Lawmakers across the UK convened on Monday to pay tribute to Prince Philip, whose death aged 99 has left a “huge void” in the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

The UK parliament in London was returning a day early from its Easter break to pay respects to Philip, who spent 73 years at the side of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Devolved legislatures in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast were also holding special sessions, but political campaigning for UK-wide local elections next month was resuming after a pause to mark Philip’s passing.

Prince Andrew said Sunday his 94-year-old mother was “incredibly stoic” but had been hit hard by the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, whom he described as “the grandfather of the nation”.

“She described it as having left a huge void in her life,” the couple’s second son said after a church service at Windsor Castle, west of London, where Philip died on Friday.

Andrew has been rarely seen in public since stepping back from royal duties in 2019 over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The queen’s eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, on Saturday paid his own heartfelt tribute to his “dear Papa”, saying he and the royal family missed him “enormously”.

Published in Dawn, April 13th, 2021

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