On Friday (April 9), Queen Elizabeth shared the sad news that her beloved husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, had passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle. The Duke of Edinburgh's passing came just shy of his 100th birthday, which he would've celebrated on June 10.
Tributes for the late royal have come pouring in since his passing, recalling his devotion to supporting Her Majesty throughout her reign, as well as his sense of humor. An interview given by the Duke of Edinburgh's biographer, Ingrid Seward, back in October detailing how he welcomed newcomers, including Princess Diana and Meghan Markle, into the Royal Family has also been resurfaced.
“When Diana married into the family, Prince Philip really looked after her because he looks after all the girls — including Meghan when she first came into the family — because he knows what it’s like to be the new boy on the block or the new girl on the block and suddenly come into this family with all their strange protocols and everything else,” Seward shared. “Philip, being a very intelligent man, he knew how to handle all these newcomers, but in return, he expected loyalty, and he expected that they, too, would have a sense of duty like he had.”
Following Diana's split from Prince Philip's oldest son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles, Seward reveals that Philip stayed in touch with Diana and did his best to offer guidance amid the difficult transition away from royal life. “He decided that in the lack of anything else happening, he would write to Diana,” Seward said. “Diana was very grateful to him because basically she didn’t have to face seeing him that way. She could just deal with it in the letters, and he was helpful. And he said things like, ‘Diana, [you] must remember that this monarchy is not a popularity contest. It’s all of us working together,’ which is probably something he could have said to Meghan to try and make these newcomers understand that … it’s about the institute of the monarchy as a whole.”
Though Philip and Diana were able to forge a close bond, the same closeness was not achieved with Meghan. By the time Prince Harry and Meghan met, Philip was at the end of his royal career. He retired from public duties in the summer of 2017 at the age of 96 and, as a result, was not around as much as he had been when Diana joined the family. “He was very welcoming to Meghan because of course, she was a newcomer and a very different newcomer," Seward said.
"At the time of Meghan and Harry’s romance, he wasn’t around nearly as much because he’d retired. So he didn’t see very much of Meghan at all. So he didn’t really have a chance to form a relationship with her,” she continued. “He was determined that he was going to go to the wedding because he literally just had a hip operation six weeks before, which is a really good example of him being absolutely determined that whatever happened he was gonna walk down that aisle at the wedding and take his seat.”
Prince Philip did, of course, attend Harry and Meghan's wedding in 2018, making it one of his final public appearances.