Prince Edward’s Wife Sophie Shares Emotional Moment ‘When Everything Stopped’ During Prince Philip’s Funeral
Prince Edward is set to inherit his father Prince Philip’s title as the Duke of Edinburgh when Prince Charles ascends to the throne
In the couple's first major sit-down interview, the Countess, 56, tearfully told The Telegraph about the moment "when everything stopped" during the royal's funeral.
"It was when the order was given to the soldiers to invert their weaponry," she said in Saturday's issue of Telegraph Magazine.
During that moment, military personnel are required to point their rifles down and bow their heads as they wait for the Duke of Edinburgh in his hearse.
Sophie added that "everything went still" when she saw Prince Edward, 57, walking in the funeral procession behind Prince Philip's casket. "I think the fact that there were so few of us only served to raise the intensity of it."
Of the nearly empty chapel, Prince Edward told The Telegraph, "It's always difficult with these kinds of things because you're in the middle of it, so you've got no idea what it necessarily looks like from the outside. It became really poignant to be there because it was suddenly so very intimate."
Sophie on the other hand said, "You don't actually think about lots of people watching, because it becomes so personal."
She also sympathized with Queen Elizabeth, who had to sit alone during the funeral of her husband of 73 years.
"To see Her Majesty on her own; it was very poignant," the Countess said.
Sophie continued, "I really felt for friends and family, as well as people from the Duke's organizations who were devastated that they couldn't pay their respects. But it would have been the same for every other family everywhere else."
The Countess remarked that the funeral was "done beautifully" and that it was perfect for Prince Philip because there was "minimum fuss – it's what he would have wanted."
The title is supposed to go to Prince Andrew, 61, but Prince Philip personally asked Prince Edward to take on that role.
"It's a very bittersweet role to take on because the only way the title can come to me is after both my parents have actually passed away," Prince Edward said in the joint interview with his wife. "It was a lovely idea; a lovely thought."
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Ahead of Prince Philip's funeral on April 17, Prince Edward and Sophie visited Windsor Castle to see the dedications made by members of the public after the Duke of Edinburgh's death on April 9 at the age of 99. The couple also brought their 17-year-old daughter, Lady Louise.
The trio were visibly moved by the numerous bouquets and handmade letters of mourning decorating the lawn outside St. George's Chapel, where Prince Philip was laid to rest.
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Prince Edward also touched on his father's longtime marriage in a prerecorded interview with ITV that was meant for broadcast when Prince Philip died.
"My parents have been such a fantastic support to each other during all those years and all those events and all those tours and events overseas," he said.
Prince Edward added, "To have someone that you confide in and smile about things that you perhaps could not in public. To be able to share that is immensely important."
Philip would have turned 100 this June.