Britain’s Prince Charles paid a personal tribute on Saturday to his “dear papa” Prince Philip, saying the Royal Family missed him enormously and that the 99-year-old would have been amazed at the touching reaction to his death from around the world.
“As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously,” said Charles, the couple’s eldest son and heir to the throne, outside his Highgrove House home in west England.
“My dear papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”
Pandemic-adjusted funeral plans
Buckingham Palace announced that the funeral for Philip would be held on April 17, and that the Queen’s grandson, Prince Harry, who now lives in the United States, would attend.
Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle, who is pregnant with their second child, will not attend on doctor’s advice, according to the palace.
The palace said long-established plans for the funeral had to be redrawn and scaled down because of COVID-19 restrictions, but they remained very much in line with Philip’s wishes.
Philip, who was officially known as the Duke of Edinburgh, will be given a ceremonial royal funeral, not a state funeral, as had been planned before the pandemic.
But there will be no public processions, and it will be held entirely within the grounds of Windsor Castle and limited to 30 mourners.
WATCH | Prince Charles pays tribute to his father:
Prince Charles remembered his father Prince Philip’s service to Queen Elizabeth Saturday and expressed appreciation for the tributes and well wishes since Philip’s death Friday. 1:21
The funeral, which will be broadcast on live television, will be held at St. George’s Chapel on the castle grounds and will be preceded by a minute’s silence across the country.
Charles and other members of the Royal Family will walk behind a specially-modified Land Rover, which Philip helped design. At the conclusion of the service, Philip will be interred in the Royal Vault.
Buckingham Palace stressed the service would be held in line with government coronavirus guidelines, meaning members of the Royal Family, including the Queen, would be expected to wear masks.
Philip’s children pay tribute
Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, meanwhile, travelled to Windsor Castle on Saturday to visit with their mother. Philip and the Queen had been married for over 73 years.
Edward and his wife, Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, spent about an hour at the castle, and Sophie told reporters “the Queen has been amazing” as the couple left Windsor in a Land Rover. Andrew waved at crowds as he left.
Prince Charles visited his mother on Friday, shortly after Buckingham Palace announced Philip’s death.
In a tribute program aired by the BBC on Friday, all four of Philip’s children remembered him as someone who had encouraged and supported them.
Charles described his father’s life as an “astonishing achievement,” while Edward said his father had a tough job that was carried out with the most “extraordinary flair.”
Princess Anne praised the support her father had provided her mother, from her early years as Queen.
“They needed to be a double act for a lot of that time to allow her to take on that role.”
In honour of the prince, the armed forces, including artillery units in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, and some warships, fired Death Gun Salutes at noon local time on Saturday.
WATCH | Prince Philip honoured with military gun salutes:
Military gun salutes honoured the Duke of Edinburgh at various locations across Britain on Saturday. 1:21
Royal Navy ships HMS Diamond and HMS Montrose took part in the ceremonies to honour the Duke of Edinburgh, who served as a naval officer during the Second World War and held the office of Lord High Admiral.
Gun salutes also marked the deaths of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965.
A nation mourns
The Royal Family asked the public to heed physical distancing rules and avoid visits to its residences, but people still gathered to placed cards and bouquets outside Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace and pay tribute to Prince Philip.
Flags at Buckingham Palace and at government buildings across Britain have been lowered to half-mast and billboard operators replaced ads with photographs and tributes to the prince.
Sporting events observed moments of silence in his honour.
WATCH | Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has died:
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband to Queen Elizabeth and Britain’s longest-serving royal consort has died 2:51
Prince Philip made more than 70 visits or stopovers in Canada between 1950 and 2013, many of which included meetings and events with First Nations leaders and people.
It was during one of those visits that the prince, who died on Friday at the age of 99, made an impression on Bill Erasmus.
In 1994, Erasmus was the Dene national chief and regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). He was part of a contingent of Indigenous leaders who met with Queen Elizabeth and Philip when the royal couple paid a visit to Yellowknife to celebrate the creation of a new Inuit territory.
In a prepared speech before the Queen, Erasmus voiced his frustration that the federal government hadn’t honoured treaties signed by the monarchy nearly a century ago. He said such inaction had “tarnished and sullied” the Crown’s reputation.
But Erasmus later took part in a more private and relaxed function with the royals, where he found himself connecting with Philip over a shared interest.
“I knew that he was really big on climate change and environmental issues, so I thanked him for that,” Erasmus said.
As they talked further, Erasmus was impressed by Philip’s knowledge on the subject.
The prince criticized “how multinationals were approaching the environment, the great amount of wealth and the waste that they generated,” and was keen “to keep the Earth pristine,” Erasmus said.
“He commended our people for having a similar view, so we hit it off that way,” he said.
Erasmus said he found the prince’s forthrightness “refreshing.”
“He was really easy to get along with, really easy to speak to. He encouraged you to say what you had to say,” Erasmus said.
Arctic char for ‘a regular guy’
That easy camaraderie is also what Johnny May, a 75-year-old bush pilot from Kuujjuaq, remembers about Philip.
The Duke of Edinburgh used to pass through the northern Quebec community to refuel his private plane in the late ’70s and early ’80s, which is where May met and chatted with him on several occasions.
