The monarchy is in mourning following the passing of Prince Philip, this Friday, 9 April. As his life drew to a close, the Duke of Edinburgh was greatly weakened but still lucid, enough to help plan his funeral, set his affairs in order, and talk to his family one last time.
During his hospitalisation at King Edward VII Hospital in London, the Sovereign's husband asked to see his eldest son, Prince Charles, in order to bequeath him a few words that were close to his heart. The Duke of Cornwall then moved on 20 February, to go to his father's bedside. In a 'moving and frank' conversation, the Duke made one final request of his son to take 'care of the Queen' when he left, royal expert Robert Jobson told the Daily Mail. Besides that, he also gave some advice to the heir to the crown on how to lead the royal family in the years to come.
Father and son brought together
This open-hearted conversation sealed the relationship of father and son. After a life of well-publicised disagreements, Princes Philip and Charles have found common ground in recent years, and particularly in recent months. The Duke of Cornwall had grown closer to his father and was said to have been in constant contact with him over the past twelve months. As a royal source asserts:
They always loved each other, that was never questioned. But there was a deeper respect growing.
Advice for the heir to the crown
Following his heart surgery and long weeks in hospital, Prince Philip was aware that he was unlikely to recover. According to a source at the Palace, who reported this information to the British tabloid, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II has expressed a wish to return home. He wanted to 'die in his own bed at Windsor Castle.'
This Saturday, 10 April, Prince Charles broke the silence and spoke to the press to pay tribute to his late father.
As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously. He was a much loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and in the Commonwealth, who also I think, share our loss and sorrow.
A sober tribute but full of emotion. The funeral of the late prince will take place on Saturday, 17 April, in St-George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.