Pope Francis prays with journalists on the papal flight en route to South Korea, August 14, 2014./ Alan Holdren/CNA
Pope Francis today expressed his sorrow at the death of Prince Philip in a letter to Queen Elizabeth II, his wife of 73 years.
“Saddened to learn of the death of your husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, His Holiness Pope Francis offers heartfelt condolences to your majesty and the members of the Royal Family,” stated an April 10 telegram signed by Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
The death of Prince Philip, at the age of 99, was announced by Buckingham Palace yesterday.
“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.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II have four children, eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. Prince Philip is the longest-serving consort of any British monarch.
The Vatican telegram today said, “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, His Holiness commends him to the merciful love of Christ our Redeemer.”
“Upon you and upon all who grieve his loss in the sure hope of the resurrection, the Holy Father invokes the Lord’s blessings of consolation and peace,” it closed.