Members of the British royal family are expected to follow government rules and royal protocols at even the most stressful times, including funerals. A recent example of this was seen when Queen Elizabeth II had to sit alone at the funeral of her husband Prince Philip in April this year due to social distancing measures imposed amid rising cases of novel coronavirus infections.
However, her late husband ensured that their grandchildren Prince William and Prince Harry don’t feel the pressure of royal protocols when they lost their mother Princess Diana in 1997. The Duke of Edinburgh was very concerned about the emotional well-being of William and Harry, who were aged just 15 and 12 back then, and when royal aides were planning how to include the boys in the funeral procession, he cried, “It’s about the boys. They’ve lost their mother.”
He later told his grandsons at a dinner before the funeral, “I’ll walk if you walk,” and fulfilled his promise by accompanying them during the procession from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey in London.
A new documentary on Prince Philip, titled “Philip: Prince, Husband, Father,” further explores how he supported William and Harry at Diana’s funeral. Martin Palmer, who co-founded The Alliance of Religions and Conservation with Prince Philip, said in the documentary that the late Prince Consort quietly comforted William by touching his back when he thought the cameras could not see them, reports the Telegraph.
“There’s a moment where they go under the Horseguards Parade arch where it’s quite clear that Prince Philip – and I asked him about this he said, ‘Yes, I didn’t think the cameras could see us’ – at that point he turns to William and comforts him. You’ve just got to watch that moment and realise here is a grandfather who is trying to help his young, very vulnerable grandson struggle through this awful awful moment,” Palmer said.
Palmer adds in the ITV documentary, that is due to air on Tuesday, that Prince Philip knew what it was like to be a member of a “dysfunctional family” and tried his hardest to make sure the same doesn’t happen to his grandsons.
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