Will and Harry release duelling tributes to Prince Philip

On Monday, April 12, Prince William released a statement remembering his grandfather, Prince Philip. In addition to the statement, the Cambridges also released a new photograph of Prince Philip, taken with Prince George in Norfolk in 2015. The photo is very sweet and shows Princes Philip and George on a horse carriage. The photo was taken by the Duchess of Cambridge. The statement and photo are below:

People are going to debate whether or not Will’s statement about his late grandfather is a veiled dig at his brother, Prince Harry. I would argue that the digs aren’t really even veiled. Let’s take a look:

First line: “My grandfather’s century of life was defined by his service – to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family.”

Translation: “My grandfather embodies all of the traits that my brother lacks: service to his country, the Commonwealth, and our family.”

In the second paragraph: I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather, and for the kindness he showed her. I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa…”

Translation: Harry fled the country before his wife or children could form any kind of bond with our grandfather.

Last line: Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support The Queen in the years ahead.

Translation: We’ve been here, we’re still here, and we will continue to be here putting in the work for our family and country. Our brother has shirked all of his duties related to service to his grandmother and country,

30 minutes after the Cambridges released the statement from Prince William via social media and the Royal.uk website, Prince Harry’s people sent out a statement also paying tribute to Prince Philip. A few minutes after the statement was sent to reporters, Harry and Meghan’s Archewell.com website was updated to include the statement and a photograph of Princes Harry and Philip. You can see the photo and statement below:

First of all, some people have said that this tribute from Prince Harry was only released after the original post on the Archewell website, posted on the day of Prince Philip’s death, was seen as cold and unfeeling. This was the original post:

Starting with the original post on Archewell.com, the “Thank you for your service” feels cold. And the ellipsis!

The second, longer statement from Harry feels much more American than Will’s tribute. When I posted the statement in full on my Instagram account, a lot of readers messaged to say that it sounds like it was written by Meghan, due to the use of phrases like “authentically himself”, thanking Philip for “always being yourself”, and “could hold the attention of any room due to his charm.”

Additional Meghan language: the second paragraph mentions that although Philip will be remembered as “a Prince and a Duke”, that those titles are not important to Harry and he will simply remember him as a “grandpa”. This mirrors Meghan’s comments in her interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which she says, “I’ve been a waitress, an actress, a princess, a duchess—I’ve always still just been Meghan, right? I’ve been clear on who I am, independent of all that stuff, and the most important title I’ll ever have is mom.”

It’s also strange that Harry capitalizes the general forms of Prince and Duke in the above-mentioned statement, which he would know is grammatically incorrect. It’s curious, as is the fact that the entire statement is in quotation marks. It’s just odd all-around.

As for the content of the statement, it reads to me like Harry is trying to remember the British public that he’s not and has never been the dutiful prince; he’s the fun prince who you want to have a beer with. He’s the prince who has naked photos of himself leaked after a crazy night in Vegas! And I think he’s trying to argue that the BRF, with its dignity and sobriety, is sorely lacking another Philip – someone to tell a photographer to “take the fucking picture” (that happened – there is video of Philip doing it, it’s quite funny) and drink a beer while manning the barbecue. But I think the statement misses the point. Philip’s entire life was about duty to his country and his family, including The Queen. That’s why no one minded when Philip put a foot wrong or said something crass – because he put in the work.

What do you think of each of the statements? Do you think Harry waited for Will to release his statement before he published his own on the Archewell website? Or do you think it was coordinated? Please let me know in the comments. You can subscribe to my weekly newsletter below, or support me on Square or Patreon. Thanks so much for your support, and for reading.

As always, please stay safe, wear a mask, and get vaccinated when it’s your turn.

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6 thoughts on “Will and Harry release duelling tributes to Prince Philip

  1. Re H’s: I thought the whole part about just getting on with it (towards the end) was a bit insensitive considering that the queen can’t just move on. She’s lost her rock, the love of her life. I get what he was trying to say but sheesh, no words of sympathy or support to your grandma?! And it was very clear he only released it to upstage wills. Most other tributes had at least half a day between them to let the press focus on them. The last thing they want are “dueling” statements. That coupled with their behavior through this week makes me think that they’re desperate for attention. And the incessant narrative changing *rolls eyes*. I think the world has been reminded just how much the institution means to the uk and that the antics of the spare and his wife won’t cause it to come crashing down. I’m trying not to let their antics distract me from what was an incredibly beautiful send off to an incredible man. May he Rest In Peace and may the queen find comfort any way she can.
    (Side note: people always say he served his country-and he did- but he served it before it was even his. He didn’t become a British citizen until after the war. Loyalty.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well stated Ella.
      I also want to add something that’s bothered me. Why did Harry release a public photo with his grandfather? Did he pay royalties on it? Did he not have a private photo to show?
      William’s photo was personal and tied into his statement. We have seen several private photos shown lately of The Queen and Prince Philip with their grandchildren and great grandchildren. It made it so poignant. The fact that there are no private photos of The Duke of Edinburgh with any of the Sussexes is quite sad and puzzling.
      I thought the funeral today was very moving. As much as has been stated about the RF recently, they still command the attention of the world. The tributes to The Duke of Edinburgh have been incredible, his legacy in the Commonwealth is firm as evident by the flags at half mast in Canada. Noone does pomp and pageantry like the British. Like Ella said, The Institution is strong and the Sussexes have no impact on it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed, Lyla, especially about Harry not publishing a private image of himself and Prince Philip. He must not have many/any, which is quite sad. The whole thing is sad.


