A tearful Sophie Wessex told of the “intensity” of Prince Philip’s funeral with so few people, and how her children still expect to see him arriving at their home in his Land Rover.
Philip’s death has been a heavy loss for the Queen following 73 years of marriage and left a significant void with other members of the Royal Family trying to offer her support.
His funeral in April during the Covid lockdown saw a restricted number of people attend and it was low-key in keeping with the way that Philip wanted.
In the days surrounding the funeral, Prince Edward’s wife Sophie was one of the royals who came to the fore, speaking to the media about the funeral arrangements and how the Queen was coping.
Now she and Edward have given a revealing insight into what it was like to be at the funeral and how much they are missing the presence of Philip.
Filled with emotion, Sophie told the Telegraph magazine the moment at the start of the funeral “when everything stopped” ahead of the arrival of Philip’s coffin in a customised Land Rover.
“Everything went still,” she said.
“I think the fact there were so few of us only served to raise the intensity of it.”
Edward said how much more “intimate” the funeral was due to the reduced number of people, while Sophie added: “To see Her Majesty on her own; it was very poignant.”
She said it was very sad for many other people who would have wanted to go to the funeral but she appreciated it has been a similar situation for many families up and down the country.
The royal couple also told how they and their children Louise, 17, and James, 13, regularly met Philip and the kids still expect to see “grandpa” arriving in his Land Rover.
With Windsor Castle only a 15 minute journey from their home, the Wessexes spent many weekends riding through Windsor Great Park.
Louise has also inherited Philip’s love of carriage riding and is the reigning young driver national champion.
Sophie said: “Louise went out training the other day and I was standing there, expecting the Duke to turn up and give her a few tips or just ask her how things were going.”