The news of the death of Prince Philip was immediately greeted with sorrowful tributes from all over, including from influential world leaders. Former President Barack Obama praised the Duke of Edinburgh’s “sharp wit and unfailing good humor” and added that his family would “miss him dearly.” President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden said that “his legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavors he shaped.” Even former President Donald Trump had kind words, saying the prince “personified British dignity and grace.”
But the public was most interested in learning how the royal family members would react to the loss of their distinguished patriarch. In anticipation of the loss, the duke’s four children recorded interviews sharing their memories, which the BBC broadcast on Friday night. Prince Charles recalled that his father “didn’t suffer fools” and that he was “very good at showing you how to do things, instruct you in various things.” His only daughter, Princess Anne, said, “I think I will best remember him as always being there. And a person you could bounce off ideas, but if you were having problems you could always go to him and know that he would listen and try to help.” Prince Andrew remembered that Philip always made time to read to them at night, and Prince Edward called him “a great source of support and encouragement” (via Daily Mail).
But this also being the 21st century, the prince’s two oldest grandchildren also found a way to pay tribute to the prince on social media.
Prince Philip became a profile picture
As anyone who’s ever had a social media account knows, it’s typical for a profile picture to be chosen with care, and reflect the user’s personality or values. Although Prince William and Kate Middleton have not yet released a public statement on Prince Philip’s death, they let their online presence do the talking. The photo on their @KensingtonRoyal Twitter account, formerly a family portrait, was replaced by a somber black-and-white photo of Prince Philip. William, who was the duke’s oldest grandson, had a special bond with his grandfather and saw him as a role model of a life of public service.
The admins of the royal family’s Twitter account posted the same photo on its profile page. They asked that “members of the public consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of The Duke.” The royal family website was also updated to include biography pages of the duke’s life and works, as well as details of the funeral arrangements.
Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle expressed their sorrow on social media as well, changing the home page of their Archewell Foundation website to a banner reading, “In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021. Thank you for your service…You will be greatly missed.” The simple statement was dissed by some as being too brief and impersonal a tribute for a man who had played such an important role in Harry’s life.
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