To him and the other pilots, Philip was just “a regular guy,” May said in an interview with CBC News.
“We didn’t treat him any special compared to any other pilot up at the airport. So I guess he enjoyed that and he seemed to be really relaxed around us.”
May recalled one time giving Philip a couple of Arctic char to take home to England. A year later, Philip flew through again and had a message for May from “the missus”: that “she enjoyed the Arctic char immensely.”
May also said that Philip had a good sense of humour and was “always joking around.”
History of controversial statements
However, some of Philip’s comments have landed him in trouble, with the prince establishing a reputation over the years for blunt, controversial and sometimes offensive statements. In particular, some of his comments about Indigenous people were seen as racist, not funny.
For example, on a 2002 visit to Australia with the Queen, Philip infamously asked a group of Aboriginal people if “you still throw spears at each other.”
In 1995, he said to a Scottish driving instructor: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”
Indeed, Buckingham Palace felt compelled to issue an apology after another gaffe in 2000, when Philip, while touring a factory in Scotland, remarked that some electrical equipment looked so crude “it must have been installed by an Indian.”
“The Duke of Edinburgh regrets any offence which may have been caused by remarks he is reported as making earlier today,” the palace said. “With hindsight, he accepts that what were intended as lighthearted comments were inappropriate.”
WATCH | Royal Family lands in present-day Iqaluit in 1970:
The Queen, her husband and two oldest children land in present-day Iqaluit for a visit to Canada’s North in 1970. 1:48
Legacy of public service
Some Indigenous leaders have indicated a desire to not dwell on any past controversies and instead focus on Philip’s public service, as well as the Royal Family’s role in advancing Indigenous affairs in Canada.
Shawn Atleo met Philip in passing as part of official royal visits when he was AFN national chief from 2009 to 2014. He spoke with CBC News in March, when Philip was in hospital.
“I know that the principals that I engaged with, whether it was the Queen herself, Prince Charles or other members, always expressed respect and support for the treaty relationship,” Atleo said.
He also expressed sympathy for the intense spotlight the family operates under.
“I know mine, like a lot of people’s hearts, will go out to the family for the amount of attention that they get,” he said.
In a statement to CBC News on Friday, current AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde extended his condolences to the Royal Family and paid tribute to Philip’s legacy.
“In almost a century of life, Prince Philip has given so much to public service and was a lifelong champion of many worthy causes, especially youth fitness and volunteerism,” he said.
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth, died today at 99. He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.
His death, announced by Buckingham Palace, came more than three-and-a-half years after Philip formally stepped back from public life, a retreat that had been happening gradually for several years.
We’re collecting your condolences, memories and reactions to Prince Philip’s death — and your questions as well. Send them to Ask@cbc.ca.
In an interview in June 2011 with the BBC, the no-nonsense Philip spoke about “winding down” and reducing his workload as a member of the Royal Family.
“I reckon I’ve done my bit so I want to enjoy myself a bit now, with less responsibility, less frantic rushing about, less preparation, less trying to think of something to say,” he said.
His final official public engagement came on Aug, 2, 2017, when he attended a parade of Royal Marines at Buckingham Palace and met servicemen who had taken part in a charity race.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement Friday calling Philip “a man of great service to others” who maintained a special relationship with the Canadian Armed Forces and was a patron to more than 40 Canadian organizations.
“Prince Philip was a man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others,” he said. “He will be fondly remembered as a constant in the life of our Queen – a lifelong companion who was always at her side offering unfailing support as she carried out her duties.”
Through the Queen’s 69 years on the throne, the man whom she had called her “strength and stay” carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements and made nearly 5,500 speeches. He attended events periodically with the Queen and other members of the Royal Family after stepping back from official duties.
Often viewed as a gruff curmudgeon prone to gaffes that grabbed the headlines, the 99-year-old royal was also a guiding force for the House of Windsor and sought to introduce more modern practices into an institution steeped in tradition.
CBC News is now live in the comments collecting your remembrances, reactions and questions about Prince Philip’s death.
He had been in hospital several times in recent years, including for hip replacement surgery in April 2018 and for treatment of a pre-existing condition in December 2019. He was in hospital again this year, returning to Windsor Castle in mid-March.
While he had retired from public duties, Philip found himself back in the public eye and at the centre of controversy in early 2019 after a Land Rover he was driving collided with a car near Sandringham, the royal estate in eastern England.
Philip wasn’t hurt, but his vehicle rolled over, and a woman in the car suffered a broken wrist. He eventually apologized to her and said he had been dazzled by the sun while turning onto a main road. He also gave up his driver’s licence.
Pictures of him with the Queen were released occasionally over the past year, including at the time of his 99th birthday last June and for their 73rd wedding anniversary in November. During the pandemic lockdown, he and the Queen had been staying at Windsor Castle.
Philip was born a prince of both Greece and Denmark on June 10, 1921, on the dining room table at his parents’ home in Mon Repos, on the Greek island of Corfu.
Despite his birthplace, he had no Greek ancestry. His family tree includes members of the royal families of Denmark, Germany, Russia and Britain.
The Greek royal family was forced into exile in 1922 when Philip was 18 months old.
