To a lot of people, Prince Philip is known as Queen Elizabeth’s husband, and the longest-serving consort in British monarch history. But he had been many things, especially to his family. It was, sadly, announced by the royal family that the Duke of Edinburgh died Friday morning, April 9. The royal family’s website shared, “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.” Adding, “Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
As mourners begin to share their condolences and sentiments from The Commonwealth and even across the pond, it’s important to remember that to his family, and grandchildren he was more than just a royal figure. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, former royal correspondent, Duncan Larcombe, revealed to the outlet that although he appeared stoic and sometimes even cold in public, Prince Philip was a family man at heart, and held a special bond with his grandchildren, especially William and Harry. He told the outlet, “Philip as a grandfather has spent a lot of time with his grandchildren. They are a tight family unit…What I’ve observed – mainly with Prince William and Prince Harry – is the relationship between grandparent and child is a very different one to the relationship between father and son or daughter.” Adding, “Philip is the epitome of stiff upper lip – he is never photographed crying or showing emotion publicly. But his relationship with the boys is much warmer.”
Prince Philip had a close bond with Prince William and Prince Harry
After Princess Diana’s death, Prince William and Prince Harry moved into Balmoral Castle with their grandparents in the Scottish highlands to not only mourn, but get away from the constant media coverage and scrutiny. The young boys and their grandfather share a special bond after spending all that time together, and according to Town & Country Prince Philip was especially sensitive to their feelings since he too experienced the loss of his own mother at a young age.
According to the outlet, during Diana’s funeral, Prince William had been hesitant to walk in the procession in front of the public and media, but Prince Philip’s support gave him the strength to perform the difficult task. It was reported that Philip told young William, “If I walk, will you walk with me?” And that’s exactly what they did, side-by-side.
The Duke of Edinburgh also had a special bond with Harry especially in their shared military careers. Prior to his official exit from royal life, Harry was always by his grandfather’s side at all Remembrance Sunday events paying their respects to service members lost in the line of duty.
Prince Philip's first born grandchildren shared a love of sports with their grandfather
Prince Philip’s first-born grandchildren, Zara and Peter Phillips also had a close relationship with their grandfather. A prolific sportsman throughout his life, The New York Times notes that Philip was an active polo player until arthritis forced him to retire at 50 when he took up carriage racing. It just so happens both Zara and Peter have an affinity for sports.
Former royal reporter, Philip Dampier told Harper’s Bazaar, “He is very proud of Zara’s equestrian triumphs and of Peter, who played rugby at a high level.” Adding, “He likes the fact that are down to earth and just get on with it, which is very much his philosophy.”
Dampier went on to say, “The Duke is very close to all of his grandchildren and is very much head of the family behind the scenes. They all adore him and love his sense of humour and positive outlook on life.” Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn round out the 8 royal grandchildren, and each one had a special relationship with the late Prince. Town & Country notes that in the documentary Our Queen at Ninety, Princess Eugenie poignantly revealed, “I think Grandpa is incredible. He really is strong and consistent. He’s been there for all these years, and I think he’s the rock, you know, for all of us.”
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