Prince Philip praised by royals in emotional doc- but fears rise Andrew will overshadow it


THE ROYAL Family have come together to pay a poignant tribute to the late Prince Philip in a documentary to air on BBC One later this month – but it risks being overshadowed by Prince Andrew’s ongoing legal woes.

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Prince Charles leads the BBC TV tribute for his late father (Image: PA Images)

In one moving clip, Prince Charles says: “We were lucky to have him for nearly 100 years.”

The documentary was originally intended to mark what would have been the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday in June, two months after his passing on April 9, and features clips from the Queen’s private cinefilm collection never previously seen by the public.

For the first time in history, more than a dozen royals will appear on the same programme in Prince Philip:The Royal Family Remembers, which will be broadcast at 9pm on Wednesday, September 22 on BBC One.

All the Queen and Prince Philip’s children, grandchildren and other family members agreed to take part in the special tribute, interviews before and after the Duke’s death for what the BBC describes as “an unrivalled portrait of a man with a unique place in royal history” In a trailer released yesterday, Prince William says: “He’s always been a huge presence behind everything we’ve done really.”

Prince Harry adds: “What you see is what you got with my grandfather. He was unapologetically him.”

Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall, laments his passing, saying: “You never prepare yourself for losing him because he was always there.”

Philip was the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He married the then Princess Elizabeth on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey, and remained loyally by her side for more than seven decades.

Rarely seen video clips in the trailer show Philip in a family setting; playing with young royals on a picnic, in a rowing boat and, to their huge delight, riding a tiny children’s bicycle himself.

The documentary crew was also granted permission to interview the Duke’s longserving staff as well as being allowed to film inside his study, private office and library at Buckingham Palace, left exactly as they were during his remarkable seven decades at the heart of royal life.

As well as “deeply personal” recollections, the BBC said the documentary contains “plenty of humour and numerous fresh insights into the character and legacy of this royal pioneer.

It added: “This film is an unrivalled portrait of a man with a unique place in royal history – by those who knew him best.”

the late prince philip

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, passed away in April aged 99 (Image: PA Images)

The Duke had two of his great-grandchildren named after him just weeks before his death in a touching tribute.

Royal cousins Princess Eugenie and Zara both decided on the middle name Philip for their children born in February and March this year. Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank had their first child on February 9, and called him August Philip Hawke Brooksbank.

The couple said that they had chosen Philip in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Then in March, Zara gave birth to her third child at home with husband Mike Tindall at Gatcombe Park. They called their son Lucas Philip Tindall after the Duke of Edinburgh and Mike’s father Philip Tindall.

But while the royals were paywith ing tribute to the Duke, Prince Andrew was yesterday bracing himself for further dark days over the multi-million dollar civil court case brought against him by former alleged child sex slave Virginia Giuffre.

The case is scheduled to be formally opened in New York tomorrow by a judge who is expected to hold a brief conference call with Giuffre’s – and possibly Andrew’s – lawyers.

The Duke of York, 61, has been served legal papers alleging rape and sexual assault, according to court documents in Manhattan.

These were accepted by the security chief at his Windsor home after weeks of allegedly “avoiding” US officials.

Andrew’s lawyers claim the papers were improperly served and could try to get the case thrown out on a technicality.

Ms Giuffre’s attorney David Boies insisted the papers were properly served according to UK law.

A top royal author last night claimed that Prince Andrew could face a lifetime ban from public duty in Britain unless he can prove his innocence or get the case quashed. Best-selling biographer Nigel Cawthorne also warned the Duke of York could be driven into exile if he refuses to answer his accuser either in the civil case or the upcoming criminal trial of Ghislaine Maxwell.

The former British socialite and alleged “procurer” for Andrew’s late paedophile friend Jeffrey Epstein will face court on November 29 on charges of sex trafficking and perjury – and Ms Giuffre, now 38, was named in March as a potential witness.

As such, she would be at liberty to repeat her allegations about Prince Andrew whatever the status of the civil action. Also in March, prosecutors asked for a copy of the infamous photograph purporting to show Ms Giuffre, then 17, with the prince and Maxwell.

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ACCUSED: Andrew denies all allegations (Image: PA Images)

Prince Andrew strenuously denies all the allegations made against him.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Express, Mr Cawthorne – author of Prince

Andrew, Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace – declared: “Unless he suddenly turns into Houdini, I can’t see him getting out of the mess he’s in now.”

His comments follow reports that Andrew is “utterly convinced” that he will return to royal duties.

He also believes the serious claims against him by Ms Giuffre will simply “blow over.”

Mr Cawthorne countered: “He’s been continuing to hide while hoping all of this will go away – but it won’t.

“As well as both court cases, he’s still officially a ‘person of interest’ in the FBI investigation into Epstein’s evil empire.”

Department of Justice officials claim to have been repeatedly rebuffed in attempts to interview Andrew, and Mr Cawthorne added: “The longer he stays silent, the more the general feeling is that he must be hiding something.

“He needs to face these accusations and answer them. Until he does, there is no possibility of being a working royal.

“And it could be even worse; he might find himself living out his days on some offshore tax haven that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with America.”


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