Sophie Wessex says Prince Philip's death was 'so gentle'

Sophie Wessex says Prince Philip’s death was ‘so gentle, it’s just like someone took him by the hand and off he went’

  • Sophie, Countess of Wessex, was attending a Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor on Sunday
  • She described Prince Philip’s loss as leaving a ‘massive, massive hole’ when talking to mourners outside the chapel
  • Philip died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday

Sophie, Countess of Wessex, has described Price Philip’s death as ‘so gentle,’ saying ‘it’s just like someone took him by the hand and off he went.’

Sophie was among those attending a Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor today.

The service comes two days after Prince Philip died aged 99.   

‘You know it’s going to happen but when it happens it’s just this massive, massive hole,’ Sophie told a group of three mourners outside the chapel.

‘It was so gentle, it was just like someone took him by the hand and off he went. Very, very peaceful and that’s all you want with somebody isn’t it?

‘I think it’s so much easier for the person that goes than the people left behind, we’re all sitting here looking at each other going “This is awful,”‘ Sophie said.

She added that all the tributes that had come for Philip had been ‘amazing’ especially considering the restrictions of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Sophie, Countess of Wessex (right), has described Price Philip’s death as ‘so gentle,’ saying ‘it’s just like someone took him by the hand and off he went.’ Sophie was among those attending a Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor today

Sophie (right) also joined her husband Prince Edward (left) and daughter Lady Louise Windsor (centre)  to speak to the media outside the chapel

Sophie also joined her husband Prince Edward and daughter Lady Louise Windsor to speak to the media outside the chapel.

‘It’s been a bit of a shock. However one tries to prepare oneself for something like this, it’s still a dreadful shock and we’re sort of trying to come to terms with that,’ Edward told ITV.

‘It’s very, very, sad, but I have to say, the extraordinary tributes and the memories that everybody’s had and been willing to share has been so fantastic and it just goes to show, he might have been our father, grandfather, father-in-law, but he meant so much to so many other people.

Prince Philip died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family ‘mourning his loss’

‘And just being here this morning with everybody from Windsor Great Park and he was a ranger here for, I think, more years than any other ranger and he means so much to so many people here and it’s the same for those who lived and worked at Balmoral and Sandringham. 

‘For all those past and present, he means a huge huge amount to them … they all have their own personal memories and stories and our hearts go out to all of them as well,’ Edward said.

‘He always exchanged words with everybody because it didn’t matter what anybody was doing in and around the estate, here and everywhere else, they all meant a lot to him and he always took a very personal interest in everything that they were doing. So they’ve all got stories to tell and most of them are quite funny as well’ Sophie added. 

Prince Andrew was also in attendance at the service and said the Queen had described the loss of her husband as ‘having left a huge void in her life’. 

Andrew said the Queen is ‘an incredibly stoic person’, but said Philip’s death had left her grieving and ‘she is feeling it more than anyone’. 

He said: ‘She described his passing as a miracle and she’s contemplating, I think is the way that I would put it.

‘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.’

Andrew added of his father: ‘He was a remarkable man. I loved him as a father. He was so calm. He was always someone you could go to. We have lost the grandfather of the nation.’ 

Prince Andrew was also in attendance at the service and said the Queen had described the loss of her husband as ‘having left a huge void in her life’. Pictured: Prince Andrew (right) with Sophie on Sunday

The Duke of York, who stepped down from royal duties amid the scandal over his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, also said today: ‘It’s a terrible loss. My father said to me on the telephone a few months ago, ”We are all in the same boat and we must always remember that, but occasionally we, the family, are asked to stand up and show compassion and leadership”.

‘And unfortunately, with my father’s death, it has brought it home to me, not just our loss, but actually the loss that everybody else has felt, for so many people who have died and lost loved ones during the pandemic.

‘And so, we are all in the same boat – slightly different circumstances because he didn’t die from Covid, but we’re all feeling a great sense of loss.’  

Prince Philip died peacefully in his sleep at Windsor Castle on Friday, two months before his 100th birthday, leaving the Queen and the royal family ‘mourning his loss’. 

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