More details about a New Zealand memorial service for the late Prince Philip are due to be released this afternoon.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed she would be meeting with Cabinet this afternoon to talk about the service – which will be held after the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in the United Kingdom on Saturday, local time.
Speaking on the AM Show this morning, she paid tribute to a man she dubbed an extraordinary person.
Although Ardern had never met him, she acknowledged her relationship with Queen Elizabeth II and said: “I can only imagine that creates a huge sense of loss.”
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy has also paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh; calling him a trailblazer of his time, in his role as a supporter to a woman leader.
“I think this is an opportunity for us to remember how unique he was,” she told TVNZ’s Breakfast show.
She said he had taken “the literal two steps behind his wife” his entire life, but with his own sense of wit and good humour.
Dame Patsy also shared several funny anecdotes of the Duke after meeting him and the Queen at a special lunch with her own husband, Sir David Gascoigne, in 2016.
Prince Philip's wit and humour
“He was very much a no-nonsense person. To be frank, I didn’t know what to expect.”
But she need not have worried.
“He was very charming. He was engaged with us (and) as between the two of them, it was a very equal engagement over lunch.”
Dame Patsy went on to share how he reacted on finding out that both she and her husband were vegetarian.
“He said: ‘Oh so I see you’re vegetarians. Why’s that?’ So we explained that it was health preferences and that we were concerned about the planet,” she said.
“And he said: ‘Well you’ll get on very well then with my oldest son, then’.”
He went on to tell them that one of his sisters was vegetarian and pointed out that she was mad, she laughed.
Dame Patsy said although it was a sad time, it was the perfect time to remember the life of service the duke had led.
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