Prince Philip's death has left a “giant-sized hole” in the lives of the royal family

The Duke of Edinburgh’s death left a “giant-sized hole” in the lives of the British royal family, the Countess of Wessex has revealed.

Sophie - who is married to Queen Elizabeth's youngest son Prince Edward - admits all the relatives of Prince Philip have struggled to adjust following his passing in April at the age of 99.

And the 56-year-old royal admits the social distancing measures that the UK government has in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 has made the situation more difficult as she and Edward, 57, have not been able to "spend as much time with the queen as we would like to" in the wake of her husband passing away.

Speaking to the BBC, she said: "Well he's left a giant-sized hole in our lives. Unfortunately the pandemic has slightly slewed things in as much as it's hard to spend as much time with the queen as we would like to.

"The normal way of things isn't normal yet. So we're not necessarily doing the things that we would have normally done with him. So I think the whole grieving process is probably likely for us to take a lot longer."

Sophie - who has two children with Edward, 17-year-old Lady Louise Windsor and 13-year-old James, Viscount Severn - also admitted the grief is at its worse when she and her husband realise that Philip is "not there" during “normal things”.

She added: "It's only when you do the normal things you would have done with them and you suddenly realise that they are not there, that you start to have an, 'Oh my goodness' moment."

Sophie also said her father-in-law's passing was "very, very peaceful".

She told ITV news: "It was right for him. It was so gentle. It was just like somebody took him by the hand and off he went.

"Very, very peaceful. And that's all you want for somebody isn't it?"

Sophie had previously said the 95-year-old monarch "has been amazing" in the wake of her husband of 73 years' death.