Britain’s Princes William and Harry on Monday issued their respective tribute statements to their ‘extraordinary’ grandpa, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who passed away aged 99 on Friday.
Both brothers, reportedly estranged in recent months since Harry stepped back as a frontline royal after his wedding to Meghan Markle, make references to the late Duke's sense of humour and describe him as a man of service.
“My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation,” reads the statement by Prince William.
“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,” said the 38-year-old prince.
William, the Duke of Cambridge, also reflected on his grandfather's kindness to his wife, Kate Middleton, and the special memories his children -- Prince George, Prince Charlotte and Prince Louis -- will have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and sharing his “infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour”.
“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,” concludes William's message, released by Kensington Palace alongside an image of Prince Philip in a carriage with great-grandson Prince George.
Prince Harry's message, posted on his Archewell Foundation website, struck a more informal note as it reflected on Prince Philip's ‘dedication to Granny’, in reference to Queen Elizabeth II.
“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,” reads the statement from Harry, sixth in line to the British throne.
“He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke. 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 ‘til the end,” reads the statement.
Harry, 36, who has flown down from his California home to London ahead of the royal funeral at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday, reflected on his grandfather's ‘unparalleled devotion’ to the Queen for 73 years of their marriage and thanked him for his service and for always being himself.
He added: “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!'
“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.”
His wife, Meghan Markle, is soon to deliver a baby girl and remains at their US home as she was advised against travel by her doctors this late in her pregnancy.