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.
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