His father was Prince Andrew of Greece, whose own father was the grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark. Philip’s mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, the eldest child of Prince Louis of Battenberg and the sister of Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
WATCH | CBC’s Renée Filippone looks back at the life and legacy of Prince Philip:
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband to Queen Elizabeth and Britain’s longest-serving royal consort has died 2:51
For Philip, it was an unstable, unsettled childhood. The family broke down, with his mother ill periodically and in a sanitorium. His father went off to Monte Carlo with his mistress.
As a boy, Philip attended schools in England, Germany and Scotland before joining the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, England, as a cadet, in 1939.
Through his uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, the 18-year-old Philip was introduced to British royal circles. At that point, he met a 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth, his third cousin: both had Queen Victoria as a great-great-grandmother.
When the Second World War broke out, he focused on his naval career and quickly rose through the ranks. At just 21, he was appointed first lieutenant (second in command) of the destroyer HMS Wallace, which took part in the Allied landings at Sicily.
When he returned home in January 1946, Philip, who had kept in touch with Elizabeth, began courting the young princess. Their engagement was announced 18 months later.
Although most of the public embraced the union, some were unhappy with Philip’s un-British origins, and many began referring to him as “Phil the Greek.” He silenced those critics when he became a British citizen in 1947 and renounced his Greek royal titles. He became Lt. Philip Mountbatten.
He and Elizabeth were married on Nov. 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey in a wedding that helped boost British spirits still recovering from the war. He was designated a royal highness, created a knight of the Garter and awarded the title Duke of Edinburgh.
WATCH | Archive footage of Elizabeth and Philip’s wedding at Westminster Abbey:
A young Princess Elizabeth married Philip Mountbatten in Westminster Abbey in London on Nov. 20, 1947. 0:31
Assuming his new royal role, Philip continued to be appointed and promoted to different positions in the navy. By 1952, he had reached the rank of commander.
His naval career came to an end that year when, on a trip to Kenya, Princess Elizabeth received news that her father, King George VI, had died and that she had become Queen.
As husband of the sovereign, Philip was not crowned at the coronation ceremony in 1953.
Although his active role with the navy was finished, he continued his involvement in the armed forces. He was appointed admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps, colonel-in-chief of the Army Cadet Force and air commodore-in-chief of the Air Training Corps. In 1953, he also had the duties of admiral of the fleet, field marshal and marshal of the Royal Air Force.
In February 1957, he was awarded the titular dignity of Prince of the United Kingdom and became known as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
While carving out an independent role from the Queen, he also established a reputation for blunt and controversial quips.
In 1966, he sparked outrage when he said, “British women can’t cook.” During a visit to China in 1986, he described Beijing as “ghastly” and told British students: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.”
With love from Canada, we send our deepest condolences to the Royal Family today. <a href=”https://t.co/I5dj79CeUQ”>pic.twitter.com/I5dj79CeUQ</a>
He told a Briton he met in Hungary in 1993: “You can’t have been here that long, you haven’t got a pot-belly.”
In Australia in 2002, the prince asked an Aborigine if “you still throw spears at each other.”
He also dismissed stress counselling for servicemen in a TV documentary on the 50th anniversary of D-Day, saying, “It was part of the fortunes of war. We didn’t have counsellors rushing around every time somebody let off a gun, asking, ‘Are you all right? Are you sure you don’t have a ghastly problem?’ You just got on with it.”
While his quips would sometimes offend, Philip was praised for his honesty.
Prince William told the BBC in November 2004 that he admired his grandfather’s occasional bluntness.
“He will tell me something I don’t want to hear and doesn’t care if I get upset about it. He knows it’s the right thing to say.”
Under scrutiny after Diana’s death
Philip came under intense scrutiny after Diana, Princess of Wales, the ex-wife of Philip and Elizabeth’s eldest son, Prince Charles, died following a Paris car crash with her companion, Dodi Fayed, in 1997.
Philip and the rest of the Royal Family went into seclusion after the accident, but Philip later made a strong statement at Diana’s funeral, walking with his family behind her casket as it was carried on a carriage through the streets of London.
After the funeral, Fayed’s father, the powerful Egyptian businessman Mohammed Al-Fayed, blamed Philip for the crash. He accused Philip of ordering British secret service agents to kill Diana and Fayed because Philip didn’t want Diana to marry a Muslim.
An inquest into the accident cleared Philip of any wrongdoing, blaming the crash instead on the negligent driving of Diana and Fayed’s chauffeur and the paparazzi who were chasing them.
Although Philip reportedly had a heart condition, he maintained a busy pace and in recent years enjoyed relatively good health, punctuated by some trips to hospital. In June 2010, he underwent surgery on his left hand for carpal tunnel syndrome. He was treated in 2008 for a chest infection.
Philip spent four nights in hospital over Christmas in 2011 recovering from a successful coronary stent procedure. Nearly six months later, he missed half the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations after he was taken to hospital with a bladder infection. He later spent five days in a Scottish hospital for the same problem.
On June 2, 2013, he was admitted to a London hospital for exploratory abdominal surgery. Returning to his duties two months later, he declared it was a “great pleasure to be back in circulation.”
Philip served as president or patron of nearly 800 organizations, and he attended an average of 370 official engagements annually.
