Monday, 12 April 2021

Prince Harry Pays Tribute to "Grandpa": "Legend of Banter, Cheeky till the End"

Prince Harry arrived back in England yesterday before travelling to the Sussexes' Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage, as he prepares to attend his grandfather's funeral on Saturday. Meghan was unable to join her husband as she's in the late stages of pregnancy and did not receive medical clearance from her doctor to travel. We've seen a sea of moving tributes to the late Duke of Edinburgh, and today Harry shared heartfelt words and warm memories of his "Grandpa".  "My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next. He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke.

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"But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right till the end.

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"He has been a rock for Her Majesty The Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, and while I could go on, I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, ‘Oh do get on with it!’ So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself. You will be sorely missed, but always remembered—by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts."

Harry closed with the Royal Marines' motto "Per Mare, Per Terram", Latin for "By Sea, By Land". Prince Harry took over as Captain General of the Royal Marines from 2017-2020, following his grandfather's tenure in the role. Harry and his grandfather shared an enduring bond with the military, having both seen wartime duty.

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Buckingham Palace shared an Annie Leibovitz portrait with the Queen's famous words from 1997:

"𝘏𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴, 𝘲𝘶𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘴𝘪𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘺, 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘮𝘺 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘵𝘩 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘺 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘰𝘸𝘦 𝘩𝘪𝘮 𝘢 𝘥𝘦𝘣𝘵 𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘮, 𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸."

In a moving tribute, Prince Charles, who is expected to deliver the eulogy for his father, said: "I particularly wanted to say that my father, for I suppose the last 70 years, has given the most remarkable, devoted service to The Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth. As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously. He was a much loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth, who also I think, share our loss and our sorrow. My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time. Thank you."

Princess Anne described her father glowingly: "You know it’s going to happen but you are never really ready. My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate. His ability to treat every person as an individual in their own right with their own skills comes through all the organisations with which he was involved. I regard it as an honour and a privilege to have been asked to follow in his footsteps and it has been a pleasure to have kept him in touch with their activities. I know how much he meant to them, in the UK, across the Commonwealth and in the wider world. I would like to emphasise how much the family appreciate the messages and memories of so many people whose lives he also touched. We will miss him but he leaves a legacy which can inspire us all."

Reflecting on the loss after service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints, Windsor on Sunday, the Countess of Wessex spoke eloquently on the Duke's passing: "It was right for him and, you know, it was so gentle. It was like someone took him by the hand, and then he went. Very peaceful and that's all you want for somebody, isn't it? I think it is so much easier for the person that goes than the people who are left behind. We are all sitting here looking at each other going 'this is awful'." Prince Edward added, "It just goes to show: he might have been our father, grandfather, father-in-law, but he meant so much to so many other people. As always. But bearing up, and again it's just that wave of affection for him and just those lovely stories."

In a statement shared today, Prince William wrote: "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. 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! 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." The statement included a lovely unseen photo of Prince George with his grandfather in Norfolk in 2015.

Buckingham Palace confirmed Prince Philip's funeral will take place on Saturday at 3pm in St George’s Chapel, Windsor. It will be televised and will begin with a National Minute’s Silence at three o’clock. In line with government guidance, only 30 guests will be present at the funeral. The plans are very much in keeping with Philip's own wishes for a low-key funeral (including Philip's decision his body be carried in a purpose-built coffin). The Palace noted, "It will be a Ceremonial Royal Funeral, the same as for Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, rather than a State Funeral – something which is generally reserved for monarchs."

The full plans from Buckingham Palace:

'The Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin, covered with His Royal Highness’s Personal Standard and dressed with a wreath of flowers, will rest initially in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle, where it will remain until the day of the Funeral.

On Saturday 17th April, The Duke of Edinburgh's coffin will be moved by a Bearer Party found by The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. Positioned in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle will be representative detachments drawn from His Royal Highness’s military special relationships.

His Royal Highness’s coffin will be carried in a purpose-built Land Rover - which The Duke was involved in the design of - flanked by military Pall Bearers, in a small Ceremonial Procession from the State Entrance to St George’s Chapel, for the Funeral Service. Members of the Royal Family and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Household will walk behind the coffin from the Quadrangle, down Chapel Hill and into Horseshoe Cloister. The Funeral Service will begin with a National Minute’s Silence at 1500hrs.

