PRINCE Philip died "gently" as if "somebody took him by the hand", his daughter-in-law said today.

Sophie Wessex spoke to mourners after attending a Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge in Windsor.

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And she told them: "You know it's going to happen but when it happens it's just this massive, massive hole.

"It was so gentle, it was just like someone took him by the hand and off he went.

"Very, very peaceful – and that's all you want with somebody isn't it?

"I think it's so much easier for the person that goes than the people left behind.

"We're all sitting here looking at each other going, 'This is awful'."

It comes as:

  • The Duke's death has 'left a huge void' for the Queen, Prince Andrew said
  • Kate and William pay tribute with a touching black-and-white shot of Philip
  • Harry risks 'permanent divorce' from his family if he's unapologetic upon his return, it's claimed
  • Former PM Sir John Major said Harry's "friction" with his family must end as swiftly as possible
  • Prince Philip was left "terribly upset" by an episode of The Crown

Reporters were permitted to film the conversation by the Royal Household. Filming at the chapel was also done with permission.

The Queen did not attend the service today, instead choosing to mark mass privately.

Sophie spoke after her husband Prince Edward and brother-in-law Prince Andrew each paid emotional tributes to their father.

The Duke of York said the Queen has been left with a "huge void" after her husband of 73 years died on Friday.

He called Philip the "grandfather of the nation" – and said his death had left the Queen grief-stricken.

"She described his passing as a miracle and she's contemplating, I think is the way that I would put it," he said.

"She described it as having left a huge void in her life, but we the family – the ones that are closer – are rallying round to make sure we're there."

And he told reporters he would always treasure his memories of his father, describing him as "so calm" and "always someone you can go to".

Meanwhile Sophie, who was yesterday tearful as she said the Queen had been "amazing", said the Duke had "always exchanged words with everybody".

Husband Edward told reporters: "It's a bit of a shock.

"However much one tries to prepare oneself for something like this, it's still dreadful shock, and we're trying to come to terms with that.

"It's very, very sad."

However, he thanked Brits for their "extraordinary tributes" and the memories people have shared with the family.

The three spoke out hours after Prince Charles said goodbye to his "dear papa".

In an emotional statement last night, Charles said he misses his father "enormously" and the Duke would be "so deeply touched" by the outpouring of grief.

It was revealed yesterday that Prince Philip's televised funeral will take place on April 17 at 3pm in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

In a typically down-to-earth decision, the Duke said he wanted to be taken to St George's Chapel by a specially-modified Land Rover.

His son Charles and grandsons Harry and William will join an eight-minute procession to the chapel.

And Prince Harry – who was deeply fond of his grandfather – is understood to be on his way back from the States now.

He'll need to quarantine for five days when he arrives and provide a negative test to avoid a longer isolation.

However, his pregnant wife Meghan has been advised not to travel – meaning the Duke of Sussex will be alone when he meets his family for the first time face-to-face since leaving for the US.

The Queen must choose just 30 people to attend her beloved husband's funeral, which will take place entirely within the grounds of Windsor on April 17.

The initial list – which stretched to around 800 – has been massively cut back as a result of the Covid crisis.

It's expected the Queen and Duke's great-grandchildren – including Princess Charlotte and her brothers – will be considered too young to attend.

Boris Johnson will not attend the service to allow another member of the family to go in his place.

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