Photo from old times: Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Edward, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew (from left to right) 1979 in front of Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
Photo: - / dpa
After the death of her husband Prince Philip, the British Queen Elizabeth II feels, according to her son Andrew, "a great emptiness".
She was "incredibly brave," but she had hit Philip's death hard, the prince reported on Sunday after a service at Windsor Castle.
The only glimmer of hope in the midst of the mourning: Prince Harry is also coming to the funeral on Saturday.
Prince Philip died on Friday morning two months before his 100th birthday at Windsor Castle.
Last year he and the Queen celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary.
Now her closest confidante is buried just four days before her 95th birthday.
"Grandfather of the Nation Lost": Prince Andrew
Photo: David Parker / dpa
"He was a remarkable man, I loved him as one can love a father," explained Prince Andrew.
"We have almost lost something like the grandfather of the nation," added the 61-year-old, after a disastrous BBC interview on Epstein in late 2019.
His younger brother Edward said that despite his recent serious illness, his father's death was "a terrible shock."
30 guests expected for the funeral service
The couple's eldest son, Prince Charles, thanked them with moving words the previous evening for their deep sympathy for the death of his "beloved papa."
He missed his father "tremendously," said the 72-year-old on television.
Princess Anne described in the BBC a father who was always there for her and always encouraged her to overcome her own limits.
"Duke of Hazard": Prince Andrew died at the age of 99
Photo: John Stillwell / dpa
Prince Philip had hated too much fuss about himself throughout his life and always wanted a private memorial service and burial at Windsor Castle.
The fact that the ceremony is now even more modest than originally planned due to the corona restrictions should suit him very well.
According to Buckingham Palace, instead of the planned 800, only 30 guests will attend the celebration next Saturday in St. George's Chapel on the extensive grounds of Windsor Castle.
In addition to the Queen, they are likely to include their four children, grandchildren and other close family members.
The ceremony is preceded by a nationwide minute's silence.
Harry comes, Meghan stays at home
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St. George's Chapel was last in international headlines in May 2018 as the location of the moving wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Since then, the honeymoon between the couple and the royal family has ended: in early 2020, the Queen's grandson and his wife surprisingly withdrew from the front row of the royals and moved to Meghan's Californian home with their son Archie.
An interview between the two of them with US star presenter Oprah Winfrey in early March, in which they raised allegations of racism against the royal family, among other things, caused further tension.
Philip's death immediately sparked speculation as to whether Harry and his wife would return to the UK for the first time for the funeral service.
According to a palace spokesman, Harry comes, but his heavily pregnant wife Meghan stays at home on medical advice.
Funeral as an "ideal opportunity" for a reconciliation between the brothers?
Most Sunday newspapers wondered what the reunion between the 36-year-old prince and his two-year-old brother William would be like after their recent estrangement.
The "Sun on Sunday" claims to have found out that the two of them will walk together behind their grandfather's coffin during the funeral procession through Windsor Castle - as they did when their mother, Princess Diana was buried in 1997 when they were little boys had.
According to the Sunday Telegraph, when Harry learned of his grandfather's death, he immediately sought a flight.
Accordingly, he should return to Great Britain this Sunday.
Flowers for the Prince: A young woman lays a bouquet in front of Buckingham Palace in London
Photo: HENRY NICHOLLS / REUTERS
Former British Prime Minister John Major said the funeral was an "ideal opportunity" for the brothers to reconcile.
"I very much hope that we can overcome any rifts that may exist," Major told the BBC.
The entire country will also be in mourning until Saturday.
The flags are flying at half-mast on all government buildings.
In many cities, 41 cannon volleys rang out for 40 minutes on Saturday afternoon in honor of the prince.
Minutes of silence were observed at numerous sports competitions.
Many of the Queen's subjects also insisted on mourning in public.
Despite the palace's request to stay away because of Corona, there was a constant stream of mourners outside the gates of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.
kik / dpa