There was a time when Prince Philip was worried about the mental health and well-being of his grandson, Prince William, and he did not hesitate to speak to his wife about his concerns.
Prince Philip boldly told Queen Elizabeth II that she had to throw royal rules and protocols out the window for her oldest grandchild.
According to Robert Lacey‘s new book, Battle of Brothers, after the very public and bitter divorce of his parents — Prince Charles and Princess Diana — the young Prince William was not doing well.
It had appeared that all the negativity around the separation got to William, who started struggling. The Queen caught wind of Prince William’s deteriorating mental health and spoke to her husband about it.
Prince Philip pushed the Queen to act and to have a closer relationship with William according to Lacey, who wrote: “It was then three years after his parents’ separation – just two years before Diana’s death – and the Queen was worried about her grandson’s state of mind.”
The Duke of Edinburgh came up with a simple plan, William, who was at Eton, could walk to Windsor Castle and spend time with his grandmother.
He shared: “The Duke of Edinburgh intervened. Philip shared his wife’s concerns, and he suggested that she overcome her longstanding aversion to involvement in messy family matters by trying to get closer to this particular boy – who was not just her grandson, but a future inheritor of her crown. Perhaps the lad could come up and join them both in the castle from time to time on a Sunday when the Eton boys were allowed out into the town? And so the lunches had begun.”
Prince Philip, Prince William, and the Queen often had Sunday lunches together that created an extraordinary relationship between the grandmother and grandson.
The Queen and the heir to the throne had deep conversations about the monarchy, the sense of duty, and shared secrets that the world and even Prince Phillip might never know.
Lacey said this about the second purpose of the meetings: “Pudding ended, Philip would make a discreet exit, leaving his wife and grandson together in the paneled Oak Room with its six-arm chandelier hanging over the table in front of Queen Victoria’s beautiful Gobelins tapestry of The Hunt. In this splendid and historical but also intimate setting, grandmother and grandson – monarch and future heir – would get down to brass tacks, talking and ‘sharing’ as only the pair of them could.”
The author concluded by: “It was William’s birthright and legacy, after all, as much as his gran’s. As William absorbed his grandmother’s principles, there was a sense he later described, in which he became as one with her, establishing a warm personal closeness – a strong and quite extraordinary partnership across the generations that he defined as a ‘shared understanding of what’s needed.”
Years later, William and his wife, Kate Middleton, have emerged as important figures in the monarchy, especially with The Queen being forced to change her routine because of the COVID-19 pandemic.