Buckingham Palace announced the news of Prince Philip's death at age 99 on Friday (April 9). "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," the palace said in a statement. "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."
Queen Elizabeth has entered an 8-day period of mourning, which means she won't participate in any of her official royal engagements or affairs of state. Though Her Majesty's grief is surely deep and profound, her former press secretary, Charles Anson, says Queen Elizabeth has been "prepared" to face her husband's death following years of Prince Philip's health struggles.
"She would have thought about this moment several times, and her way would be to remain as steady and as calm as possible," Anson told People. "That comes naturally to her through her temperament and her experience. In my years of working for her she was always calm, no matter what was going on. But for any human being, this is a very cathartic moment."
Anson also recalled how Prince Philip supported his wife throughout her reign as Queen. "There were some things they had to deal with together that were difficult, but it was a long marriage with a great deal of happiness,"Anson shared. "He took very seriously his role as a support for the Queen as monarch."
The Duke of Edinburgh provided "a great level support from a strong outward-looking man of action that he was. He was a natural of his generation to be at his wife's side," according to the Queen's former secretary. Anson then went to praise Prince Philip for how "quickly came to terms to watching to be in that role of support as well as running his own life."
Anson also assured People that Her Majesty will have "an enormous amount of family support" in the wake of her husband's death. The former staffer also believes it's possible Prince Charles will join his mother's COVID-19 "bubble" at Windsor Castle.