Ailsa Anderson today shared on Friday some memories of the oldest husband in British history, who died at the age of 99 on April 9, before his funeral at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
“If you could go to a reception at Buckingham Palace, when there is always a corner where people are laughing, you know that would be the corner where Prince Philip was,” Anderson told Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. “He was like a lighthouse beacon. If he was talking to you you would think you were the only person in the room, you were the most special person.
“He had an extraordinary charm, an extraordinary kindness. He was one of a kind. He was Prince Charming to the Queen, but I think he was Prince Charming to all of us. “
The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral ceremony will be a much more moderate affair than the usual royal funeral due to his wishes and the Royal Family’s willingness to avoid large crowds from congregating during the pandemic.
Rather than thousands of people gathering to say goodbye, including a host of world leaders, there will only be 30 people at the event, which will include a procession with Prince Harry and his older brother Prince William , walking behind his coffin.
“I think he would have wondered what it was about,” Anderson said of Philip. “Basically, he was an extraordinarily modest person. He didn’t want to put himself first. It was all about the institution, everything was about the queen.
“So I think what he would do now would be look down from the sky and think, ‘Actually, more like the 800 people that should be there, there’s only 30, so I have the last one. word.’ “
The modesty Anderson described was also said to have manifested itself in the fact that Philip would sometimes sneak into a local pub for drinks and a meal among the audience over the years.
“I’ve heard many times that on his way home from official engagements, if he felt like it, he and his protection officer would sneak into a pub,” Anderson said. “And the owner would look once, then look twice, then resume twice, and didn’t know what to do. “
Philip was also a loving grandfather and great-grandfather whom Anderson often recalled lifting young children over the fence at public events to take them to meet the Queen.
“He just had an extraordinary affinity with young people, with children, with everyone,” she said. “It was such a special thing to see. More often than not, these kids wouldn’t meet the Queen if he hadn’t been there to make things easier. Again, it was never about him, it was always about others.