Prince Philip’s death ‘perfect opportunity’ to heal royal divisions, says John Major | Prince philip

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The mourning and emotions surrounding the death of the Duke of Edinburgh represent “an ideal opportunity” to mend divisions within the royal family, former Prime Minister John Major said in calling for an early resolution of the “friction”.

His comments came as Prince Harry prepared to fly from California to the UK for his grandfather’s funeral on Saturday, where he will be reunited with his loved ones for the first time since he and his wife Meghan have disclosed their anger and pain at the alleged treatment. by the Royal Family in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

“The friction that has been told to us is one that is better to end as quickly as possible and their shared emotion and shared grief at the present time over the death of their grandfather, I think it is ‘is a perfect opportunity,’ Major told the BBC’s Andrew Marr. Show.

“I very much hope that it is possible to repair any cracks that may exist.”

His remarks came after Cardinal Vincent Nichols said: “Many families come together and overcome tensions and broken relationships at the time of a funeral, something very deep unites them again – this would be the case with this. family, I’m sure.

The major also said he hoped the Queen would have the time and space to mourn privately after the death of her 73-year-old husband. “I know she is the monarch, I know she has responsibilities, but she has earned the right to have a period of privacy to mourn with her family,” he said.

“We think it could be a great legacy for Prince Philip if we start to give back to the Queen some of the support she has given to the country, the Commonwealth, the family and the nation, during this difficult time. . I think this is something we owe the Queen.

The former Tory prime minister supported the royal family through difficult years in the 1990s, including the 1992 annus horribilis » which saw the breakdown of three royal marriages and a fire at Windsor Castle.

Former Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu reflected on his conversations with the Duke of Edinburgh, who he said never wanted to ‘let himself go’ in difficult discussions.

He also addressed Philip’s reputation for his racist or sexist remarks, insisting the prince always wanted someone to challenge him.

“He would make a quirky remark, but if someone challenged him you would get into an incredible conversation – the problem was because he was The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s husband, people had that deference. ”Sentamu said.

John Sentamu
John Sentamu: “There was no forbidden conversation. “ Photography: AFP Contributor / AFP / Getty Images

He remembers meeting Philip at the end of the Stephen Lawrence murder investigation, for which Sentamu served as an advisor.

“I met him at Buckingham Palace and he comes and asks me how it all went, and he said, ‘You must have had a hard time listening to evidence that was really appalling’ and then we had about three to four minutes. real conversation, ”Sentamu said. “He thought the Steven Lawrence investigation was really, at the heart of it, that it was going to change the way we do our policing.”

Sentamu, who once described Prince Philip as his “training partner,” told Marr: “There were no forbidden conversations.”

“Every time I met him we would strike up a conversation – (about) something he had been thinking about – and then he would give a very firm response as well,” he said. “There were some areas we disagreed on, but he likes a really good conversation and he doesn’t want you to let him go or be released. “

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