Almost four months after the funeral of royal consort Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh's grandson is reflecting on the patriarch's passing. Peter Phillips, Princess Anne's son and Queen Elizabeth's eldest grandchild, recently spoke with BBC about grieving this loss.
The Duke's funeral had to be conducted with social distancing protocols in place, in light of the pandemic. Because of these rules, Queen Elizabeth was forced to sit alone at the service, as family members could only sit alongside members of their households. Phillips described helping his grandmother through her huge loss during this unusual time.
"Our thoughts immediately went to my grandmother. We've been trying to support her as much as we can," Phillips told BBC. "Everybody saw the image of Her Majesty sitting alone. 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."
He continued, describing how these challenges were not unique to the royals. "It's the same for a lot of families," he noted. "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 is also using this period to reflect on his grandfather's long life. The Duke of Edinburgh passed away at age 99. "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," Phillips said, also describing the duke as a "hugely influential figure in our lives."
Though this period has been difficult for the royals, Phillips did describe a few upsides. His two children with ex-wife, Autumn Phillips, Savannah (age 10) and Isla (age 9), both got to spend more time with their great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, during the lockdown period.
"They're exceptionally lucky to have had two great-grandparents who have lived as long as they have. My children certainly appreciate that and know that it's something special," he said.
Most of all, Phillips noted that he is prioritizing aiding his grandmother and stepping in to help with his grandfather's royal duties. "He would not want us to be moping around and feeling sorry for ourselves," Phillips said. "He would absolutely be wanting us to carry on in continuing the work that he's been doing, well he did, for all of those years supporting the Queen."
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