The Funeral Service will be attended by Her Majesty The Queen and Members of the Royal Family. The coffin, carried by a Bearer Party found by the Royal Marines, will be received at the top of the West Steps of St George’s Chapel by the Dean of Windsor and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Naval Cap and Sword will be placed on the coffin ahead of the service and His Royal Highness’s Insignia will be laid on the Altar of the Chapel. At the conclusion of the service, His Royal Highness will be interred in the Royal Vault in St George’s Chapel.'

A ten-minute overview of the Duke's life; he was the longest serving royal consort in British history.

Among a plethora of memorable stories and meetings, I thought I would close the post by sharing one particularly moving recollection (with thanks to West Wing Reports). In November 1963, Prince Philip flew to the United States for President John F. Kennedy's funeral. Whilst looking for her son John, Jackie Kennedy opened the door to his playroom and found Philip "sprawled on the floor", "laughing and playing". The almost three-year-old John had been upset earlier in the day because he didn't have anyone to play with and was looking for his father. Philip decided the best thing he could do was to be there for John. Two years later Philip held John's hand at a memorial for the president.

Just two years before JFK died, the Queen and the Duke hosted the President and First Lady at Buckingham Palace.

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In 1997, when William and Harry were reeling from the loss of their mother, Philip took the boys under his wing, spending time in the Highlands at Balmoral. Tina Brown later wrote: "A member of the Balmoral staff noted that Prince Philip, who had 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." When the time came to walk behind their mother's coffin, something that was deeply difficult for both brothers and is said to trouble them to this day, Philip said to them, "I'll walk if you walk".

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On Saturday, members of the family will walk behind Philip's coffin as the family and the nation bids farewell.

28 comments:

  1. Susan in Florida12 April 2021 at 23:19

    Thank you for all this information , Charlotte.

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  2. Moving tribute, Charlotte. What's amazing to me about Prince Philip is how much history he's witnessed and been a part of, but it's very touching to see his children & grandchildren remember Philip as a person. All good wishes to the BRF @ this time. -op

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  3. I love all the very personal messages, including Sophie's -- she relied what all families go through. All the sentiments seem so warm and real and do not rely heavily on the "business" part of his life. He was the head of a large family and evidently loved children. "Barbeque master" probably represents the best memories, and I love that he cared to zoom and see Archie when he probably did not feel very well. I'm sorry so many great-grandchildren will miss out on knowing him.

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  4. Amazing post and tribute Charlotte. I love the words especially by his favourite child Princess Anne they moved me a lot. I also love the words of Prince Harry. Where can we find the official statement online by Prince Harry or did he say this on camera? Lovely to see the photo of Prince George with Prince Philip riding in the carriage so cute. My heart goes out to the whole royal family in their loss but especially to the Queen. I am glad the funeral is televised so we can all watch it.

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  5. What a lovely collection of remembrances you have in this post, Charlotte! Thank you.

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  6. Two things. It was very interesting to read the two brothers'statements, could not be any different. Also the number of complaints received about the coverage on BBC, the royals won't be happy and content about that for sure. I truly wonder how long the monarchy will last after the Queen.

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    1. Anett, it was interesting to read the differences in the statements, and one does not know how to interpret. Now that I know how much is controlled by "the Palace," did they have a hand in making William's statement a bid more "regal"? Or did William manage to get in very personal items despite their suggestions? Or are the brothers truly on different paths in every way, as Harry has said? This is not at all criticism!! Just interesting insights into the personalities of the different members of the RF. I personally loved Harry's and wished it had been a lot longer. It sounds like the family members had some extra time with PP after his retirement, which was great. I was surprised at how sweet Charles' statement was; it would be nice if Harry could at least make some headway with his father during this visit. To have his father not zooming to see his grandson just is so grating!

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    2. Personally both statements were equally poignant, and while different in style, had a lot in common on substance. Both spoke to Prince Philip's service, his love of the Queen, his family, his influence on their personal lives, how their respective families will remember him fondly, and above all else, they ended on the same note, that Prince Philip would have wanted them to 'get on with it'! They both spoke from their heart and they are remembering their grandfather most probably exactly as he would have wished them to!

