Prince Philip: Duchess of Northumberland recalls 'great friend'

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image captionThe duchess said Prince Philip was a "great man" who had accomplished a lot

The Duchess of Northumberland has paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh and remembered fondly all the "great laughs" they had during his visits.

The duchess, Jane Percy, said the Duke of Edinburgh was a frequent visitor to Alnwick Castle.

She described him as a "great man" and particularly recalled how at a party at the castle in 2011 he loved talking to guests.

She also said she would never forget his "funny off-the-cuff remarks".

The duchess, who is best known for redeveloping Alnwick Gardens at Alnwick Castle, said the Duke was a good friend of her late mother-in-law Duchess Elizabeth.

"We had many funny evenings with her and him, he would come up for the carriage driving at Alnwick and he was always just game for anything and we had many laughs," she said.

image captionThe Queen and Prince Philip visited Alnwick Castle in 2011 for a party to thank carers and volunteers
image captionThe duchess said Prince Philip took showed a great interest in people during his visit to Alnwick

The party, attended by the Queen and the prince in 2011, was for carers and volunteers.

The duchess said: "We had 10,000 people there, who had done all kinds of wonderful things, but who hadn't really been thanked very much, and we had a big tea in the castle gardens.

"I remember very well and particularly with hindsight of the prince's huge accomplishments and yet seeing how great he was with everyone he met and how interested he was in people, and also the occasional, funny off-the-cuff remarks, which will remain with me for a long time.

"You just think now, 'what a great man'."

'Loved ones'

The duchess, who has also been the Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland since 2009 and can act as a representative of the Queen at events, said she thought Prince Philip would have wanted the lower-key funeral he will receive because coronavirus restrictions.

She said: "You have to think of all the thousands of families who didn't even have the luxury of having their loved ones with them when they were dying because they died in hospital with nurses next to them.

"He would've understood that more than anybody and had pre-determined the way he wanted it, his death.

"No matter the manner of send-off, you will always remember that person fondly and with huge respect as we will all remember him."

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