Prince Philip, who was often described as the glue that holds the British royal family together and credited for acting as a peacemaker during family feuds, was reportedly left feeling “heartbroken” with the recent drama.
Gyles Brandreth, who was a close friend of the late Prince Consort, revealed that the royal “regretted” that the royal family’s private issues have made it to the public. He also strongly disapproved of the public interviews about personal matters given by his son Prince Andrew and grandson Prince Harry.
Andrew had appeared in a car crash interview with BBC Newsnight in November 2019 denying his alleged involvement with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, which was followed by his expulsion as a senior member of the royal family. Meanwhile, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle aired their grievances against Buckingham Palace in a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey this March, a year after quitting as senior royals.
Brandreth recalled the Duke of Edinburgh’s reaction to the scandals in an appearance on “Good Morning Britain” on Thursday, what would have been the royal’s 100th birthday. Asked how Prince Philip would have reacted to the controversy, Brandreth said: “I know exactly what he would have made of all of this.”
“He was heartbroken, as he said to me, that the royal family has been turned into a soap opera and he regretted that very much indeed. He also regretted members of the royal family giving personal interviews,” Brandreth revealed, as per The Mirror.
Harry and Meghan’s interview was aired when Prince Philip was in the hospital recovering from a surgery, and the royal couple had made a deal with CBS to not broadcast if the worst happened to the royal. The 99-year-old, who passed away at Windsor Castle over a month after the tell-all, was reportedly spared the worst of the couple’s revelations.
Prince Philip felt that “no good ever comes of” such interviews. When Brandreth reminded the Duke that he was the first member of the royal family to give an interview on television when he spoke to BBC in the 1950s, he clarified that his interviews were about his work rather than him as a person.
“He reminded me and said, ‘You know, in 1953, you won’t remember this, but after the Coronation, the Queen and I went to Australia on a tour. Millions of people came out and cheered the Queen, millions. And if the Queen had thought it was about her, it would have been corrosive. But the Queen is the same with one person or a million people,'” Brandreth recalled.
When asked if the Duke would have been upset at Meghan and Harry for using his wife’s childhood name Lilibet for their daughter, Brandreth said: “I know what he would have said – ‘I try to keep out of these things’. He wouldn’t have commented, he wouldn’t have known what he’d thought!”
Prince Philip was apparently the last person to call the Queen by that name, which she had coined for herself as she had difficulty pronouncing Elizabeth in her childhood.