Pope Francis has paid tribute to Prince Philip in a message sent to Her Majesty the Queen, following news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
In a telegram to the Queen, the pontiff expressed his sadness over the news of Prince Philip’s death and offered his condolences. He praised the Duke for his “distinguished record” of public service, his “devotion to marriage and family,” and “the education and advancement of future generations,” according to the Daily Mail.
“Saddened to learn of the death of your husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, His Holiness Pope Francis offers heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty and the members of the royal family,” the telegram read.
“Recalling Prince Philip’s devotion to his marriage and family, his distinguished record of public service and his commitment to the education and advancement of future generations,” the message continued.
“Upon you and upon all who grieve his loss in the sure hope of the resurrection, the Holy Father invokes the Lord’s blessings of consolation and peace,” the message concluded.
Philip passed away on Friday morning with the Queen at his bedside
Monsters & Critics reported that Prince Philip passed away on Friday morning after his condition worsened overnight on Thursday. The Duke of Edinburgh died with the Queen at his bedside, two months before his 100th birthday.
His death came after a month of hospitalization during which he was treated for an infection and underwent a surgical procedure for a longstanding heart condition.
Philip and the Queen met Pope Francis for the first time in 2014
Prince Philip and the Queen met Pope Francis for the first time at the Vatican in April 2014. The Queen and her husband had a private audience with the pope during a one-day visit to Rome at the invitation of the former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano.
During the visit, the pope presented the Queen with a gift — a lapis lazuli stone orb adorned with a silver cross — for her infant great-grandson, Prince George, who was born in July 2013.
The Duke will not receive a state burial and his body will not lie in state
The latest news comes after Monsters & Critics reported that royal biographer Omid Scobie tweeted a message that Prince Philip will not receive a state funeral “in line with his wishes,” and his body will not lie in state.
The Duke’s funeral will take place at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle that has been the site of many royal weddings and burials.
Philip requested to be buried in the Frogmore Gardens at Windsor Castle, Monsters & Critics reported.
The Royal Family also requested that for safety reasons amid the coronavirus pandemic, mourners should not gather in crowds at the Royal Residences. Buckingham Palace also asked members of the public to donate to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of the Duke.
Meanwhile, the Royal Family has set up an online book of condolence on the Royal Family website for members of the public who wish to express their condolences.
It is expected that the guestlist for the funeral will include mostly family members.
Monsters & Critics reported that Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, is expected to return from the U.S. to attend the funeral, but his wife, Meghan Markle, may not.