The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to his “much-loved and appreciated” father, describing him as a “very special person” who had devoted himself to his family, the UK and the Commonwealth.
Charles spoke warmly of the Duke of Edinburgh, and said his father would be “so deeply touched” by the outpouring of sorrow that had been shown since his death aged 99 on Friday.
The heir to the throne said the royal family is grateful to the public for their support and that it will “sustain” them at this “particularly sad time”.
Speaking from his Gloucestershire home Highgrove, Charles said: “I particularly wanted to say that my father, for I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to the Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth.
“As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously. He was a much-loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth, who also, I think, share our loss and our sorrow.
“My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that.
“It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time. Thank you.”
Charles travelled to Windsor Castle to comfort the Queen in the hours after Philip died peacefully in his sleep.
During Philip’s last – and longest – hospital stay, Charles had paid a visit to see him at King Edward VII’s Hospital in London in February.
Charles – the Queen and Philip’s eldest son – was not always thought to have had the easiest of relationships with his father.
Philip himself recognised that they were different in their outlook on life, once having said: “He’s a romantic and I’m a pragmatist. That means we see things differently.
“And because I don’t see things as a romantic would, I’m unfeeling.”
Charles had followed in his father’s footsteps by attending Cheam school in Berkshire and then Gordonstoun in Scotland.
But whereas Philip flourished amid Gordonstoun’s outdoors-focused regime, Charles hated it and was bullied by the other boys.
But Charles’s biographer, Jonathan Dimbleby, also said Charles recalled much happiness in his childhood and believed his father had tried his best.
He remembered how Philip had patiently taught him to make models, and how he had read Longfellow’s Hiawatha to him.
In a BBC tribute programme on Friday evening, all four of Philip’s children paid tribute to him as someone who had encouraged and supported them.