Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

Prince Philip ‘frustrated’ at Charles and Andrew over failure to ‘get on with’ royal duty

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Prince Philip was “exasperated” with his children in the 90s, following the breakdown of three of their marriages, according to royal commentators. Experts discussed the Duke of Edinburgh’s important role within the Royal Family on a new Channel 5 documentary: ‘Philip: The King Without A Crown’. They pointed to the divorces of Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Princess Anne as a source of “frustration” for the senior royal.

Former BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond said: “Philip took the initiative to try to counsel Charles and Diana.

“He wrote letters in which he tried to be a marriage counsellor, if you like.

“She wrote back, always starting the letter with ‘Dearest Pa’. She said, ‘I think you really underestimate your skills as a marriage counsellor’.

“She also said, ‘Whatever happens, I will know always that you care.'”

Former Royal Press Secretary, Dickie Arbiter added: “He probably felt that it was not just a family duty, but a public duty to try and get them to talk to each other, to reconcile and to save the marriage.”

Despite Prince Philip’s attempts to mediate, Charles and Diana separated in 1992.

It was just one of a series of marital setbacks to hit the Royal Family that year as Andrew and Sarah Ferguson also divorced.

Princess Anne’s marriage finally cracked amid rumours she had been secretly meeting naval commander, Tim Laurence.

Ms Bond told Channel 5: “To see your children go their separate ways and to suffer, and to do so so publicly, was very difficult for the Queen and Philip.

“He was probably a little frustrated that they just couldn’t get on with it.

“That’s the kind of man he is, he’s a man who gets on with things.”

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Mr Arbiter added: “He was exasperated that all these things were going on within the family.

“None of which was the fault of the Queen or Prince Philip.

“But it was having repercussions on the Queen – the media were saying why can’t she control her family?

“Well if your son is 40-something, you don’t tell a 40-year-old how to behave.

“You hope that they’re going to be able to do it themselves.”

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