World

Princes William and Harry pay tribute to Prince Philip's character, life of service

Prince William and Prince Harry have paid tribute to their grandfather Prince Philip, remembering the late duke for his decades of service to family and beyond, as well as being a "master of the barbecue" and "legend of banter."

Duke of Edinburgh's grandsons issue separate statements ahead of funeral on Saturday

Prince Harry, far left, Prince Philip and Prince William, right, attend the Rugby World Cup final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham in London in 2015. Harry and William have paid tribute to their grandfather in separate statements. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

Prince William and Prince Harry have paid tribute to their grandfather Prince Philip, remembering the late duke for his decades of service to family and beyond, as well as being a "master of the barbecue" and "legend of banter."

"My grandfather's century of life was defined by service — to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family," William, who is second in line to the British throne, said in a statement on Monday.

"I will miss my grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job."

Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth who had been at her side throughout her 69-year reign, died at Windsor Castle on Friday at the age of 99.

William also praised his grandfather for his kindness toward his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and said he would be grateful for the time his children got to spend with Philip.

"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."

Philip talks to William and Harry following the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, Britain, in 2006. (Lefteris Pitarakis/The Associated Press)

William called Philip "an extraordinary man" who was "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," he said.

Harry back in London 

Harry, William's younger brother, has arrived in London from Los Angeles for Philip's funeral on Saturday, a source said. Buckingham Palace said his wife, Meghan, who is pregnant, will not attend on the advice of her doctor.

In a separate statement, Harry also celebrated the life of Philip.

"He was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter and cheeky right 'til the end," Harry said. "Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny and for always being yourself."

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, along with William, his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Harry, wave to guests attending the Patron's Lunch celebrations for the Queen's 90th birthday in London in 2016. (Toby Melville/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Harry said Philip would always have a "special place" in his heart as well as that of Meghan, their son, Archie, and their unborn daughter.

"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!' "

Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, will quarantine in accordance with coronavirus guidelines so that he can attend the ceremonial funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday.

Some royal watchers say this is a chance to heal his relationship with the Royal Family after Harry and Meghan's explosive interview in early March with Oprah that exposed deep rifts.

WATCH | Prince Harry to attend Prince Philip's funeral:

Prince Harry to reunite with Royal Family at Prince Philip’s funeral

The National

25 days ago
2:10
Prince Philip's upcoming funeral will be limited to 30 people because of COVID-19 restrictions and will mark the first time Prince Harry sees his family since last year. Some royal watchers say this is a chance to heal his relationship with the Royal Family. 2:10

Scaled-down funeral

Philip is lying at rest in the private chapel at Windsor Castle.

Buckingham Palace has said long-established plans for Philip's funeral had to be redrawn and scaled down because of COVID-19 restrictions, but they remained very much in line with Philip's wishes.

Philip, who was officially known as the Duke of Edinburgh, will be given a ceremonial royal funeral, not a state funeral, as had been planned before the pandemic.

But there will be no public processions. It will be held entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle and limited to 30 mourners.

The funeral, which will be broadcast on live television, will be held at St. George's Chapel on the castle grounds and will be preceded by a minute's silence across the country.

With files from CBC News

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

now