  2. Hi, well I read this yesterday but wanted to write this with a clear head. I agree that William’s statement was full of not so subtle shade to H but I can’t blame the man one bit, many specially in the US were talking that William being the oldest of the brothers should be the better man, take the high road and etc., and I know this line of thinking is also tied to religious sentiment from the Bible and turning the other cheek and so on, but there comes a point where you have to defend yourself and your family, and H pretty much attacked the family with the Oprah interview, the reasons for that remain unclear, we don’t know if it was settling scores, vengeance because of Diana or other things, or what, so at the end he has attacked but not in a way where is entirely clear all his motives to do so. The only clear motives come from the stuff M expressed (if taken all at face value) and while the more serious accusations deserve study, some of her minor accusations / statements have been proved to be highly suspect or even lies in some cases, so the reasons for doing all this remain partly hidden in a way, unless you accept it was always a plan to promote themselves in the US and they simply used his family in a callous way portraing them as offenders so H, M and offspring would be the victims, but is so callous that many simply can’t believe this and can’t believe it specially coming from H. If the idea was to get something out of the BRF, it seems pointless because they haven’t gotten anything.
    About the statement from H, I’m not from the UK or the US so although I grew up watching a lot of US TV and movies I feel I’m a little out of my depth if I comment about language, grammar, etc. What I can say is that back in the moment I thought maybe the Palace did coordinate with H the release of the statements so both brothers could release their statements on the same day, but now after reading the other commentators I do think they made a good point saying the rest of the family worked together to not overshadow each other’s statements and H was the dissonant note here, and what makes it more obvious is that I did notice certain US media only published H’s statement, some then published William’s statement after being called out for not publishing it, or published H’s first and William’s second which is odd because William’s came out first. I admit there was some US media who did publish both statements in the correct order and kudos to them, but yeah it seems a lot of the US media still buys what H and wife are selling, and part of the US public does this too. Also, the content itself of H statement didn’t bother me but after reading the prior comments here I agree he could have referenced the Queen. I also do wonder if this statement was planned all along or was done to cover for the first statement on Archwell website, which I do think was cold. Some have suggested M wrote all or part of this second statement (and the first one too), but I think there is no way of knowing for now.
    One last thing, also about H’s statement. One of the commentators mentioned the lack of photo of him and his family with his grandfather. Not sure if you will comment this in another post, but the photo that the Royal Family Instagram published of The Queen and Prince Phillip with 7 of the great great-grandchildren taken by Kate at Balmoral in the summer of 2018 received some flack from US commentators. Apparently some people can’t be bothered to read, most media mentioned in their captions for the pic that it was taken in 2018 but there were many questions type “where is Archie?”, and comments about racism. Me and others had to explain when it was taken, and that overall we don’t know how many times Archie was seen in person by his great-grandparents before he was taken out of the UK in Nov. 2019, and nobody knows right now how many pics exist of him with his great-grandparents besides the one published after his birth. So going back to H’s statement, maybe H and M didn’t published a photo of prince Phillip with M or Archie simply because besides that pic with Archie as a newborn, no other such photo exists? And they didn’t want to use the one of Archie as a newborn to avoid themselves all the uncomfortable questions and comments? Of course, they could argue it was done this way to smooth things over, because surely some of their accolites would also argue the Queen, Prince Phillip and the rest of the family didn’t bother to see Archie “more” and etc., but luckily for them, few have questioned why H and M used that pic of H with prince Phillip in the Archwell website.


    1. LOL at people not being able to look at a calendar and see that Archie had not been born when the pic of the Queen and Prince Philip was taken with seven of eight of their great-grandchildren at the time. People will create a story out of nothing. I think that the photo of Meghan, Harry, the Queen, Philip, and Doria may be one of the only photos with Archie, and it had already been released. I’m not sure there are any private photos of Archie and the Queen and Prince Philip. I thought it was really strange that Harry would choose a public Getty image of himself and his grandfather, that too seems cold.


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