Prince Philip’s death has left “a great void” in the life of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Andrew said in a rare public appearance on Sunday since stepping down from royal duties for his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The King thanked the public for their support and told reporters outside a private chapel in a park near Windsor Castle, the 11th-century palace 30 miles west of London where Philip died on Friday that his father was “a remarkable man “who would” always do it, listen. “
“I am very sorry and I support my mother who feels it I think probably more than anyone,” he said, adding that the queen remained “stoic” in her grief.
“She described it as leaving a great emptiness in her life, but we, the families who are closer, gather together to make sure we are there to support them and I know there is a great amount of support there, not just for them, but for everyone as we go through this tremendous change, ”he added.
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His comments were a rare public statement on camera as he stepped down from royal duties in 2019 because of his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The king has been widely criticized for one He gave an interview to the BBC “Newsnight”“In November of that year, defending his relationship with the shamed financier, after which he was accused of lacking empathy for Epstein’s victims and showing insufficient remorse.
He was further urged to speak to U.S. prosecutors and the FBI, which was compounded after Ghislaine Maxwell was accused of recruiting girls for Epstein for sexual abuse.
Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Epstein as a teenager, said in an interview with the BBC’s Panorama that she was “appalled and ashamed” after an alleged sexual encounter with Andrew in London in 2001.
Prince Andrew had denied any form of sexual contact or relationship with Giuffre, and his lawyers said he offered to help with the investigation.
Andrew said he spoke to his father a few months before he died and Philip told him, “We are all in the same boat and we always need to remember this, but occasionally we, the family, are asked to stand up and show compassion and leadership. “
He added that Philip’s death “brought it home to me, not just our loss, but actually the loss everyone else felt for so many people who died and lost loved ones during the pandemic”.
Andrew’s younger brother, Prince Edward, told the media outside the chapel that his father’s death was a “terrible shock”.
A solemn funeral for Philip will be held next Saturday at Windsor Castle, which is closed to the public due to coronavirus restrictions as the country mourns two weeks after his death.