Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, paid tribute to his late father Prince Philip on Saturday in a pre-recorded statement.

“My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him, and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that,” Prince Charles said in a statement from Highgrove House, his country home in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. “It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”

Prince Philip died peacefully at Windsor Castle on Friday morning at the age of 99. He was the nation’s longest-serving consort – a term given to the spouse of a reigning monarch.

He will be laid to rest next Saturday.

“I particularly wanted to say that my father, for I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to the queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth,” Prince Charles said.

Prince Philip’s long-standing funeral plans had been adapted to respect certain Covid-19 restrictions, with all the usual elements that involve contact with the public removed.

Prince Philip’s death has been marked in a somber fashion, as the royal household and the UK government have asked the public not to gather or leave flowers at royal residences, with the country still under strict Covid-19 restrictions.

CNN’s Laura Smith-Spark and Angela Dewan contributed to this report.