The relationship between a grandfather and his grandson is always a special one, but it’s more so when the two happen to be royalty. The death of Prince Philip has left the royal family in deep mourning, among them Prince William. The second in line to the throne had been close to the Duke of Edinburgh all his life. “Prince William will be especially heartbroken,” says Kinsey Schofield, founder of the royals website ToDiForDaily.
The bond between Prince Philip and his oldest grandson only deepened following the death of Princess Diana. “You will remember, Prince Philip offered to walk behind Princess Diana’s coffin with Prince William and Prince Harry to offer them strength and comfort,” Schofield points out. The duke also helped William through his grief by keeping him occupied with tasks, such as helping him in the kitchen. Quoting a royals biographer, the Daily Express noted that Philip “was particularly close to William at the time…. He had taught William to shoot, spending hours with him out on the moors and displaying in these days a warm and pastoral care for both his grandsons.”
Schofield notes that William regularly joined his grandparents for lunch while he was in school at Eton as a teen. “Prince Philip would slip out at some point in the afternoon so Queen Elizabeth could mentor Prince William on the monarchy, but Prince Philip was very much involved in this process to mold Prince William into the young man he was,” she says.
William honored his grandfather's love of service
William deeply admired his grandfather, not only for his companionship and advice, but also for his commitment to public service, both as a member of the military and as a philanthropist. In a recent speech to the Charity Commission, William said, “My grandfather Prince Philip has been one of the most tireless public servants of this country, deeply committed to helping young people fulfill their potential.” He also showed his respect for Philip by naming both of his own sons after Louis Mountbatten, the uncle who raised Philip (via Town & Country). In addition to younger son Louis, firstborn George has Louis as a middle name.
Now that one of his lifelong role models is gone, William no doubt feels the weight of his role as a crown prince more than ever, says Schofield. “Prince William should prepare to take on more responsibility,” she notes. “There will be numerous reactions when we, God forbid, lose the Queen. Prince Philip’s death is making us contemplate this. The family is going to have to prove their value beyond the beloved Queen Elizabeth.”
Schofield adds that there may be something of a “dust-up” if the crown passes to Prince Charles after the queen’s death, since polls show that the British public favors William as the next monarch. But whether it happens in the near future or later in his career, William will be ascending the throne and doing his best to honor his grandfather’s legacy.
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