Prince Philip ‘didn’t have role models for parents’ before family united for memorial


PRINCE PHILIP “didn’t have any serious role models for parents” which may have influenced his parenting style with Prince Charles, a documentary claimed.

This week, the nation marked the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh with a special service in his honour at Westminster Abbey, a year after his death at the age of 99. The Royal Family were out in force to commemorate Philip, including his wife the Queen, and future heirs to the throne Prince Charles and Prince William. All of his grandchildren, except Prince Harry, were also in attendance, with the Firm standing united together to remember Philip during the special ceremony.

And while Philip appeared to maintain a united bond with all of his family, it would appear his relationship with his own parents was far from ordinary, and may have influenced his own style when his children were born.

Speaking on Amazon Prime’s 2016 documentary Prince Philip – A King Among Princes, commentator Tim Heald discussed how the Duke of Edinburgh’s parents were distant to him while he grew up.

He said: “He didn’t have any serious role models as far as parenting was concerned.

“This later came to be a bit of a handicap when it came to bringing up Prince Charles and the other royal children.”

Prince Philip 'didn't have role models for parents' before family united for memorial

Prince Philip ‘didn’t have role models for parents’ before family united for memorial (Image: GETTY)

Prince Philip and Prince Charles

Prince Philip and Prince Charles (Image: GETTY)

For Penny Juror, author of the 1988 book Charles, Philip “simply didn’t get his son”, adding: “He had a very difficult relationship with Charles.

“They didn’t speak to each other as normal father and son.”

Royal biographer Robert Johnson agreed, but complimented Philip on his relationship with Charles’ two sons Prince Harry and Prince William.

He said if Philip was your father “it must be difficult”, adding: “There’s no doubt his relationship with Prince Harry, Prince William, his grandsons, they find him helpful and caring – which is not the impression you get with his own sons.”

Prince Charles and Prince Philip

Prince Charles and Prince Philip (Image: GETTY)

Mr Heald, who wrote 1991’s The Duke: Portrait of Prince Philip, also said the pair’s bond may have been damaged as a result of the breakdown in Charles’ marriage to Diana.

The author added: “Maybe he always found Prince Charles slightly exasperating, and the fact that he wasn’t able to make more of a go in his marriage to Princess Diana was at least as much his son’s fault as it was his daughter-in-laws.”

But more recently, their relationship appears to have blossomed, and Charles himself detailed how difficult it was not being able to see Philip, and the Queen, last year while he and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, isolated in Clarence House.

Just before Philip turned 99, Charles admitted he “hadn’t seen my father for a long time”, and that “doing the Facetime is all very well” but wasn’t the same as personal interactions.

Prince Charles and his parents

Prince Charles and his parents (Image: GETTY)

He added to Sky News when asked about feeling disconnected from those closest to him: “Well it’s terribly sad, let alone one’s friends.

“But fortunately at least you can speak to them on telephones and occasionally do this sort of thing.

“But it isn’t the same, is it? You really just want to give people a hug.”

In 2004, Philip did confess to having a different outlook on life to that of Charles, who he described as a “romantic” compared to his more “pragmatist” nature.

He added: “That means we do see things differently. And because I don’t see things as a romantic would, I am unfeeling.”

During the service, Dean of Windsor David Conner spoke of how Philip’s life “bore the marks of sacrifice and service”.

He added: “Certainly, he could show great sympathy and kindness.

“There is no doubt that he had a delightfully engaging, and often self-deprecating, sense of humour.

“It is quite clear that his mind held together both speculation and common sense.

“Moreover, nobody would ever doubt his loyalty and deep devotion to our Queen and to their family.”


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