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Prince Philip’s death ‘like someone took him by the hand’, says Countess of Wessex

The Duke of Sussex has reportedly flown back to the UK ahead of his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral.

Buckingham Palace confirmed over the weekend Harry – who now lives in California – would make the journey from the US, marking his first return to the country since stepping down as a senior royal just over a year ago. 

The Duchess of Sussex, who is pregnant with their second child, will remain in the US on her doctor’s advice.

Over in parliament, authorities have confirmed MPs will dedicate a whole day of work to a marathon session of tributes to Prince Philip, who died aged 99 on Friday.

No other Commons business will be conducted on Monday, with MPs set to spend seven and a half hours paying tributes to the duke.

Meanwhile in Scotland, the country’s parliament has been recalled for only the sixth time in its history in order for MSPs to pay their respects to Philip.

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New Zealand to hold state memorial

New Zealand will hold a state memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh, who died on Friday:

New Zealand to hold state memorial service for Prince Philip, says Jacinda Ardern

Zoe Tidman12 April 2021 11:17

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Parliament to put aside seven and a half hours for tributes

MPs will dedicate a whole day of work to a marathon session of tributes to Prince Philip, parliamentary authorities have confirmed.

No other Commons business will be conducted on Monday, with MPs set to spend seven and a half hours praising the Royal until 10 o’clock at night.

Significantly more parliamentary time is being allocated to the occasion than to debating Boris Johnson’s final Brexit trade deal – which was given just five hours in December.

Zoe Tidman12 April 2021 10:45

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Prince Philip remembered for being ‘straight to the point’ and ‘competitive sailor’

The Duke of Edinburgh had a “wicked sense of humour” and was “straight to the point,” according to his friend the pioneering yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Sir Robin, who was the first person to sail solo non-stop around the world, said the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme had done “a huge amount of good” around the world.

“I think what people didn’t realise is that he had a wicked sense of humour,” Sir Robin said.

“He was straight to the point (and) he was a very competitive sailor.”

“The number of people who benefited from the Duke of Ed Award scheme, not just here but all over the world, has been quite fantastic.

“It’s done a huge amount of good.”

Zoe Tidman12 April 2021 10:30

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‘Every death also reminds us of the death of our loved ones’

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, said the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will see the public “remembering those we loved who have died” during the coronavirus crisis.

“I think that we all know that, first of all, every death reminds of us of our own death and our own mortality,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“In this past year, we have been face to face with our human frailty more than we usually are. And every death also reminds us of the death of our loved ones.

“So, this funeral will also be a funeral where I think all of us will be, at the same time, quite naturally and understandably, remembering those we loved who have died.”

Zoe Tidman12 April 2021 09:55

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National Rail turns website grey in mourning

But, unfortunately, customers say they can no longer read the website after the change.

Kate Plummer has the full story:

Zoe Tidman12 April 2021 09:50

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Other times Scottish parliament has been recalled

Scotland’s parliament was last recalled on 4 January to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic.

Previous times include for the death of first minister Donald Dewar, the death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, for a ministerial statement on the release of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi.

It was also recalled on 30 December last year for a Brexit debate.

On Monday, parliament will be recalled for the sixth time in its history to pay tribute to Prince Philip.

Additional reporting by PA

Zoe Tidman12 April 2021 09:32

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Scottish parliament to pay tribute to Prince Philip

The Scottish parliament will sit today after being recalled for only the sixth time in its history to show respect to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Holyrood’s presiding officer, Ken Macintosh, announced on Friday that MSPs would be able to return to parliament to pay tribute to Philip with a motion of condolence from 11am on Monday.

All of the parties at Holyrood have also temporarily suspended their campaigning for the Holyrood election.

On Friday, Mr Macintosh said: “I have this afternoon decided that the Parliament should be recalled to show our respect to the Duke of Edinburgh following today’s sad announcement.

“His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, lived a life dedicated to duty and public service and his support for this institution was clear.

“This is why I have taken the decision to recall in order that we may take the time to pause, remember and pay tribute to his work.”

The meeting will start with a minute’s silence before considering a Motion of Condolence with a statement from party leaders.

Zoe Tidman12 April 2021 09:08

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Harry ‘arrives in UK’ ahead of funeral

The Duke of Sussex has reportedly flown back to the UK ahead of his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral.

Meanwhile, Meghan, who is heavily pregnant with their second child, has been advised by her doctor not to travel and will be remaining in California.

Full story:

Zoe Tidman12 April 2021 08:46

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