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Prince Philip had a twinkle in his eye until he died, former Palace aide says

A former Palace aide has paid tribute to Prince Philip saying he was ‘charming’ and ‘had a twinkle in his eye right to the end’.

Ailsa Anderson also said the Duke of Edinburgh was ‘humbling and engaging’ and kept many of his ‘qualities’ until his death.

The 99-year-old died at Windsor Castle last Friday – just two months before his 100th birthday.

Ms Anderson, a former palace spokeswoman, told People.com : “Oh gosh, he was charming! He still had a twinkle in his eye right to the end.

“When he spoke to you, you thought you were the only person who mattered in the world. It was like a lighthouse beacon shining onto you, and you feel like the only person he wanted to talk to.”

Prince Philip 'had a twinkle in his eye until he died'
Prince Philip ‘had a twinkle in his eye until he died’

Adding that he was humble and engaging, she said: “He would always ask people what they were reading. He never talked about his life. You had to prompt the stories out of him.”

According to biographer Sally Bedell Smith the Queen fell for his charms when she met him at the age of 13.

She said the ‘reserved and shy’ Princess Elizabeth was ‘smitten’ by her future’s husband’s ‘zest for adventure’.

Princess Eugenie mentioned her grandad’s universal allure and charm in a touching tribute she shared on her Instagram page on Wednesday.

Ailsa Anderson is a former palace spokeswoman
Ailsa Anderson is a former palace spokeswoman

The Queen and Prince Philip with their great-grandchildren in 2018

She wrote: “You would be so touched by all the tributes that have been shared with me the past few days.

“People remember sitting next to you at a dinner, or shaking your hand once, who remember you saying hello in passing, or remember how much their DofE award meant to them.”

Prince Philip’s funeral will take place on Saturday in St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.

It will be a ceremonial royal funeral and not a state one and the Duke’s final wish that it should be low-key will be granted due to the lockdown rules.

The Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle last year
The Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle last year

Newlyweds Prince Philip and the Queen in 1947
Newlyweds Prince Philip and the Queen in 1947

Only 30 guests will be allowed at the televised event which begins at 3pm.

All mourners will be required to wear face masks and must stay at least two metres apart from anyone not in the same household.

The Queen has given final approval to the funeral plans, codenamed Forth Bridge, and eight days of national mourning, which will end on Saturday.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “At its heart it is still a family event.

“We are following the Covid guidelines. There was a limit on who could be invited as a guest and Her Majesty wanted to ensure that all branches of the duke’s family were there, and had to make some very difficult decisions about who would be there.

“For those that unfortunately can’t be there, I’m sure they will be making their own private arrangements about how they commemorate the duke, and indeed celebrate the duke. “



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