PRINCE Philip summoned Charles to the hospital before he died to "brief him" on his future in the family, the Sun's royal photographer says.
The Duke of Edinburgh "made all the big decisions" in his household – and instructed his son on what would happen next, Arthur Edwards said.
? Read our Royal Family live blog for the latest updates
The photographer, who saw the Royal Family's "raw emotion" from just yards away on Saturday, said Philip would have 'spoken plainly' to Charles in his final days.
Asked by ITV's Lorraine Kelly about Charles' obvious devastation during the ceremony, Edwards replied: "Can you imagine that conversation in the hospital three weeks before, when he was summoned by Prince Philip to come?
"It must have been a lot of plain speaking there, what he was expected to do, arrangements for the funeral.
"I think the Duke knew he was on the last leg and he was briefing his son – 'This is what you've got to do son'."
It comes as:
- Prince Andrew left his father's funeral in a brand new £220,000 Bentley
- The royals have 'agreed a rota' for visiting the Queen on her birthday this week
- Charles and William will lead a summit on the future on the monarchy
- The heartbreaking photo of the Queen sitting alone at the funeral prompts calls to ease Covid rules
- Charles masterminded a plan to get his sons to talk to each other after the funeral ended, a royal expert claims
- The Queen took tea with son Edward and her 'rock' Sophie Wessex after the service
Prince Philip reportedly asked three things of his eldest son before he died – including to care for the Queen when he was gone.
As the Duke of Edinburgh recovered from an infection and heart surgery in hospital, he called Charles to his bedside.
Royal sources said that during one conversation at the King Edward VII’s Hospital at the end of February, the father and son had “full and frank” and "heartfelt" discussion.
Among his final requests, the Duke is said to have advised Prince Charles on caring for the Queen when he was gone.
He also reportedly spoke about how the Prince of Wales should lead the Royal Family through the years ahead.
His third wish was to go home to rest, so he could die in his own bed behind the walls of Windsor Castle, a Palace source revealed.
Prince Charles had appeared sombre and teary eyed as he visited his ill father in hospital.
And on Saturday, he was seen grieving for his father in heart-wrenching images.
"Of course it was all going through his head," Edwards said.
"It must have been really bad for him.
"Not just for him but Andrew, Edward and Anne – Prince Philip's been a fine father, he's been an amazing father."
And he said the Duke would have been clear on how he wanted the future to unfold after his death.
"The Queen is the head of state, but Philip was always head of that household and made all the big decisions," he said.
Images of the Queen sitting alone in the chapel on her "saddest and most difficult day" have been seen by billions of people around the world.
And Lorraine told the photographer: "There was something that you said that I thought was absolutely lovely – you said there's no one now to call her by her nickname, which was Lilibet, and Philip used to call her Cabbage too, and there's no one to do that now."
He replied: "She's lost all her close members [of family], the Queen Mother of course, her sister – now her lovely husband.
"She's reflecting on all that of course and what to do in the future.
"People have been saying to me, 'Will she quit?'. I don't think she will. She'll carry on.
"She'll need help now, she's very frail and 95 is a fine age to still be fit, but she's got to take it a little easier and the Prince of Wales will take a heavy load now."
But he said the "best of it" is William and Harry speaking once again.
"That feud has got to stop," he said.
"It's stupid it's carrying on, it's too long now."
The presenter responded: "You need to bash their heads together."
The pair are said to have reunited for two hours afterwards – sparking hopes of peace between them.
They joined dad Charles for private talks away from the cameras – and insiders say it is just what Philip would have wanted.
'Peacemaker' Kate Middleton is said the be the royals' new rock after getting the clashing brothers speaking once more.
William’s biographer Brian Hoey said: "Thank God for Kate — she is the rock the monarchy will depend on.
"On Saturday, she behaved absolutely impeccably."
Harry may now stay on for the Queen’s 95th birthday on Wednesday, and he has also said he will join his older brother for the unveiling of Princess Diana’s memorial statue at Kensington Palace.
Royal insiders hope the ceremony on July 1 could also help ease the rift as they stand together on what would have been their mother's 60th birthday.
Writing in the Sun, Edwards said: "I was just two yards away from the raw emotion of the Royal Family as they said farewell to the Duke of Edinburgh.
"For a man who famously wanted 'no fuss' and told his offspring to 'just get on with it', the Duke of Edinburgh’s final journey was filled with sorrow. And I could see the family’s pain up close.
"The Duke, who planned every moment of yesterday’s moving funeral service, had arranged for me as a photographer to hide inside a fake pillar at the top of the stairs leading to St George’s Chapel.
"With a letter box-shaped slit, it was just like the bird-watching hides where Prince Philip spent hours during his retirement at Sandringham, his Norfolk estate.
"From the most unusual vantage point of my 44 years of photographing the royals, I was close enough to see Prince Charles — the man I have known for more than half his life — look broken.
"Close to tears, I could see he realised the weight of the task ahead to look after his mother and the monarchy."
Source: Read Full Article