News ‘Never really ready’: Princess Anne pays tribute to her late father, Prince Philip
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‘Never really ready’: Princess Anne pays tribute to her late father, Prince Philip

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Princess Anne has issued a touching statement paying homage to her father, Prince Philip, the late husband of the Queen.

The Duke of Edinburgh was two months shy of celebrating his 100th birthday when he died in his sleep at Windsor castle on Friday.

But his age does not diminish how much he will be missed by his family.

The Princess Royal, who has been described as her father’s “favourite child”, released the statement through the royal family’s official Instagram account on Monday.

Princess Anne, 70, candidly revealed that although her father’s death was not a surprise, she was still not prepared to say goodbye.

“You know it’s going to happen but you are never really ready,” she Anne wrote.

“My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate.”

“His ability to treat every person as an individual in their own right with their own skills comes through all the organisations with which he was involved.”

The second eldest child and only daughter to the Queen and Prince Philip, Anne had previously been tasked with carrying on some of her father’s work.

“I regard it as an honour and a privilege to have been asked to follow in his footsteps and it has been a pleasure to have kept him in touch with their activities. I know how much he meant to them, in the UK, across the Commonwealth and in the wider world,” she wrote.

The Princess thanked the public for their support and condolences.

“I would like to emphasise how much the family appreciate the messages and memories of so many people whose lives he also touched.

“We will miss him but he leaves a legacy which can inspire us all.”

The Queen and Prince Philip with their two eldest children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne. Photo: Getty Images

Royal children remember ‘encouraging’ father

Prince Philip’s four children also spoke of their father on a BBC tribute on Friday night.

His eldest son, the Prince of Wales, said that while his father did not “suffer fools gladly”, he was good at showing him how to do things.

“Well you know he didn’t suffer fools gladly, so if you said anything that was in any way ambiguous he’d say ‘make up your mind’,” Charles said.

The Princess Royal said she would best remember her father as “always being there”, someone to help with a problem or bounce ideas off.

The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, said that Philip used to read to the family in the evenings, “just the same as any other family”.

His youngest son Edward, the Earl of Wessex, said Philip had a “challenging role”, but carried it out with the most “extraordinary flair” and had never tried to overshadow the Queen.

Australia holds Thanksgiving services

Meanwhile, in Australia, church services giving thanks for the life of Prince Philip will be held in Melbourne and Adelaide this week.

St Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne will hold a thanksgiving service for the prince on Wednesday and St Peter’s Cathedral in Adelaide will hold one next Sunday, April 18.

In a public statement at the weekend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered condolences to the Queen and praised her husband’s  contribution to the Commonwealth.

He is expected to move a condolence motion for the prince when parliament next meets.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s death was marked with a 41-gun salute in Canberra on Saturday, in keeping with a tradition observed by other Commonwealth nations.

Flags were flown at half-mast across the country and will be again next Saturday for Prince Philip’s funeral in Britain.

Prince Philip visited Australia 21 times, the first in 1940, before his marriage to the then Princess Elizabeth.

Some of his trips to Australia drew international headlines for controversial comments.

On one occasion he asked an Aboriginal elder: “Do you still throw spears at each other?”.

Former prime minister John Howard said it was his so-called ‘gaffes’ that made people, particularly Australians, warm to the prince.

Another former PM Malcolm Turnbull – who is also a leading republican – shared how Prince Philip once identified him as “the Republican fellow” and then quipped: “You should have been a republic years ago!”.

-with AAP

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