For recreation, he enjoyed sailing, cricket and carriage-driving. When he was younger he also played polo, but said age forced him to take up carriage-driving, which he jokingly called a “geriatric sport.”
Despite his busy schedule, he accompanied the Queen on her Commonwealth tours and state visits overseas, as well as on tours and visits to all parts of the United Kingdom. He visited Canada with the Queen on several occasions, their last trip together coming in the summer of 2010.
WATCH | Philip visits Canada in 1954:
Prince Philip made a 20-day visit to Canada on his own in 1954, attending the British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver and visiting the Far North. 1:07
In April 2013, Philip made an unexpected solo visit to Toronto, where he presented a new ceremonial flag to the Royal Canadian Regiment’s 3rd Battalion. He had served as the regiment’s colonel-in-chief since 1953. During that brief visit, he was also awarded the highest level of the Order of Canada by Gov. Gen. David Johnston.
He was steadfast in his support of the Queen, spending his public life two paces behind her, but always ready to help when needed. Those who knew the royal couple well say the Queen often deferred to Philip in private.
During celebrations for her Golden Jubilee on the throne in 2002, the Queen offered a tribute to the royal consort.
“He has quite simply been my strength and stay all these years,” she told the crowds.
“And I and his whole family and this and many other countries owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we should ever know.”
In 2011, the Royal Mint, to mark Prince Philip’s 90th birthday, issued a commemorative £5 coin featuring a portrait of Prince Philip on one side and the Queen on the other. It was the first time a reigning monarch and consort appeared on opposite sides of a U.K. coin.
Prince Philip leaves three sons and a daughter, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Share your questions, thoughts or condolences with CBC News. We’re live in the comments now.
The half-brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah said Saturday he has been placed under house arrest by Jordanian authorities and accused the country’s leadership of corruption and incompetence.
In a videotaped statement leaked to the British Broadcasting Corp., Prince Hamzah bin Hussein said he was visited early Saturday by the country’s military chief and told “I was not allowed to go out, to communicate with people or to meet with them.”
He said his security detail was removed, and his phone and internet service had been cut. He said he was speaking over satellite internet, but expected that service to be cut as well. The BBC says it received the statement from Hamzah’s lawyer.
In the statement, Hamzah said he had been informed he was being punished for taking in part in meetings in which the king had been criticized, though he himself was not accused of being a direct critic.
He said he told the army chief: “I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, for the corruption and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years and has been getting worse by the year. I am not responsible for the lack of faith that people have in their institutions. They are responsible.”
General denies arrest
The country’s top general had earlier denied that Hamzah — a former crown prince stripped of the title in 2004 — was arrested or under house arrest, even as authorities announced the arrests of former senior officials close to the ruling monarchy.
Hamzah was asked to “stop some movements and activities that are being used to target Jordan’s security and stability,” said Gen. Yousef Huneiti, the army chief of staff.
He said an investigation was ongoing and its results would be made public “in a transparent and clear form.”
“No one is above the law and Jordan’s security and stability are above all,” he told the official Petra news agency.
Petra had earlier reported that two senior officials who formerly worked for the palace, along with other suspects, had been arrested for “security reasons,” without providing further details.
The Petra report said Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, and Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah, a former head of the royal court, were detained. Awadallah, also previously served as planning minister and finance minister and has private business interests throughout the Gulf region.
The agency did not provide further details or name the others who were arrested.
King has ‘our full support,’ says U.S.
“We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. “King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support.”
Saudi Arabia’s official news agency said the kingdom “confirmed its full support to Jordan and its king and crown prince in all decisions and procedures to maintain security and stability and defuse any attempt to affect them.”
Abdullah has ruled Jordan since the 1999 death of of his father, King Hussein, who ruled the country for close to a half-century. The king has cultivated close relations with U.S. and other Western leaders over the years, and Jordan was a key ally in the war against the Islamic State group. The country borders Israel, the occupied West Bank, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
Jordan’s economy has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic. The country, with a population of around 10 million, also hosts more than 600,000 Syrian refugees.
Jordan made peace with Israel in 1994. The countries maintain close security ties, but relations have otherwise been tense in recent years, largely due to differences linked to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. Jordan is home to more than 2 million Palestinian refugees, most of whom have Jordanian citizenship.
Stability in Jordan and the status of the king has long been a matter of concern, particularly during the Trump administration, which gave unprecedented support to Israel and sought to isolate the Palestinians, including by slashing funding for Palestinian refugees.
In early 2018, as then-President Donald Trump was threatening to cut aid to countries that did not support U.S. policies, the administration boosted assistance to Jordan by more than $ 1 billion over five years.
Hamzah stripped of crown prince title
Abdullah stripped his half-brother Hamzah of his title as crown prince in 2004, saying he had decided to “free” him from the “constraints of the position” in order to allow him to take on other responsibilities. The move was seen at the time as part of Abdullah’s consolidation of power five years after the succession.
The current crown prince is Abdullah’s oldest son, Hussein, who is 26.
Jordan’s ruling family traces its lineage back to Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Abdullah had chosen Hamzah as his crown prince hours after their father died of cancer in February 1999. The designation was out of respect for King Hussein, who was known to have favoured Hamzah the most among his 11 children from four marriages.
