Philip and the Queen were seen as the couple who made up the backbone of the Firm for years. The pair have been completely dedicated to their public duties and have stuck firmly by the mantra, “never complain, never explain” throughout their married life. The Duke of Edinburgh only retired in 2017 after completing more than 22,000 solo engagements since the Queen’s ascension in 1952.
Philip, who turns 100 next year, is the longest-serving royal consort and the oldest male member of the Royal Family.
However, not all members of the Firm have been as dedicated as the Duke of Edinburgh, to the royal stalwart’s frustration.
Royal biographer Ingrid Seward recently pointed out how infuriated the prince consort has become when the younger generations of royals have acted out.
Writing in her new book, ‘Prince Philip Revealed’, Ms Seward explained how the royal felt when Prince Andrew came under intense scrutiny for his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
She wrote: “The Queen did what she could to dissuade Philip from upsetting himself and getting involved, but it would be difficult for any father to sit back while the press on both sides of the Atlantic hounds his son.”
In December last year, Philip allegedly told Andrew to “take his punishment” after endangering “the very fabric of the Royal Family”, a royal insider told The Telegraph.
Andrew also stepped back from public life last year, and is unlikely to return for the foreseeable future.
However, this is not the first time Philip has been disappointed in his children.
Ms Seward claimed: “Back in the Nineties, when the disasters that had befallen the younger royals had bought the Royal Family into disrepute — with Diana’s separation from Charles and Andrew’s impending divorce from Sarah Ferguson — Prince Philip was privately asked what he thought of it all and said at the time, ‘Everything I have worked for 40 years has been in vain’.”
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However, the Firm rode out this difficult patch and appeared to be riding on a wave of popularity until Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their decision to step back from the Firm in January.
This decision went against everything Philip stands for.
However, Ms Seward noted: “The Queen refused to allow their [the Sussexes’] shenanigans to get to her husband.”
For instance, when the Queen called an emergency summit at the Sandringham estate back in January, she asked one of her house guests — Countess Mountbatten — to occupy Philip and take him away from the house during the meeting.
Still, the biographer noted that Philip often “grieves” that not all royals have his commitment, and therefore do not share his core values.
She also pointed out that Philip still struggled to understand why Harry was so desperate to leave royal life behind earlier this year as he had an idyllic family life with his wife and son.
Another insider recently told Vanity Fair that Meghan and Harry are “desperate” to return to the UK for Christmas to visit the Queen and Prince Philip.
They explained: “They are all eager to get back to spend time with Harry’s family and for Archie to see his great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II and great-grandfather Prince Philip in particular.”
‘Prince Philip Revealed: A Man of His Century’ by Ingrid Seward was published by Simon & Schuster in 2020 and is available here.
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