The Earl of Wessex has acknowledged that the family drama surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departure from royal life is “very sad,” adding: “It’s difficult for everyone, but that’s families for you.”
Prince Edward, 57, could not avoid the subject that is once again dominating headlines as he gave two television interviews to mark what would have been his father, the Duke of Edinburgh’s, 100th birthday.
Asked about current family tensions, the Earl told CNN: "Listen, weirdly we’ve all been there before – we’ve all had excessive intrusion and attention in our lives.
“And we’ve all dealt with it in slightly different ways, and listen, we wish them the very best of luck. It’s a really hard decision.”
Asked by the BBC about the Duke and Duchess’s decision to name their newborn daughter Lilibet, a “meaningful” choice that has sparked a legal row over claims the monarch was not asked permission, the Earl simply said: “Well, we just wish them all happiness.”
He continued: "(It’s) fantastic news about the baby, that’s great. I hope they will be very happy and it’s just… families are families, aren’t they, really?"
The Earl, the Queen’s youngest son, said his mother, 95, was “actually doing remarkably well” since losing the Duke, her husband of 73 years, in April.
"I think that it was a fantastic partnership, but over the last couple of weeks, life has got considerably busier,” he told CNN of the monarch’s increasing number of public duties.
“Things are beginning to open up more, there are more activities so weirdly that sort of fills any particular void.
"I think there are going to be other times further along the year where I think that it will become a bit more poignant and a bit harder.
“But at the moment, thank you very much indeed for asking, I think that everybody’s in pretty good shape really, and just working rather too hard."
The Earl described his father’s funeral, at Windsor Castle, as “particularly poignant” given the number of families who have lost loved ones over the past year due to Covid.
He added: "There are an awful lot of people who haven’t been able to express the respect that they would like to have done. I think many people would have liked to have been there to support the Queen."
As Her Majesty prepares to meet US President Joe Biden at Windsor on Sunday, following the G7 summit, the Earl highlighted the close links the UK has long enjoyed with America, describing the get-together as the "perfect opportunity" for the pair to meet.
Mr Biden will be the 14th US commander-in-chief the Queen has met during her long reign.
Her son added: "People really do respect the fact that this is a genuinely private, off-the-record conversation so they really can talk about things and get to the heart of things and in a very genuine fashion, because they know it’s not going to come out."