While he didn’t always see eye to eye with Charles, Philip not quite understanding his eldest son’s more sensitive, cerebral nature, later in life he was a doting grandfather, his love of sports and the outdoors suiting him well when it came to bonding with the next generation.
“I think Grandpa is incredible,” Princess Eugenie said in the 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.”
When Matt Smith asked William if he had any advice on how best to approach playing the patriarch in The Crown, having run into the prince at a charity polo match, William had one word for the actor. “‘Legend!'” Smith told Hello! in 2016. “And he’s right, Philip was a bit of a rock star, really.”
Philip was the one who got 14-year-old William to agree to walk behind Princess Diana‘s casket during the funeral procession for the teen’s mother in 1997. “If you don’t walk, you may regret it later,” he advised his grandson, who was understandably reluctant. “I think you should do it,” Philip encouraged. “If I walk, will you walk with me?”
And so William went to—as he put it years later—”another level of duty” in taking that interminable 13-minute walk from St. James’s Palace to Westminster Abbey, along with his brother, father, grandfather and uncle Earl Charles Spencer.