Abdullah and Hamzah have not displayed any open rivalry over the years.
For about an hour, Edward shared the screen with commanding officers from the Prince Edward Island Regiment, the Hastings and Prince Edward Regiment in eastern Ontario and the Saskatchewan Dragoons, along with two reserve units in the United Kingdom.
Officers told Edward how their regiments turned to online training after the pandemic struck, how they worked to support the mental health of their members and how they prepared to help as needed in their communities.
Maj. Mack Driscoll of the Saskatchewan Dragoons welcomed the chance to speak online with Edward, who last visited the regiment in person in 2016.
“I think that what I really appreciated about it is [how] the adoption of virtual visits across the board this year has certainly made people more accessible than … they were in the past,” Driscoll said in an interview.
Edward was “really interested” in how the last year has affected the regiments when it comes to training in a virtual environment, and the tasks they have taken on in support of government pandemic response efforts, Driscoll said.
“Also, we had quite a discussion on just the mental resiliency of soldiers and how we all worked to support our unit members during a really challenging time.”
Lt.-Col. Glenn Moriarity, commanding officer of the Prince Edward Island Regiment, said it was a “real honour and a privilege” to have the opportunity to speak with Edward.
Moriarity outlined how in the early days of the pandemic they shifted to training from home — and returned later to in-person sessions — along with offering his perspective on morale, which is “quite high” right now among members of the regiment.
“It was a very relaxed conversation [with Edward],” Moriarity said in an interview. “It was very natural.”
Members of the Royal Family serve as colonel-in-chief of numerous military units across Canada.
Edward “is always … very well read in to the situation both with our regiment and just the overall situation in the military in general,” said Driscoll.
“I think what we all took away from the conversation was just how similar our experiences are, both amongst the Canadian regiments and the regiments in the U.K…. He was certainly very interested in that, especially the well-being of the units and the members.”
Doing a virtual visit raises the possibility of similar online contact in the future, although Edward also told the officers he hoped that as soon as travel would allow, he would be able to visit in person.
The hour-long session was not without a lighter moment or two.
Driscoll’s sergeant major, Master Warrant Officer Rob Tryhorn, was also on the Zoom call. But reservists are part-time soldiers, so his participation came while he was at work. And in his case, work is driving a truck.
“He had to join the call from a truck stop in Montana,” said Driscoll.
“So I think that was really something that His Royal Highness got a kick out of … as [Tryhorn] is kind of huddled at a table wearing a mask and I’m sure everyone in the truck stop is wondering exactly what is going on, and here he is talking to Prince Edward.”
William and Kate make their own mark
After the explosive Oprah Winfrey interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, laid bare their view on their departure from the upper echelons of the Royal Family, many looked to the House of Windsor for a response.
The interview raised numerous serious issues and allegations around race, mental health and support within the family itself.
Beyond that, however, there has been no official comment. But William’s reaction, along with how other members of the family are carrying on with their duties, may offer some insight into their position.
“Many millions of people watched Oprah and millions will have believed everything Harry and Meghan said,” royal author and biographer Penny Junor said via email this week.
“I think William will have been furious with his brother and sister-in-law, and his remark to the reporter’s question about whether the family was racist was an admirably measured response.
“It was important for someone to say something, but I think he and the rest of the family know that the best way to counter all the claims and accusations is to keep on trucking, to continue the work, to be visible and to behave with dignity.”
Kate also made a low-key appearance at a vigil in honour of a London woman who was slain while walking home alone from a friend’s house.
“The contrast, for instance, between Kate quietly joining the Sarah Everard vigil and Meghan appearing on Oprah spoke volumes,” Junor said.
As touching as the cards are, in that action of social sharing from royal parents who have been vigorous in protecting their children’s privacy, it was hard not to see at least a bit of public positioning.
“I think this was a gentle way of reminding people that William was Diana’s son, too — and that Harry was not the only one who lost his mother,” said Junor.
William and Kate have continued with royal engagements, some related to the pandemic, including an appearance at Westminster Abbey, where they met people there to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
The public spotlight on William continued last weekend when he was the focus of a report in the Sunday Times magazine that spawned numerous other news reports. Many cited comments from insiders regarding how as King, William would “robustly challenge” advice from his prime ministers in private if he felt it would damage the monarchy.
Junor said she’s sure William’s friends quoted in the article would not have spoken “without at least a nod” from him.
“I suspect there is a feeling that Harry and Meghan’s behaviour is providing a very distracting sideshow and taking the spotlight away from the important work that the rest of the family does,” Junor said.
“Harry claimed that William is trapped but can’t escape, as he did. I guess William is keen to demonstrate that that is not the way he feels about royal duty and that he accepts his destiny and, like his grandmother, will devote his life to the service of the country.”
A baby boy — on the bathroom floor
When Zara and Mike Tindall let it be known they were expecting their third child, the news was in keeping with their laid-back ways, and came from a decidedly unroyal source.
The father-to-be — a former rugby player — took to his sports podcast late last year to share the word that he and Zara, the Queen’s eldest granddaughter, were looking forward to the arrival of a brother or sister for daughters, Mia, 7, and Lena, 2.
