Prince Edward says Philip 'may have departed this world but his spirit lives on' in touching tribute

PRINCE Edward today said Philip "may have departed this world but his spirit lives on" in a touching tribute to his father.

The Earl of Wessex said the Duke of Edinburgh had a "unique ability to make a lasting impression" and was a person that "once met" was "never forgotten".

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Thanking those who have paid their respects, he wrote: "Reading just some of the wonderful memories you have shared about your experiences of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and, in some cases, of meeting my father, has been truly uplifting.

"I think I may have said once that he was a man that once met, never forgotten."

The Earl went on to note Philip's "unique ability to make a lasting impression in a remarkably short time".

And: "I, like all my family, have a lifetime of lasting impressions, inspiration, shared passions and love."

He added: "He may have departed this world, but his spirit and ethos lives on through his Award, through each and every life touched, transformed, inspired; then, now and in the future.

"Thank you one and all for helping to create such an extraordinary tribute."

On Sunday, Prince Edward spoke of his shock following his father's death last week.

Speaking outside church with a small group of Royals, he said: "It's a bit of a shock.

"However much one tries to prepare oneself for something like this, it's still dreadful shock, and we're trying to come to terms with that.

"It's very, very sad."

Meanwhile, Edward's wife has reportedly given the Queen "tremendous comfort" following her father-in-law's death.

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, was one of the first to visit the Queen following the announcement of Philip's death.

The pair are thought to share a "special bond" – almost like mother and daughter.

Sources told The Mirror: "The Countess has been a tremendous source of comfort to the Queen.

"The Queen is very practical in making sure everyone is okay and despite her tremendous grief at the passing she is no different.

"Sophie cherishes her relationship with the Queen and not only appreciates her guidance and wisdom throughout her own life, she is very protective of her.

"Their bond is very like a mother and daughter and the feeling of love and respect is quite mutual. It is very special."

At the weekend the countess tearfully described the Queen as "amazing".

And speaking outside church on Sunday she said Her Majesty is "thinking of others before herself".

The monarch has spent much of the pandemic isolated at Windsor Castle.

Sophie, Edward and their children Lady Louise, 17 and James, Viscount Severn, 13, have been regular visitors from their home at Bagshot Park, Surrey.

More to follow…

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