April 17. There will be a ceremonial procession inside the Windsor Castle grounds before the service begins at 3 p.m. at St. George's Chapel. The plans will follow along with the Duke's "own personal wishes," and will "recognize and celebrate" his life in service to the Queen. The palace also noted this will be a "Ceremonial Royal Funeral," similar to the one for Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother in 2002. A State Funeral is reserved for monarchs.
The period of National Mourning began on Friday and will continue until the day of the funeral. All U.K. flags will be flown at half-mast on royal residences, government buildings, and at armed forces and U.K. posts abroad. Harry is reportedly planning to attend, although his wife Meghan Markle, who is pregnant, will follow her doctor's wishes and will not travel.