Whilst Queen Elizabeth II is the leader in the royal family’s public duties, Prince Philip, her husband, is by all accounts a leader and rock for the family’s private matters.
Whilst his public interactions with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren have been few, particularly since he retired, such absence should not be mistaken for a less-than-strong bond with his family members. Prince Philip treasures his role as father, grandfather, and now great-grandfather.
When Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip in the Netflix series The Crown, ran into Prince William at a polo charity event, the actor asked the royal if he had any tips on playing his grandfather. The Duke of Cambridge’s response is telling: “Just one word – legend.”
The Queen and Prince Philip share eight grandchildren together: Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.
Prince William is not the only one to publicly reveal his great respect for his grandfather.
“I think Grandpa is incredible,” Princess Eugenie said of Prince Philip in a 2016 documentary, Our Queen at Ninety. “He really is strong and consistent. He’s been there for all these years, and I think he’s the rock, you know, for all of us.”
Tina Brown, who wrote The Dianna Chronicles, said in her book: "A member of the Balmoral staff noted that Prince Philip, who had effectively lost his own mother at the age of 10 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."