Prince William and Prince Harry put their animosity aside to pay a coordinated tribute to their grandfather yesterday.
William, 38, described the Duke of Edinburgh as an ‘extraordinary man’, spoke of how moved he was by his kindness to Kate and vowed to ‘get to work’ as Philip would have liked.
Harry lightly summarized his grandfather as ‘master of the barbecue, legend of chatter and brutal to the end’.
Prince William alluded to the support Philip had given him in the days following Princess Diana’s death in 1997
The royal brothers are the first grandchildren of Philips to honor his memory in public, after his four children each paid tribute at the weekend.
Their statements were released independently. William’s was published by Kensington Palace, Harry’s was posted on the home page of the website of his new American organization, Archewell.
But there was a sign that the estranged brothers are at least willing to put aside disagreements in memory of their grandfather by coordinating the release of their tribute through Buckingham Palace.
William’s Tribute was released at 2pm, followed by Harry’s at 2:30 pm.
William praised his grandfather’s sense of duty and service and said with his family at his home at Anmer Hall, Norfolk, “ The century of my grandfather’s life was defined by service – to his country and the Commonwealth, to his wife and queen, and to our family. ‘
Prince Harry said his grandfather could hold the attention of any room because of his charm “and because you never knew what he would say next.”
He also alluded to the support Philip had given him in the dark days after his mother’s death in 1997.
Philip took William and Harry under his wing at Balmoral, took them out stalking and shooting, and offered to walk with them behind their mother’s funeral procession.
“I am fortunate to have had not only his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life — in good times as well as in the most difficult of days,” William said.
And he made it a point to find out how nice Philip had been to his wife Kate. He made it clear that he and his wife intended to follow in his footsteps by supporting the Queen and devoting themselves to their public duties.
The brothers are Philip’s first grandchildren to publicly honor his memory, after his four children, including Princess Anne (pictured in 1972), paid tribute over the weekend.
“My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation,” wrote William. Catherine and I will continue to do what he wanted and will support the Queen for years to come. I will miss my grandpa, but I know he would like us to get started. ‘
Harry, who had an equally warm relationship with their grandfather, described him as a man of ‘service, honor and great humor’.
He wrote, ‘He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room because of his charm – and also because you never knew what he would say next.’
The prince, 36, said his grandfather would be remembered as the longest reigning consort in British history, ‘a decorated soldier, a prince and a duke’ and added, ‘But to me … he was my grandfather: master of the barbecue, legend of chatter and brutal right ‘to the end’. In a nod to Philip’s confessed impatience, Harry added: “ He has been a rock to Her Majesty the Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, and while I could go on, I know he would now oppose all of us say, beer in hand, “Oh, do it!”
“So for that matter, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Grandma and always being yourself.”
Harry said he, Meghan, Archie – and Philip’s future great-granddaughter they are expecting this summer – “will always have a special place for you in our hearts.”
He concluded with the Latin motto of the Royal Marines, ‘Per Mare, Per Terram’, which means ‘by sea, by land’.
Philip was Captain General of the Royal Marines for 64 years, a role he handed over to Harry when he retired in 2017. Although the role was initially shelved after Harry and Meghan announced their plans to resign from their royal duties, the Queen decided she had no choice but to ask him to give it up this year. Harry would be very upset about the decision.
Yesterday, the Daily Mail revealed how Philip regretted his grandson’s decision to give up royal life and felt it was ‘not the right choice for the country or for themselves’.
He thought their decision to do a comprehensive interview with Oprah Winfrey was “madness” and that “nothing good would come of it.”
But biographer Gyles Brandreth said Philip also believed Harry was a “good man” who had to live his own life.