Grieving Prince Charles releases childhood photo of him and Prince Philip: ‘Very sad time’

Prince Charles introduces the Queen's Green Canopy initiative

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The Prince of Wales sent his “warmest thanks and best wishes” to members of the public who reached out to him in the wake of his loss. The thank you cards included a 1958 picture of a nine-year-old Charles seated next to his dad during a motorboat race in Cowes.

The father and son due look relaxed as they speed in the waters around the Isle of Wight.

The Duke of Edinburgh was a keen sailor and yachtsman and was known for his love of the maritime life.

Charles typed a touching message inside the cards which read: “The Prince of Wales thanks you so much for your very kind message of sympathy.

“His Royal Highness has been enormously touched by the many generous messages that have been received in recent days, they have provided great comfort at this very sad time.

“The Prince of Wales sends you his warmest thanks and best wishes.”

One man felt so chuffed to be posted the note that he took to Twitter to tell others.

He posted snaps of the card and said: “I got a card from Clarence House (Prince Charles). Privileged and honoured.”

Prince Philip, who passed away on April 9 at the grand old age of 99, endured a longstanding naval career.

After training at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth he went on to serve with the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets in the Second World War.

After marrying his sweetheart Princess Elizabeth in 1947 he continued with his duties.

But in 1952 he left the Navy with the rank of commander when his wife ascended the throne and became Queen Elizabeth II.

Charles, 72, is grieving the loss of his father but is determined to get on with his royal duties.

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During a visit to Northern Ireland with the Duchess of Cornwall on Tuesday, Charles hailed “tireless work” for reconciliation in Belfast.

The heir to the throne followed in his beloved father’s footsteps by visiting the Harland and Wolff shipyard, where the Titanic was built.

And he became the first member of the Royal Family in recent history to visit South Armagh.

Charles wrapped up the day with a meeting outgoing First Minister Arlene Foster at Hillsborough Castle.

Last month she announced her resignation as DUP leader and first minister following an internal party revolt.

The Unionist politician did not make a statement following the engagement, but later tweeted: “Delighted to welcome HRH The Prince of Wales to Hillsborough.

“HRH has always been a tremendous supporter of building a shared and united community in Northern Ireland.”

Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said it had not been possible for her to attend the meeting.

But in a statement, the vice president of Sinn Fein commended the “very positive contribution” of the royals to the “development of peace and reconciliation”.

In the second engagement on Tuesday, Charles and Camilla met with a number of youth workers at the headquarters of the Education Authority in Belfast city centre.

They heard reflections from young people living in deprived areas on how youth workers had impacted their lives.

In a speech, Charles hailed the “tireless work” being done to bring about reconciliation.

He added: “I cannot tell you how really inspiring it has been to hear of the tireless work being carried out by youth workers on all sides of the community, and I just wanted to take this opportunity, if I may, to pay special tribute to your dedication and commitment to the cause of peaceful co-existence.”

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