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Pope-meets-the-Queen-Main_article_image.jpg
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World News

Pope praises Duke of Edinburgh's 'distinguished' public service

by Press Association

Pope Francis has offered the Queen "heartfelt condolences" for the loss of her husband and praised the Duke of Edinburgh for his devotion to marriage and "distinguished record" of public service.

In a telegram sent by the Vatican's secretary of state and made public on Saturday, Francis said he was "saddened" to learn of Philip's death at the age of 99.

"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," read the telegram sent in the pontiff's name.

"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," the message concluded.

Messages from around the world have flooded in for the Queen's husband since the announcement of his death on Friday.

Queen Rania of Jordan said she thinks the Queen might not have been able to "carry on her journey the way she did without him (Philip) by her side".

Speaking to ITV news in a pre-recorded interview, she shared her own experiences as a consort and said the role is "defined as you go along based on how and where you can make a difference, where you are needed and where your passions lie".

She said: "Being married to someone who is under so much pressure means you have to do whatever you can to try and alleviate some of that pressure. Even if that's by being a distraction.

"By providing an environment at home which takes their mind off the heaviness outside the house. That's instrumental because the wellbeing of your spouse eventually has an impact on how well they carry out their duties."

On Philip, Queen Rania added: "There must have been times when it wasn't easy for him... but at the same time he was a constant anchor for Her Majesty and I think she probably wouldn't have been able to carry on her journey the way she did without him by her side."

China's President Xi Jinping also expressed his condolences to the Queen.

"In a letter to the Buckingham Palace, the Chinese Embassy conveyed the condolences and sympathy from President Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan to Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family," Beijing's embassy in the UK said.

Other world leaders including US president Joe Biden, Irish president Michael D Higgins, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and former US president Barack Obama have also paid tribute.

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