In light of Prince Philip's passing, many are reflecting on his decades of service. Of course, people are also remembering how the Duke of Edinburgh was as the patriarch of the royal family. Back in 1997, following Princess Diana's death, Philip was a major support for his grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry, as InStyle noted.
After Diana passed away, the royal family spent time at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. All of the televisions and radios were removed from the residence, per Queen Elizabeth II's request, in order to make sure that William, then 15, and Harry, then 12, did not see all of the invasive headlines related to their mother's death. InStyle reported that during this period, it was Philip who was particularly supportive of his two grandsons in light of this tragedy. Tina Brown, a former editor of Vanity Fair and the author of The Diana Chronicles, which was published in 2007, wrote about Philip's support of William and Harry.
"A member of the Balmoral staff noted that Prince Philip, who effectively lost his own mother at the age of ten 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," Brown wrote. She also noted that when Diana's funeral was being planned, Philip again acted in his grandsons' best interest by making sure that people kept in mind that while they had royal duties to complete, they were still two young men who just lost their mother.
"Stop telling us what to do with the boys," Brown wrote about what Philip reportedly said at the time. "They've lost their mother! You're talking about them as if they are commodities. Have you any idea what they are going through?" He was also the one who comforted William after the 15-year-old lamented that he didn't want to walk in the procession, which he referred to as "a bloody parade." Philip reportedly asked his grandson, "If I walk, will you walk with me?" Philip did walk in the procession along with William, Harry, Prince Charles, and Diana's brother, Charles Spencer.
This anecdote has emerged following Philip's death at the age of 99. On Friday, the royal family confirmed that he passed away by issuing a statement on social media. Their statement read, "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."