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William and Harry share memories on day of tributes to Duke of Edinburgh

PA Reporter
·4-min read

Hundreds of politicians and peers shared personal tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh as his grandsons hailed him as an “extraordinary man” and a “legend of banter”.

The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex recalled their grandfather as an individual “authentically himself” filled with warmth and wit and devoted to the monarch, as they joined the nation in honouring his memory.

On a day of eulogies for Philip, hours of tributes were also heard in the Parliaments of London, Edinburgh and Cardiff – including by more than 100 MPs in the House of Commons.

William and Harry released separate statements to pay tribute to Philip, with the older brother pledging to uphold his grandfather’s wishes and continue, along with wife Kate, to support the Queen and “get on with the job”.

Reflecting on how his grandfather’s “century of life was defined by service”, William added: “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.”

He added: “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.”

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Harry, who is quarantining ahead of Saturday’s funeral at his former home of Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle, released a more informal statement, describing the duke as “my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right till the end”.

He said: “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.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the tributes in the Commons, saying Philip “touched the lives of millions”.

“It is fitting that on Saturday his Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will be conveyed to his final resting place in a Land Rover which Prince Philip designed himself, with a long wheel base and capacious rear cabin,” he said.

“Because that vehicle’s unique and idiosyncratic silhouette reminds the world that he was above all a practical man, who could take something very traditional – whether a machine or, indeed, a great national institution – and find a way by his own ingenuity to improve it, to adapt it for the 20th and 21st century.”

DEATH Philip
(PA Graphics)

Other politicians described Philip as a “role model”, and said his “greatest memorial” was his 73-year marriage to the Queen.

Conservative former Northern Ireland secretary Theresa Villiers reflected on the part the duke and the Queen played in reconciliation in Northern Ireland, adding: “I believe they played a personal role in helping take Northern Ireland forward from its divided past to a better future and for that we should all express our sincere gratitude to the man whose loss we are sadly mourning today.”

Senior Conservative MP Sir Bernard Jenkin, speaking after Green MP Caroline Lucas, told the Commons: “We’ve just heard yet another remarkable tribute to His Royal Highness, dare I say the woke paying tribute to the unwoke.

“It underlines how His Royal Highness was the most amazing unifying figure, and perhaps those of us in this House and outside should take a lesson from this occasion about what can bring us together.”

Floral tributes at the gates of Sandringham House in Norfolk
Floral tributes at the gates of Sandringham House in Norfolk (Joe Giddens/PA)

In the Lords, former children’s television presenter Baroness Benjamin said: “It is beyond doubt that His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has taken his place in the ranks of great and outstanding individuals who have made a great and gigantic contribution to Britain and the Commonwealth.

“His dedication to duty has and always will be inspirational to millions across the world.”

Over the weekend, Philip’s four children spoke movingly about the loss of their father and how the Queen was being very “stoic” after losing her husband of 73 years who died peacefully on Friday.