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Royal Family Member On The 'Hardest Part' Of Prince Philip's Funeral

The Duke of Edinburgh died on April 9 at the age of 99.

Peter Phillips is talking about the loss of his grandfather, the late Prince Philip, and the “hardest part” of attending the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral just a few months ago. 

Phillips, who is the son of Princess Anne and her first husband, Mark Phillips, said that after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death on April 9, “our thoughts immediately went to my grandmother,” Queen Elizabeth

“We’ve been trying to support her as much as we can,” the 43-year-old told the BBC in a recent interview.

But despite all of the family’s support, they couldn’t comfort the queen at her late husband’s funeral, due to coronavirus restrictions. Only 30 people were allowed to attend the funeral, which took place on April 17.  

“Everybody saw the image of Her Majesty sitting alone,” Phillips said of one of the most striking moments and photos that emerged from the 50-minute funeral. “It would have been the same for any other family, the hardest part is not being able to hug those closest to the person who’s been lost.” 

Queen Elizabeth sits alone during the funeral of her late husband of over 70 years, Prince Philip.
Queen Elizabeth sits alone during the funeral of her late husband of over 70 years, Prince Philip.

“It’s the same for a lot of families,” the royal explained. “There have been some great sadnesses but at the same time you’ve got to try to take the positives out of these situations, whether that be new life, or happy memories, that’s what you’ve got to focus on.”

Phillips added that his grandfather is “sorely missed” as he was “such a fixture of all of our lives.” 

“He lived a remarkable life and if any of us can even live half the life that he did, we would all be extraordinarily happy,” he added. 

Phillips, who is normally not in the spotlight as much as other members of the royal family, played an important role at the funeral.

He walked between his cousins Prince William and Prince Harry, who publicly reunited for the first time in nearly a year at the funeral, during the procession behind their grandfather’s coffin to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. 

Prince William, Peter Phillips and Prince Harry follow the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin during his funeral procession to St. Ge
Prince William, Peter Phillips and Prince Harry follow the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin during his funeral procession to St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle on April 17.

While it appeared Phillips’ walking between the brothers was due to their strained relationship, Buckingham Palace refused to attribute it to anything other than “practical changes.” 

“This is a funeral and we are not going to be drawn into perceptions of drama,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson told People magazine at the time. “The arrangements have been agreed and represent Her Majesty’s wishes.”

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  • The Duchess of Cambridge arrives, mask on, for the funeral.
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    The Duchess of Cambridge arrives, mask on, for the funeral.
  • The Foot Guards Band are seen marching into position ahead of the funeral.
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    The Foot Guards Band are seen marching into position ahead of the funeral.
  • Prince William seen leaving Kensington Palace, heading to Windsor for Prince Phillip's funeral.
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    Prince William seen leaving Kensington Palace, heading to Windsor for Prince Phillip's funeral.
  • Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Prince William, Earl of Snowdon David Armstrong-Jones, Peter Phillips, Prince E
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    Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Prince William, Earl of Snowdon David Armstrong-Jones, Peter Phillips, Prince Edward, Prince Harry and Vice-Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence before the funeral.
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    The bearer Party found by The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, carry the coffin of Prince Philip to the purpose-built Land Rover hearse.
  • Princess Anne, pictured during the Ceremonial Procession.
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    Princess Anne, pictured during the Ceremonial Procession.
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    The Prince of Wales and The Princess Royal follow the Land Rover Defender carrying the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin
  • Members of the royal family follow the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin before his funeral on Saturday.
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    Members of the royal family follow the Duke of Edinburgh's coffin before his funeral on Saturday.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with His Royal Highness’s Personal Standard, is seen on the Land Rover th
    Samir Hussein via Getty Images
    The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with His Royal Highness’s Personal Standard, is seen on the Land Rover that he had helped modify for his funeral.
  • Princes William (left) and Harry walk in the procession.
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    Princes William (left) and Harry walk in the procession.
  • Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge arrive for the funeral.
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    Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge arrive for the funeral.
  • Ponies pull the Duke of Edinburgh's driving carriage at Windsor Castle.
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    Ponies pull the Duke of Edinburgh's driving carriage at Windsor Castle.
  • Prince Charles cries as he walks behind his father's coffin. 
    Leon Neal via Getty Images
    Prince Charles cries as he walks behind his father's coffin. 
  • The queen arrives for the service.
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    The queen arrives for the service.
  • Queen Elizabeth walking into the chapel.
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    Queen Elizabeth walking into the chapel.
  • Queen Elizabeth takes her seat.
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    Queen Elizabeth takes her seat.
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    WPA Pool via Getty Images
    The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with his Personal Standard, arrives at St George’s Chapel carried by a bearer party found by the Royal Marines.
  • The Duchess of Cambridge waiting at St. George's Chapel.
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    The Duchess of Cambridge waiting at St. George's Chapel.
  • The coffin is carried into the quire during the funeral service.
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    The coffin is carried into the quire during the funeral service.
  • Queen Elizabeth II watches as pallbearers carry the coffin of Prince Philip.
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    Queen Elizabeth II watches as pallbearers carry the coffin of Prince Philip.
  • Prince William and Kate Middleton at St. George's Chapel during the service.
    DOMINIC LIPINSKI via Getty Images
    Prince William and Kate Middleton at St. George's Chapel during the service.
  • The Duke of Sussex sits alone, in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, as he attends the funeral service of his grandfather.
    YUI MOK via Getty Images
    The Duke of Sussex sits alone, in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, as he attends the funeral service of his grandfather.
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    Sophie, Countess of Wessex, needs a tissue.
  • Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles sit during the funeral service.
    DOMINIC LIPINSKI via Getty Images
    Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles sit during the funeral service.
  • Images of the queen and the duke are displayed on screens at Piccadilly Circus in London while the funeral is held at Windsor
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    Images of the queen and the duke are displayed on screens at Piccadilly Circus in London while the funeral is held at Windsor.
  • Princess Beatrice of York (right) and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, at St George's Chapel.
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    Princess Beatrice of York (right) and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, at St George's Chapel.
  • A general view as members of the royal family attend the funeral at St. George's Chapel. 
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    A general view as members of the royal family attend the funeral at St. George's Chapel. 
  • Wreaths from members of the royal family lie against the pews during the funeral.
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    Wreaths from members of the royal family lie against the pews during the funeral.
  • Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank pictured in the pews. 
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    Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank pictured in the pews. 
  • The Duchess of Cornwall departs after the funeral.
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    The Duchess of Cornwall departs after the funeral.