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Wessexes view public tributes to Duke of Edinburgh

PA Reporters
·3-min read

The Earl and Countess of Wessex appeared touched by tributes left in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh when they viewed cards and flowers at Windsor Castle.

While looking over handwritten letters from children, Sophie could be heard saying “how sweet” before speaking to her husband Edward about the number of bouquets that have been gathered.

She was also heard to suggest there would have been many more tributes if coronavirus restrictions had not been in place.

The couple, who were joined by their daughter Lady Louise Windsor, spent around 15 minutes looking at hundreds of flowers and wreaths outside St George’s Chapel, in the grounds of Windsor Castle, where the duke’s funeral service will be held on Saturday.

Among them were floral tributes from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Royal Navy – which the duke was associated with for much of his life.

A wreath sent by Prime Minister Boris Johnson among the flowers outside St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, Berkshire
A wreath sent by Prime Minister Boris Johnson among the flowers outside St George’s Chapel (Steve Parsons/PA)

A written message upon a wreath from Mr Johnson said: “In grateful memory of a man to whom the nation owes more than words can say.

“Sent on behalf of the nation. From the Prime Minister”.

A wreath from Ms Sturgeon read: “With deepest sympathy from the First Minister of Scotland and the Scottish Government.”

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A wreath sent by the Scottish Government among the flowers outside St George’s Chapel (Steve Parsons/PA)

The Royal Navy left a tribute reading: “In gratitude for an exceptional life of service from all ranks of the Royal Navy.

“Fair winds and following seas.”

The Wessexes, along with other members of the royal family, have been supporting the Queen after the death of her “beloved” husband Philip last Friday.

More members of the public visited Windsor on Friday to leave behind flowers and artwork paying tribute to Philip.

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Edward, his daughter Louise and wife Sophie view the flowers and cards outside St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle (Steve Parsons/PA)

A Royal Mail postbox near Windsor Castle was decorated with a knitted design depicting Philip’s life, such as him standing with the Queen, riding a horse and cart and his contribution to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme.

Attached to the artwork reads the message “RIP” and “Made by the Ickenham postbox toppers”.

Rob Sells, 67, from Maidenhead, said: “I think it’s a magnificent design and a wonderful tribute to a great man, who had been at the Queen’s side for many years.

“It’s a nice touch and replicates just how the nation will remember him.”

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A knitted tapestry created by the Ickenham Postbox Toppers, in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh (Steve Parsons/PA)

Another passer-by said: “It’s such a clever piece of art and the perfect way to capture the different stages in Philip’s life.”

Hundreds of flowers were laid outside the gates of Windsor Castle.

Sarah Hawkins, 35, from Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, said: “I think when someone who has been a great public figure passes away, you need to be here to pay your respects.

“I hope the Queen and the entire royal family know just how much the duke meant to the nation”.