Philip Philip death left ‘giant-sized hole’ in Royal Family, Sophie admits

The Royal Family has a "giant-sized hole" in it after Prince Philip's death, a tearful Sophie, Countess of Wessex has admitted.

The Duke of Edinburgh died in April at the age of 99.

Prince Edward's wife Sophie broke down as she said the grieving process has been made harder by the coronavirus pandemic as relatives have not been able to comfort the Queen in person as much as they would have liked.

She told BBC Radio 5 Live: "Well he's left a giant-sized hole in our lives. I think unfortunately the pandemic has slightly skewed things, inasmuch as it's hard to spend as much time with the Queen as we would like to.

"We've been trying to, but of course, it's still not easy.

"So I think the whole grieving process is probably likely for us to take a lot longer. It may be the same for many other families out there.

"Because if you're not living with somebody, 24/7, the immediate loss isn't necessarily felt in the same way, as if somebody was in the house with you all the time."

Sophie was speaking almost a week after what would have been Philip's 100th birthday.

He died peacefully at Windsor Castle a month after being released from hospital following a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition.

Sophie added: "The normal way of things isn't normal yet.

"So we're not necessarily doing the things that we would have normally done with him. So I think the whole grieving process is probably likely for us to take a lot longer."

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A touching image of the Queen and Philip on the Balmoral estate taken by Sophie was released after the Duke of Edinburgh's death and the countess became emotional as she recalled capturing the moment with her camera when pregnant with her daughter Lady Louise.

The photograph, taken in 2003, was a rare image of the monarch and her husband relaxing together on the grass at the Coyles of Muick, a beauty spot near the town of Ballater in Aberdeenshire.

Earlier this month, Sophie said the royals are "still a family no matter what happens" following tensions in the aftermath of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah Winfrey.

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