Prince Philip: Duke of Edinburgh’s children pay tribute to the Queen’s ‘rock’

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Alastair Jamieson and Adam Forrest
·3 min read
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<p>The Duke of Edinburgh with the Queen and their children in 1972</p> (PA)

The Duke of Edinburgh with the Queen and their children in 1972

(PA)

Prince Philip’s children have paid tribute to their father following his death aged 99, with Prince Charles praising the Duke of Edinburgh’s “astonishing” energy.

In interviews recorded for broadcast after the duke’s death, they reflected on their relationship with the man who spent his life as the Queen’s consort.

Prince Charles told the BBC that, while his father was known for his no-nonsense approach, he was good at giving him guidance and always offered faithful support to the Queen.

Charles said: “Well you know he didn’t suffer fools gladly, so if you said anything that was in any way ambiguous he’d say, ‘Make up your mind.’ So perhaps it made you choose your words carefully.”

He added: “He was very good at showing you how to do things and would instruct you in various things,” and that “his energy was astonishing in supporting my Mama, and doing it for such a long time.”

Prince Charles is believed to have stayed with the Queen at Windsor Castle until late on Friday, while Princes Andrew and Edward arrived on Saturday morning to support their mother as she grieves for her husband of 73 years.

Princess Anne praised the “double act” her father maintained with the Queen. “Without him life will be completely different,” she said. The Princess Royal said she would remember her father as an ever-present mentor.

She said: “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.”

The Royal Family together in 1968PA
The Royal Family together in 1968PA

Philip’s youngest son Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, said his father had “always been there as that rock in the Queen’s life”.

Edward said: “It was always a challenging role to take but he has done it with the most extraordinary flair and an extraordinary tact and diplomacy.

“He has never ever tried to overshadow the Queen in any shape or form and I think he has always been there as that rock in the Queen’s life, and certainly within his family that was exactly the same.”

Edward also said his father had a “wonderful” sense of humour, but noted that people could misinterpret things or “turn it against [him]”.

Edward said: “The public image that certain parts of the media would portray was always an unfair depiction. He used to give them as good as he got and always in a very entertaining way ... He was brilliant. Always absolutely brilliant.”

The Queen, Prince Philip and their children at their silver wedding anniversary in 1972PA
The Queen, Prince Philip and their children at their silver wedding anniversary in 1972PA

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, recalled how Philip used to read to the family in the evenings.

Andrew said: “Like any family of the day your parents went out to work during the day, but in the evening, just the same as any other family, we would get together, we would sit on the sofa as a group and he would read to us.”

Following the royal’s death, and in keeping with the Letters Patent issued when George VI gave Prince Philip the title in 1947, the Prince of Wales has now gained the title of Duke of Edinburgh.

However, when Prince Charles ascends the throne, the title will “merge with the crown” and can be regranted. It is likely then to be passed on to his brother Prince Edward.

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