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  7. Thank you so much Charlotte for this moving report. The praise and words of everyone are so moving and especially those of Prince Harry who are so deep and enriching because through his description, we learn even more about his grandfather.
    I find that Prince Harry has a lot of similarities with his grandfather: both physically and in their character traits (jokers, playful, intrepid and very warm ...)

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  8. I just saw the photo chosen to illustrate the second tribute of Prinde Harry on the Archewell site and it is beautiful! Harry and his beaming grandfather, all smiles, so beautiful!

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  9. Charlotte, I have read some copy in regard to the passing of Prince Philip but I found myself waiting patiently for your reporting of this historical event. For me, you have become my go to for accuracy without bias in writing of often very delicate issues that can spur some strong reactions both pro and con. Once again, you have surpassed my imagination in your research in an effort to make us feel that we are very much present in the event. I found the short bio video of Prince Philip to be insightful giving me a bette understanding of a man I never knew. I have always liked the natural grace that Sophie has displayed when we see her on random occasions but I was really taken back as I watched and listened to Prince Edward and Sophie not finish each others sentences but compliment each others thoughts. They never seem to garner the spotlight or shall I say given the opportunity through their work to draw public attention. I found them both to be so soothing to listen to, peaceful. They speak without pretense. Their voices echo a sincere honesty inviting us in to better share in the sad passing of a much loved member of their family. It is easy to understand why the Queen enjoys her company if we are to believe what has been reported. I imagine moving forward we will see them in the Queens company. I imagine Anne best personifies her late father from my point of view. I can only imagine the depth of the hurt she is feeling. She seems to have remained Daddy's little girl to the end regardless of the rough and tumble persona we often see. The coming years will be interesting as they unfold considering they are an ageing family. I think the younger generations will come to the forefront sooner then we expect.

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    1. USA Granny, no bias is such a relief. There's always some little snide remark or none-fact that is slipped in everywhere else. And the range of images cannot be beat! ?)

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  10. Good write up ... Did you see the archived photo of little John Kennedy JR holding prince Philip’s hand at his father funeral at Arlington?

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    1. Thank you very much, I just added it to the post.

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    2. That pic wasn’t at his fathers funeral nor in Arlington. It was at a later dedication to JFK in the UK. Jackie was in all black and veiled at the funeral and the Queen was not present due to her pregnancy with Edward.

      It is a touching picture.

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  11. And I have to say, looking at these photos of Harry, that he is the cutest!! I am so happy that he has Meghan and his finally-family of 3+ kids and dogs.

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  12. Dear Charlotte,

    thank you for this beautifully researched and written piece.
    I like to go through all the affectionate and personal tributes by the members of the Royal Family.
    I have always been very fond of the Duke of Edinburgh’s wit and enjoyed some of the collections of it in British newspapers.
    Now I realise how well he balanced the seriousness, pomp and circumstance of the monarchy by his witty sharp and lighthearted remarks.
    On television many people who were asked what they feel expressed that his passing felt like the end of an era for them.
    I can share these feelings. The last year has brought so many changes as well for the better but also losses to deal with.
    I think Philips impressive life embraced so well the spirit of the last century with all its facets and the enormous change and growth people had to go through into a modern world without losing all the valuables from their past. Philip had to settle into new worlds several times in his life - this is an inspiration for us today as we have to settle into a different world in the years to come.
    To me it seems he lived through so much difficulty and change that after all he became a very free man, not trying to be anything but himself. Not flawless but sincere, creative and pragmatic. The way he died feels comforting compared to the beginnings of his life. He and her Majesty had a year with a lighter schedule and hopefully a lot of time for each other.
    I wish the the Royal family all the strength and the comfort they need to get well through this big change.

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    1. What a lovely comment Kristina. I heartily agree

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  13. A very good read!

