The Duke of Edinburgh was the "glue" that held his wider family together, his German great niece said on Saturday. Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg said the Duke's longevity meant he was the one common link to the past for foreign-based branches of the family, for whom he was an "idol". Her brother, Prince Philipp, is one of three German relatives of the Duke given the honour of being among the 30 mourners at St George’s Chapel. The Duke's four sisters all married into the German aristocracy but were not invited to his wedding in 1947 because of sensitivities around the Second World War. However Prince Philip, who outlived all his sisters by decades, remained close to their descendants and often visited them in Germany. Speaking from Munich, Princess Xenia said: "He's been like a glue for the family, because sadly a lot of our grandmothers passed away much too early. "But he was always there, he was the link, so he brought all of us cousins, even though we were in Germany – a lot of us but not all of us – he brought us all together on a lot of family occasions, the last one having been his 90th birthday celebrations 10 years ago at Windsor. We were all there, there was a huge bunch of us, and it was lovely."