What Prince Philip is really like as a grandfather
Queen Elizabeth II may be the head of the Commonwealth, but it’s her husband, Prince Philip who has remained the family’s strongest support.
While it is rare to see the Prince interacting with his grandchildren in a public setting, especially after his retirement, that is not to say that his relationship with his family members isn’t strong. It is said that Prince Philip values his role as a father, grandfather and now great-grandfather above anything else.
Matt Smith, who famously played the role of Prince Philip in the highly acclaimed Netflix series The Crown said that upon meeting Prince William and asking for advice on playing his grandfather, the Duke of Cambridge responded with very few words, saying: “Just one word – legend.”
The royal couple share eight grandchildren together: Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
And while Prince William made his admiration for his grandfather known, he is not the only one to praise him, as Philip’s other grandchildren have also expressed their love for him.
“I think Grandpa is incredible,” said Princess Eugenie in a 2016 documentary, Our Queen at Ninety.
“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.”
Author of The Diana Chronicles, Tina Brown wrote in her book: “A member of the Balmoral staff noted that Prince Philip, who had effectively lost his own mother at the age of 10 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.”
She also looked back at the time of Princess Diana’s death, and said Prince Philip played a crucial role in the healing of Prince William and Prince Harry in 1997.
According to Brown, Prince William was not in the right emotional state of mind to walk in the cortege at his mother’s funeral, but with the support of his grandfather, he changed his mind.
It is reported that Philip said to William, “If I walk, will you walk with me?” and he did.
In a recent display of affection, Prince Philip decided to attend his grandson, Prince Harry’s wedding to the now Duchess of Sussex in May, even though he went through a hip replacement surgery only a few weeks prior to the occasion.
Earlier in the year, Harper’s Bazaar spoke to a former royal reporter, Philip Dampier, who said: “He has taught them [his grandchildren] many things from his own experiences, telling them not to worry about the press too much as ‘it will be tomorrow’s fish and chip paper’.”
“Philip has made more than 5000 speeches in his royal career and he has tips on how to do them. His door is always open if any of his grandchildren want advice on any subject.”