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/15/we-can-mourn-prince-philip-but-not-the-monarchy?CMP=twt_gu&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium#Echobox=1618479841

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    1. That’s an interesting read, My grandfather fought in WW2 under English-allied command in pretty brutal setting. After WW2, he fought for independent nationhood opposing English rule. It’s very hard to discuss this legacy with Brits of a certain generation, because they can’t seem to accept that many people did not benefit from being under British rule. It’s this obstinacy that will sink its global ambition.

      If what they say about Prince Philip is true, that he’s a no nonsense, get-it-done kind of person, I’d think he would hate the pedestal people have placed him on. He was a complex person and his humanity with all its faults and virtues are what made him real and personable to many. It’s a pity people can’t accept the real man. Appreciate him for his success and learn to accept or understand his flaws. It’d be a far better world if people stop trying to reduce people to two dimension characters.

      -reader



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    2. Thank you Anett, a very good read! I liked some of her comments about Meghan‘s Situation in the past months as well.
      As a German I have a very different approach towards history. We learn from an early age not to repress the responsibility of what our people has done to the world. Even if we personally of course have nothing to do with it. So I am taken aback by the defiance of the Royal family of „not being racist“. To me it worsens the situation not to take responsibility for the hurt British leadership has caused.
      It would help to create a healing path and a new truly inclusive monarchy.

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    3. Do not see honoring a man for his actions as putting him on a pedestal. Think many know the man for who he was, flaws and all. Can we not appreciate a difference of perspective, or can it only be right if one opinion prevails? People of nations all around the world have not always benefited from their government or rule, the Brits alone are not the only 'culprits' if you will. The inhumanity inflicted on people in certain other nations cannot be overlooked. The Brits alone cannot be the poster child for racism and inhumanity. There needs to be changes on the world stage, but cannot a man be recognized for his role in trying to make a difference?

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    4. Thank you Anett, for posting this article. I appreciated it's look behind the curtain.

      R

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    5. I think most have accepted the real man, flaws, foiables and all. It's a pity that a man can't be honored simply for being above all else, a devoted family man without some negativity aimed at the royal family.

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    6. Once again the aboutwhatism and “the British alone cannot...” explanations that get displayed preventing any reconciliation or real reflection. It’s avoiding looking hard at history to understand the deep geopolitical and cultural schism for fear of damaging a glorious nationalistic narrative.

      This denialism is affecting the very makeup of the UK. Its union is threatened because people lied and prefer to shape narratives for immediate short term gains rather than taking in the complexity and the real burden placed upon the people being affected. Take note of the turmoils in NI and Scotland. By extension the same type of denialism and lack of reflection and any real attempt of reconciliation can be said of the Commonwealth and the history behind these nations.

      This isn’t about targeting England or the UK or the RF as if they are the victim here. It’s about reconciling the past with the present to build a better future. Pretending to deny the effect of such a legacy only allows things to simmer till they get out of control.
      -reader

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  14. Because this cannot be a state funeral, it is turning out to be a much more personal experience, which is so special for we who are not family members. For whatever reason uniforms will not be worn, I like that. Family members will wear masks, be separated, be grieving -- we will not be able to see what they would likely want to do, gather and touch each other, so the remembrances with family photos are very welcome.

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  15. The great trauma of my young life was the death of President Kennedy. I was so moved by the image of Prince Philip playing with our own young “prince”,killed in a plane crash like Philip’s sister.
    Our local public television station aired a show about Philip. He was talking about climate change and the need for action ... in the late 1950s. An extraordinary leader in his own right. Rest in power, sir.
    KarenR in Virginia

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  16. As far as I know, people don't walk behind coffins in the US. I find this a very nice custom but it is a tear-jerker, as least to me. Every time I try to read about the funeral procession, I start to tear up. I don't know why, but perhaps it's because the family has become more "real" over the past few years. I've come to have respect for both Eugenie and Beatrice, and I'm seeing how much Phillip did for his family. (And as Meghan says, don't believe what you read -- I've been reading that the Queen had to split Harry and William in the procession. That is so false; they are right across from each other and Peter, who IS the oldest grandchild, is between Harry/William and the pair behind them. Otherwise, someone would be walking "alone." I'm sure all hearts will be on their grandfather.) I'll be glad when the funeral is over. I have so little experience with funerals.

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