The British royal family has long been a subject of fascination. They’re some of the most powerful, photographed, and scrutinized people in the world; yet, it feels like there’s a lot we don’t know about them. Additionally, royal watchers are always intrigued by the relationships within the family, particularly which ones are tight-knit and which keep their distance.
Prince Philip is possibly one of the most fascinating figures in the royal family. You’d think we’d know a ton about the Duke of Edinburgh considering how long he’s been by Queen Elizabeth’s side, but he’s remained one of the most private members of the clan.
While Prince Philip may not share much with the public, he’s very involved with members of the family behind-the-scenes. Notably, he developed particularly close relationships with Prince William and Prince Harry after the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997 (per Express). “A member of the Balmoral staff noted that Prince Philip, who had effectively lost his own mother at the age of ten when she was committed for three years to an asylum in Switzerland, was brilliantly effective with his grandsons, offering them gruff tenderness and outdoor activities like stalking and hiking to tire them out,” author Tina Brown wrote of the heartbreaking time in her book, The Diana Chronicles.
Prince Philip took Prince William under his wing
Prince Philip has always thought it important to prepare Prince William for his future role as king; he’s often praised for leading by example. It’s no wonder, then, that Prince Philip was one of the busiest royals in 2016, the year before his official retirement (via Harper’s Bazaar).
Additionally, Prince William has applauded Prince Philip for instilling in him a love for giving back. In a speech at the Charity Commission Annual Public Meeting, Prince William praised his grandfather. “My father, of course, had inherited this very same habit from his parents,” he told the crowd. “My grandfather Prince Philip has been one of the most tireless public servants of this country, deeply committed to helping young people fulfill their potential.”
If there are any doubts about the love shared between grandson and grandfather, consider the advice Prince William allegedly gave The Crown‘s Matt Smith on portraying Prince Philip. “He said, ‘Just one word — legend.’ And he’s right, Philip was a bit of a rock star, really,” Smith told Metro UK.
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