How Prince Philip's Death Changes Things For Prince William, According To An Expert

On April 9, 2021, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died, at age 99. While the death of Queen Elizabeth II's husband is a sad event for those who loved him around the world, it is obviously more heartbreaking for his family members, like his wife of 74 years, his children, and of course, his grandchildren. Of his numerous grandchildren, none might be as affected as the children of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana: Prince William and Prince Harry. When Diana died, it was Philip and Elizabeth who tried to shield the young boys from the paparazzi and allow them to mourn in peace.

According to Tina Brown, author of The Diana Chronicles, Philip did all he could to distract his grandsons from dwelling on their mother's death. "Prince Philip took them walking, horse riding and fishing every day — anything to take their minds off the tragedy," she wrote (via the Mirror). The late prince's protection of the boys was further confirmed by royal expert Kinsey Schofield, founder of ToDiForDaily, who spoke to The List. "You will remember, Prince Philip offered to walk behind Princess Diana's coffin with Prince William and Prince Harry to offer them strength and comfort," she said. So it'd be no surprise that William would be deeply affected by Philip's death.

Prince William will potentially take on more duties

Service has always been a large part of the royal family's duties, and the Duke of Edinburgh was no exception. In fact, Prince Philip "played a leading role in many aspects of national life... [and] was associated with 992 organisations," according to the royal family's official website. Many of the patronages were divided up among other royal family members when Philip officially retired in 2017, but he was still actively interested in many parts of British life. Prince William took on a few of Philip's more well-known charities, like the National Playing Fields Association and BAFTA upon Philip's retirement, and the Duke of Cambridge's responsibilities might be more ramped up in the future. 

"Prince William should prepare to take on more responsibility," Kinsey Schofield noted in her interview with The List. "There will be numerous reactions when we, God forbid, lose the Queen. Prince Philip's death is making us contemplate this." With the queen's death, William's responsibilities will become even more numerous, as he would then officially become the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cornwall, taking over even more work from his father. Philip's death most likely has the Duke of Cambridge thinking about the future and he will undoubtedly work hard to honor his grandfather's contributions to the United Kingdom throughout his life.

Prince Philip was Prince William's childhood mentor

While growing up in the royal family, Prince William carried a lot of admiration for his grandfather, Prince Philip. As a teen boy attending the boarding school Eton College, Prince William regularly met with his grandparents for lunch, solidifying their bond. "Prince Philip would slip out at some point in the afternoon so Queen Elizabeth could mentor Prince William on the monarchy, but Prince Philip was very much involved in this process to mold Prince William into the young man he was," royal expert Kinsey Schofield, founder of ToDiForDaily, told The List.

The Duke of Edinburgh especially took Princes William and Harry under his wing after their mother Princess Diana's death in 1997, according to Express. In her book, The Diana Chronicles, Tina Brown wrote that Prince Philip's own mother was admitted to a mental hospital for three years when he was 10, so he understood some of the loss his grandsons felt. So, Prince Philip helped them with their grief through "gruff tenderness and outdoor activities like stalking and hiking to tire them out," Brown wrote, per The List.

As an adult, Prince William praised Prince Philip's military service, philanthropy, and mentorship. In a 2018 speech to the Charity Commission, William said, "My grandfather Prince Philip has been one of the most tireless public servants of this country, deeply committed to helping young people fulfill their potential."

And then, Prince William honored his grandfather's legacy through his children.

Prince William's sons have names that honor Prince Philip

Most of all, Prince Philip's death leaves the royal family's great-grandchildren without their great-grandfather — including Prince William's children with his wife, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. But even though the Duke of Edinburgh is gone, Prince Louis and Prince George both have tributes in their names to their late great-grandfather.

According to Town & Country, George's middle name Louis and Prince Louis' first name were given to them in honor of Prince Philip's uncle, the late Lord Louis Mountbatten, a distinguished British Royal Navy officer who raised Philip. Per Time, Louis Mountbatten was tragically murdered by the Irish Republican Army in 1979 during The Troubles period of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

It seems clear that Prince William and Prince Philip had an unbreakable bond as grandfather and grandson. The Duke of Edinburgh's legacy will likely be carried on through not only his grandsons, but his great-grandchildren.