So it was perhaps not that much of a surprise that Tindall turned to his The Good, the Bad & the Rugby podcast again this week to announce the birth of their son on Sunday.
Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were “delighted” with the arrival of Lucas Philip Tindall, their 10th great-grandchild.
What might have been more of a surprise for the Tindalls was the way in which the baby — whose middle name honours both sides of the family — came into the world.
“Arrived very quickly. Didn’t make it to hospital. On the bathroom floor,” Tindall told his podcast listeners.
“So yeah, it was running to the gym, get a mat, get into the bathroom, get the mat on the floor, towels down, brace, brace, brace.”
“It’s fascinating to see the pictures of Mars — unbelievable, really, to think one can see its surface.”
— Queen Elizabeth, in reference to photos of the Red Planet taken by NASA’s Perseverance rover, during a virtual event to celebrate British Science Week. Elizabeth also got a lot of laughter from the scientists she was speaking with when she recalled her 1961 meeting with cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human to travel into space. When asked what he was like, Elizabeth said, “Russian,” before adding that “he was fascinating, and I suppose being the first one, it was particularly fascinating.”
The Royal Family is considering appointing a diversity czar. Reports regarding that move come after Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey where they said an unnamed member of the family had made a racist comment about their son before he was born. The Guardian reported that the palace work regarding diversity predates the March 7 interview, but Harry and Meghan’s comments “will be taken on board as part of the process.”
Harry said he is “really excited” about taking on the position of chief impact officer with BetterUp, a San Francisco-based mental health and coaching firm. [BBC]
Harry has also written a foreword for a book aimed at children of front-line workers who died in the pandemic, sharing pain he felt as a boy after the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. [CBC]
Prince Philip left a London hospital on Tuesday after being treated for an infection and undergoing a heart procedure.
Philip, 99, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, had been hospitalized since Feb. 16 after being admitted to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London, where he was treated for an infection.
He was later transferred to a specialized cardiac care hospital, St. Bartholomew’s, for a short stay, before returning to King Edward VII’s.
Photographers standing outside the door of the private hospital captured his departure. Buckingham Palace has not yet commented on the matter.
Philip’s illness is not believed to be related to the coronavirus. Both Philip and Elizabeth received COVID-19 vaccinations in January and chose to publicize the matter to encourage others to also get the vaccine.
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While sifting through everything Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, had to say to Oprah Winfrey Sunday night, many saw parallels to other troubled times for the Royal Family.
The interview raised concerns particularly around race and mental health, and some found in it reminders of what Harry’s mother, Diana, experienced, as she laid bare the lack of support she felt after her ill-fated marriage to Prince Charles.
But the Diana period, which came as the clock wound down on the 20th century, was hardly the first time of family turmoil.
And in those earlier experiences going back decades — and centuries — there could lie hints of the House of Windsor’s fate after this latest crisis.
“I don’t think the history of this Royal Family, which has been written off so many times, tells you anything other than they know how to survive,” said John Fraser, author of The Secret of the Crown: Canada’s Affair with Royalty, and founding president of the Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada.
“Going back, back, back, there has never been a reign that hasn’t had some domestic problems.”
So far, there have been only the slimmest of hints of what will come next.
In a short statement issued by Buckingham Palace Tuesday, the Queen said she and her family were saddened to learn of Harry and Meghan’s experiences, and that issues raised, particularly of race, would be addressed privately by the family.
BBC royal correspondent Sarah Campbell said William could have ignored the question.
“Despite the Queen’s statement saying the race issue would be dealt with privately, the prince clearly felt he had to push back on what has become a very public and damaging allegation,” Campbell wrote on the BBC website. “Remaining silent, he felt, was not the best option.”
WATCH: Prince William responds to a reporter:
The Duke of Cambridge spoke briefly on Thursday about racial issues raised in the interview Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, gave to Oprah Winfrey. William denied the British Royal Family is racist. 0:13
In the interview with Winfrey, Meghan and Harry said there was a conversation — or conversations — with an unnamed family member in which concerns were raised about the colour of the skin of their first child before he was born.
It was perhaps the most damaging moment of the interview for the family, and one that is still surrounded in murkiness.
While Harry told Winfrey later that neither of his grandparents — Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip — was part of that particular conversation, he refused to say during the interview who was.
“The fact that [Harry’s] on the outs with his father leads everyone to believe it must have been Charles, or possibly William, and until that’s dealt with, it’s this huge problem if they’re going to be future sovereigns,” said Fraser.
He said he finds it “unbelievable” that Charles, the man who walked Meghan halfway down the aisle at her wedding, would be worried about the colour of his grandson’s skin.
“Nothing in his life suggests that he is that callous or stupid,” Fraser said.
Still, it’s not clear who might have said it.
“It’s been left like a timebomb,” said Fraser. “How can [Charles] be the head of the Commonwealth, which has so many Black nations, until this is resolved? It’s a real dilemma.”
Fraser expects we will eventually learn who was involved in the conversation in question. “It’s just the nature of the way things go.”
But Fraser hopes it will be a given a context, and that it will be worked out within the family, “at some point down the road when they’ve got some distance from the immediate hurt that everyone must be feeling at the moment.”
Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, a lawyer and human rights activist in London, says the family’s circumstances are not beyond repair.
WATCH: What are the consequences of Harry and Meghan’s interview:
Royal commentator Roya Nikkhah and women’s rights activist Shola Mos-Shogbamimu talk to Adrienne Arsenault about the revelations in Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, the media reaction in the U.S. and U.K. and what, if any, changes might come out of it. 6:56
“Buckingham Palace better take this seriously, not come out with any stiff-upper-lip nonsense,” she told Adrienne Arsenault, senior correspondent and co-host of CBC’s The National, this week, before the statement from the palace.
“Nobody’s going to stand for it. Not for the racist comment, not for their lack of support for Meghan’s mental health, suicidal thoughts, not that fact that Prince Charles apparently failed to even speak to his son….
“All of those things should be answered, and they should be answered humanely, like the Royal Family is in touch with what the public expects from it.”
Maybe there is at least one more signal of efforts within the family to work things out. While the relationship between William and Harry has been deeply strained, William said Thursday he will be speaking with his brother.
Who can be a prince or princess?
Amid the many issues Meghan raised during the interview, one that seemed particularly troubling for her concerned conversations before Archie’s birth.
“They were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince or a princess — not knowing what the gender would be — which would be different from protocol, and that he wasn’t going to receive security,” she said.
That got a lot of people wondering about just what provisions there are for determining who becomes a prince or princess.
Under provisions of a letter patent issued by King George V in 1917, Archie, a great-grandchild of the monarch, would not at this point in his life be eligible to be a prince.
But his cousin — Prince William’s eldest son, seven-year-old George, who is in direct line to the throne — is a prince. George’s siblings can be princes or princesses, too, under provisions of a letter patent issued in 2012 by Queen Elizabeth, before George was born.
But that’s where it ends for that generation of royal great-grandchildren of the monarch, as things stand now.
“None of Harry’s children automatically get to be a prince except if there’s some reason that the Queen would bestow it on them,” said Fraser.
Grandchildren of a monarch can be princes or princesses, however, so things could change for Archie when his grandfather, Charles, becomes the monarch.
Whether Meghan’s comments might refer to what might happen then isn’t clear.
There is a broad understanding that Charles is looking toward a more streamlined monarchy, with fewer working members.
“I saw that Meghan mentioned that there were plans to narrow eligibility, and I imagine that this is a reference to the Prince of Wales’s stated view that the size of the Royal Family needs to be reduced,” Bob Morris from the constitution unit at University College London told the BBC.
“However, he has not so far as I know given details of how it should be accomplished.”
Fascinator readers write
Readers of the Royal Fascinator shared their views in droves after the Winfrey interview. Here’s a sampling of emails and excerpts from longer messages that reflect the wide range of thoughts offered on Harry, Meghan and what they said on Sunday.
From Linda: “I was saddened by the interview. It could have been a great opportunity for the royals to move forward and acknowledge mental health issues, but the Firm refused to take that route. Shocked to hear how the men in grey suits direct so much of the agenda.”
From Susan: “Unsubstantiated accusations are very damaging. It’s easy to allege things were said and then refuse to say who said them. Then it’s just a case of he said, she said. But the damage is done.”
From Charlie: “I feel for Harry and Meghan, and I don’t blame them one bit for the decision they made for leaving the U.K. and the Royal Family in search for a more peaceful, sane and healthy lifestyle and mental health. I have never been a royal watcher or a fan of all the pomp that goes into it. I personally think Canada should abolish all that nonsense as it relates to a Governor General as the representative of the Queen in Canada (who is still our head of state). Canada should maintain close ties with the U.K., for sure, as partners, allies and friends, but this monarchy BS is a waste of taxpayer dollars.”
From Margaret: “I am still grappling with the intent of the interview and tell-all. And what is to be gained by the couple? Probably more paparazzi and Hollywood-like behaviours…. The constant referral back to Diana gives one pause for thought as well. Yes, Harry was totally traumatized by his mother’s death…. That said, although there are some similarities in press and media reporting, Diana was very young and naive when she joined ‘the Firm,’ whereas Harry and Meagan were well into their 30s when they married and should have known full well what could happen…. I do not mean to downplay or negate the comments on race/skin colour. Hopefully, there will be some conversations around that at the palace level.”
From Tina: “I felt so much of this interview resonated with the Diana era. It left me with many questions, but mostly: How on earth can a parent stop taking calls from their child? How on earth can a parent not want to keep their family safe? How on earth can a parent allow the words of racism to be spoken amongst anyone, never mind their own? How on earth can a parent knowingly watch your child go through such pain and not reach out? … I applaud the two of them for coming out to the world and letting people be reminded, once again, of a dated monarchy who cares more about how they are perceived to the world than that of their own. One can only hope for Meghan and Harry to have a life of joy with their little family and always be safe …. and perhaps maybe Harry’s wish that ‘time heals all’ comes true and his family come to their senses.”
From Paul: “Unless I misheard Meghan, she mentioned that she was not informed/prepared with the protocols of ‘the Firm.’ I find this difficult to believe. She is an intelligent, successful woman with a mind of her own…. I am not naive enough to not know there would be some racial problems. But I do believe too much emphasis was placed on the racial issue. As for protection being dropped for Harry, why not? He is in a foreign country, by choice…. With all Harry and Meghan’s money, they should be paying for their own protection. Remember, they optioned out of the U.K. Nevertheless, I wish them the best in their endeavours.”
