Prince Philip’s subtle dig at Princess Diana as late Duke praised ‘level-headed’ Kate
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Prince Philip famously took the late Princess of Wales under his wing and tried to help her adapt to royal life. But the late Duke is said to have disapproved of how she handled the intense public interest in her, and claimed Diana let “her popularity go to her head”. This comes in stark contrast to Prince William’s future bride, who Philip approved of due to her mature understanding of royal life.
Gyles Brandreth, a royal biographer and friend of Prince Philip’s, discussed this in his newly revised book Philip: The Final Portrait.
He said that both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were concerned at how Princess Diana took her newfound fame.
The biographer wrote: “One of the things that saddened – and worried – the Queen and Prince Philip about Diana, Princess of Wales, was not that she was popular, but that she allowed her popularity to go to her head.”
But he said this is something Kate quickly realised when she entered the royal fold.
Mr Brandreth wrote: “Years later, when Catherine Middleton came along as a potential bride for his grandson, Prince William, the Duke of Edinburgh was, he told me, ‘relieved to find her such a level-headed girl’.
“‘If you believe the attention is for you personally,’ he warned, ‘you’re going to end up in trouble.
“’The attention is for your role, what you do, what you’re supporting.
“’It isn’t for you as an individual.
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“’You are not a celebrity.
“’You are representing the Royal Family. That’s all.’”
Diana married Prince Charles when she was just 20 years old and soon captured the hearts of the public.
The young royal, later dubbed the “People’s Princess” fast became one of the most photographed people in the world, with paparazzi documenting her every move.
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Realising this, Diana used her overwhelming popularity for good, by championing causes such as AIDS and charity organisations.
Her closeness to the press stopped being a force for good when she started to leak stories to the press about her troubled marriage.
In the early Nineties, Diana shared her side of the story through writer Andrew Morton, in his book Diana: Her True Story.
Initially, she denied involvement in the book, but it later emerged Diana had sent tape recordings to the author.
In 1995, the Princess of Wales sat down with Martin Bashir for an exclusive interview with BBC Panorama.
During the interview, which has since been discredited, Diana famously said there were “three of us in this marriage”, in a nod to Charles’s affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
Philip: The Final Portrait by Gyles Brandreth is available to buy now.
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