PRINCE Philip’s comforting words to William and Harry to help them cope with Princess Diana’s funeral have emerged after the Duke’s death.
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Diana died in August 1997, when William and Harry were just 15 and 12 respectivelyCredit: Getty – Contributor
The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles following the coffin of Diana to Westminster Abbey for her funeral service in 1997Credit: PA
Philip helped the brothers through their griefCredit: Alamy
William and Harry were staying with their dad Prince Charles, Philip and the Queen at Balmoral in Aberdeenshire at the time of Diana’s death in Paris.
He showed his support by walking alongside the boys at Diana’s funeral.
Royal author Ingrid Seward said William was reluctant to join his dad and uncle Charles Spencer, but Philip reportedly said: “I’ll walk if you walk”.
Seward explained: “At first William flatly refused [to walk during the funeral]. Charles pleaded with him and said that it would be utterly wrong of him not to accompany them.
“Prince Philip weighed into the argument and eventually William agreed to take part – but only on the condition that his grandfather walked beside him.”
Philip reportedly said: ‘It’s about the boys. They’ve lost their mother.”
The duke is also said to have offered the boys “gruff tenderness and outdoor activities like stalking and hiking to tire them out”.
Author Tina Brown said in her 2011 book The Diana Chronicles that Philip was “brilliantly effective with his grandsons” during the very difficult time.
Years later, when actor Matt Smith asked William for advice on playing Philip in Netflix’s The Crown, the royal replied: “Just one word – legend.”
Harry and William will walk behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s coffin at his funeral next Saturday.
Harry’s pregnant wife Meghan will not go for medical reasons.
The coffin will be carried in a specially modified Land Rover – which Philip helped design – to its final resting place inside St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Sources close to Charles said he was “very happy” his sons will be reunited after months of tension.
Harry returned to the UK this evening, and is thought to have driven to Kensington Palace where he could stay at Nottingham Cottage – the home he and Meghan shared before they were married.
The duke flew over from the US in his first return since he and Meghan stepped back from royal duties.
A witness told The Sun he got off a British Airways flight from Los Angeles which arrived at Heathrow at 1.15pm today.
He will have to quarantine for ten days on arrival to the UK – although he can leave it after five days if he provides a negative test under the government’s ‘Test to Release’ scheme.
He will be allowed to attend Philip’s funeral regardless – as government guidelines state those coming in from abroad can leave isolation “on compassionate grounds”.
William and Harry were staying with their dad Prince Charles, Philip and the Queen at Balmoral in Aberdeenshire at the time of Diana’s deathCredit: Getty – Contributor