From Anna: “I do not feel this interview will damage the Royal Family. There are differences of opinion in all families. I do not feel the whole Royal Family should be painted with the same brush. This interview will be so hard on the Queen. My heart goes out to her.”
We’ll continue to include comments from readers in future editions of the Royal Fascinator.
Harry and Meghan’s interview might have some thinking it’s time for Canada to retire the Queen and its connection to the monarchy, but it wouldn’t be that simple to do, writes CBC’s Aaron Wherry.
Harry talked of an “invisible contract” between the media and the Royal Family. The BBC took a closer look at what it is.
Journalist and TV presenter Piers Morgan left British broadcaster ITV after long-running criticism of Meghan that reached a crescendo after the interview with Winfrey. (CBC)
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Prince William defended Britain’s monarchy Thursday against accusations of bigotry made by his brother, Prince Harry, and sister-in-law, Meghan, insisting the family is not racist.
In comments made during a visit to an east London school, William became the first royal to directly address the explosive interview broadcast Sunday in the U.S. that Harry and Meghan gave to Oprah Winfrey.
“We’re very much not a racist family,” he said as his wife, Kate, walked by his side.
Harry and Meghan’s allegations of racism and mistreatment have rocked the Royal Family, and Buckingham Palace sought to respond to them in a 61-word statement Tuesday, but it has failed to quell the controversy.
William, second in line to the throne after his father, Prince Charles, says he hadn’t yet spoken to Harry in the aftermath of the interview, “but I will do.”
Racism, mental health discussions
Meghan, who is biracial, said in the interview she was so isolated and miserable as a working member of the Royal Family that she had suicidal thoughts. She also said Harry told her there were “concerns and conversations” by a Royal Family member about the colour of her baby’s skin when she was pregnant with their son, Archie.
Their comments have touched off conversations around the world about racism, mental health and even the relationship between Britain and its former colonies.
William and Kate toured School21 in Stratford, east London as children returned to classes. The visit was also meant to mark the rollout to secondary schools of a mental health project Kate launched in primary schools in 2018.
WATCH | Prince William addresses Meghan, Harry’s interview:
Prince William responded to allegations of racism in the Royal Family by saying the family isn’t racist and he hasn’t spoken to his brother, Prince Harry, since the bombshell interview with Oprah aired. 2:02
Britain’s Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth, was transferred to a different hospital in central London on Monday to have tests for a pre-existing heart condition, as well as to receive treatment for an infection.
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was admitted to London’s private King Edward VII’s Hospital two weeks ago for treatment for an unspecified infection that is not related to COVID-19.
On Monday, Buckingham Palace said he was moved to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, which is a centre of excellence for cardiac care, for further treatment and observation.
“The Duke remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week,” the palace said in a statement.
Photographers and TV crews at the King Edward hospital had earlier seen a patient being moved into an ambulance, shielded from watching media outside by staff with umbrellas and police, although there was no confirmation this was the prince.
Meanwhile, the 94-year-old Queen has remained at her Windsor Castle home to the west of London, where the couple have been staying during the coronavirus lockdown, and last week continued to carry out her official duties, albeit by video.
They have both received their first dose of the COVID vaccine, and the Duke’s illness is not related to the virus.
Philip has required hospital treatment a number of times in the last decade for a recurrence of a bladder infection and around Christmas 2011, he had an operation to clear a blocked artery in his heart after being rushed to hospital suffering from chest pains.
Prince Harry said he didn’t walk away from his royal duties, in an appearance on The Late, Late Show with James Corden that aired early Friday.
Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, stepped away from full-time royal life in early 2020. Buckingham Palace confirmed last Friday they will not be returning to royal duties, and Harry will give up his honorary military titles.
Harry told Corden he decided to step away from his work as a front-line member of the royal family to protect his wife and son, as well as his own mental health.
“It was stepping back rather than stepping down,” he said. “It was a really difficult environment, which I think a lot of people saw, so I did what any father or husband would do and thought, how do I get my family out of here? But we never walked away, and as far as I’m concerned, whatever decisions are made on that side, I will never walk away.”
Harry and Meghan moved from England to California last year.
The appearance on Corden’s show marked Harry’s first interview since his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, stripped the prince and his wife of their remaining royal duties. Corden’s segment trumped Oprah Winfrey, whose interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is scheduled to air March 7.
During the segment, Harry and Corden tour southern California in an open-top bus, at one point arriving outside the mansion where the 1990s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was filmed.
“If it was good enough for the Fresh Prince, it’s good enough for a real prince,” Corden said.
The two then proceed to sing the show’s iconic theme song.
Views on The Crown
At one point, Corden asks Harry what he thinks of the Netflix series The Crown, which delves into the personal lives and public actions of the Royal Family. At times, the show has been criticized for its depictions of real people.
“Of course it’s not strictly accurate,” Harry said, “but loosely … it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everyone else, what can come from that.”
But he noted, “I’m way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the [media] stories written about my family or my wife or myself.”