Updated: April 12, 2021 06:45 AM GMT
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on April 3, 2014. (Photo: Vatican Media/AFP)
The Vatican has sent a condolence message to Queen Elizabeth II of England on the death of her husband Prince Philip, recalling his devotion to marriage, family and distinguished public service.
Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin sent the telegram on behalf of Pope Francis expressing heartfelt condolences on the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“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,” Pope Francis commends the departed soul “to the merciful love of Christ our redeemer,” the telegram said.
Prince Philip died on April 9 at the age of 99. He spent a month in hospital until March 16 and returned to Windsor Castle, where he died.
Pope Francis invokes “the Lord’s blessings of consolation and peace” upon all who grieve the death “in the sure hope of the resurrection” said the telegram addressed to Queen Elizabeth.
Prince Philip married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, six years before she was crowned queen.
Prince Philip was the longest-serving spouse in British history. He attended over 20,000 public engagements before retiring in 2017.
Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921 into the Greek and Danish royal families. He had four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The Vatican has maintained warm relations with the UK and its 94-year-old queen for the past six decades.
Queen Elizabeth first visited the Vatican during the time of Pope Pius XII, a year before her coronation. She first visited the Vatican as queen in 1961, when Pope John XXIII received her and Prince Philip.
In 1980, she became the first British monarch to make a state visit to the Vatican during the time of Pope John Paul II. She also welcomed the pope’s plan to visit Britain.
When Pope John Paul II met the queen on May 28, 1982, at Buckingham Palace, he became the first pope to stand on English soil.
They met again for a third time at the Vatican in 2000.
Pope Benedict XVI visited Britain in 2010 and met the queen in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Pope Francis met Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in the Vatican in 2014 during their state visit to Italy.