William and Harry pay tribute to Philip’s service, warmth and wit
The Duke of Edinburgh’s service to Queen, country and his family has been praised by his grandsons who spoke warmly of Philip’s humour and kindness to others.
The Duke of Cambridge described the duke as an “extraordinary man” while the Duke of Sussex said he was “a rock for Her Majesty the Queen with unparalleled devotion”.
The royal brothers are the first of Philip’s grandchildren to publicly honour his memory, and Harry light-heartedly summed him up as “master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right till the end”.
William spoke candidly about Philip’s relationship with Kate and expressed his gratitude for the “kindness he showed her”.
He also highlighted the special bond between the duke and Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, who would have “special memories” of being picked up in a horse-drawn carriage by their “great-grandpa”.
William pledged to uphold his grandfather’s wishes and continue, along with wife Kate, to support the Queen and “get on with the job”.
Over the weekend Philip’s four children spoke movingly about the loss of their father and how the Queen was being very “stoic” after losing her husband of 73 years who died peacefully on Friday.
William said about Philip: “My grandfather’s century of life was defined by service – to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family.
“I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life – both through good times and the hardest days.”
Philip and the Queen provided a safe haven for William and Harry in the days following the death of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, as they grieved at their grandmother’s royal residence, Balmoral in Scotland, in 1997.
It is said the duke later suggested William and Harry walk behind their mother’s coffin with him and other senior royals as the funeral cortege made its way through the streets of London.
William added: “I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her.
“I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!”
Kensington Palace tweeted the duke’s statement together with a touching new photograph taken in 2015 of a two-year-old young George with his great-grandfather Philip.
George, a future King, was pictured holding a book and sat by Philip’s side on the box seat of a carriage, as the duke held the reins and a whip.
William concluded: “My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation. Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support the Queen in the years ahead. I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job.”