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Prince Andrew has spoken publicly for the first time after being forced out of the public spotlight in 2019 after the death of Prince Philip last week.

The Duke of York attended a service for his father at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor, and told reporters that his mother, The Queen, has been left with a “huge void in her life”.

“The Queen, as you could expect, is an incredibly stoic person and she described his passing as a miracle, and she is contemplating is the way I would put it,” he said.

“She described it as having left a huge void in her life but we, the family, the ones who are closer, are rallying round to make sure that we are there to support her.

“And I know there is a huge amount of support, not just for her but for everybody as we go through this enormous change.”

Prince Andrew also spoke of his father’s final months and their conversations before he passed to reporters.

“My father said to me on the telephone a few months ago, ‘We’re all in the same boat and we must always remember that but occasionally we, in the family, are asked to stand up and show compassion and leadership’,” he said.

“And unfortunately with my father’s death, it has brought it home to me not just our loss but the loss that everybody else has felt for so many people who have died and lost loved ones during the pandemic.

“And so, we are all in the same boat, slightly different circumstances because he didn’t die from COVID, but we are all feeling a great sense of loss.

“But at the same time the tributes have been absolutely amazing, that I have seen, and the messages that I am getting have been absolutely outstanding and I just want to say how grateful I am, we are, for these tributes.”

Andrew continued: “He was a remarkable man, I loved him as a father. He was so calm.

“If you had a problem he would think about it and that’s the great thing I always think about, he was always somebody you could go to and he would always listen, so it’s a great loss.

“I think the way I would put it is we have almost lost the grandfather of the nation and I feel very sorry and supportive of my mother who is feeling it, probably more than everybody else.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.

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