The death of Prince Philip has deprived Britain of its grandfather and left a huge void for his wife of 73 years Queen Elizabeth, the couple's son Prince Andrew says.
Andrew described Philip as a "remarkable man" as he left a private service in Windsor, where his father died on Friday at the age of 99.
"It's a great loss," he said on Sunday.
"I think the way I would put it is we've lost almost the grandfather of the nation.
"And I feel very sorry and supportive of my mother, who's feeling it probably more than everybody else."
He said the family was rallying around his 94-year-old mother, adding she was stoical in the face of a loss that she had described as "having left a huge void in her life".
Andrew has rarely been seen in public since he stepped down from official duties in 2019 over the controversy surrounding his association with the disgraced US financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Prayers were said for Philip at the private service in All Saints Chapel in Windsor Great Park west of London, echoing church services across the country.
As part of eight days of national mourning, people gathered outside Windsor Castle and other royal palaces to leave flowers, while religious and political leaders expressed support for the Queen, the world's oldest and longest-reigning monarch.
A note attached to a Royal Navy peak cap left amongst flowers at Windsor, a tribute to Philip's service in the navy, read: "God bless you Sir, you were an example to us all."
A Greek prince, Philip married Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she ascended to the throne.
He helped the monarchy modernise in the post-World War Two period and supported the Queen through numerous crises over the years.
His funeral will be held next Saturday, with long-established plans redrawn and scaled down because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The prince will be given a ceremonial royal funeral rather than a state funeral. There will be no public processions, and it will be held entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not attend, so that there is more room for family members, as UK funerals are limited to 30 mourners amid the pandemic.
John Major, who was British prime minister from 1990 to 1997, said he hoped the Queen would be given the time she needs to grieve after she lost her husband of 73 years.
He said being the head of state was a "very lonely position in many ways", and the queen would feel the loss of a man she had relied on for decades.
"I know she is the monarch, I know she has responsibilities, but she has earned the right to have a period of privacy in which to grieve with her family," he told the BBC.
Union flags will fly at half-mast at royal residences and government buildings until the day after the funeral. The royal family is observing two weeks of mourning.
Major, who was guardian to Princes William and Harry after their mother Diana died, said he also hoped the funeral would help reunite the family after it was rocked last month by an interview given by Harry and Meghan to Oprah Winfrey.
During the interview, Meghan said her pleas for help while she felt suicidal were ignored and that an unnamed member of the family had asked how dark their unborn child's skin might be.
Harry will return from the United States, where the couple now live, to attend the funeral while Meghan, who is pregnant with their second child, will not, on her doctor's advice.
"The friction that we are told has arisen is a friction better ended as speedily as possible," Major said.
Australian Associated Press