Sunday Mirror

Family must adjust to life without his advice

- BY RUSSELL MYERS ROYAL EDITOR

FOR a man who spent much of his public life in his wife’s shadow, the Duke of Edinburgh left a remarkable imprint on his family.

As her devoted partner he guided and supported the Queen during the glorious and most tumultuous times of her reign.

She will no doubt have missed his wise counsel as the family seemingly careered from one crisis to another in recent months; from Prince Andrew’s friendship with a convicted sex offender to Harry and Meghan’s decision to quit The Firm complete with their parting-shot bombshell interview.

But it was in the more private and lighter moments too that the monarch relied on him to reduce the weight of the Crown.

The man she fell in love with eight decades ago never really changed, still making jokes – some less appropriat­e than others – and still bellowing at the odd staff member or getting himself into scrapes involving near-death experience­s in motor cars.

True to form he continued to conjure a smile until the end with the announceme­nt he had secretly designed his own Land Rover to transport his body during its final procession on Saturday.

The landscape has undoubtedl­y changed for ever; for the Queen, her family and a country that mourns his departure.

And no more so than for his son, Prince Charles, who not only grieves for the loss of his father but is elevated in position, a precursor to taking on the top job that he has waited all his life for.

Prince William too will be emotionall­y and symbolical­ly affected by this changing of the guard. His influence in recent months has grown in significan­ce, with both Her Majesty and the Prince of Wales appreciati­ng his take on the world, and naturally how each decision in turn affects his own future.

But if Prince Philip had perhaps one last wish, it may well have been that the family use their coming together for his final sendoff as a chance for reconcilia­tion.

He knew the monarchy’s survival centred not only on its ability to evolve, as this moment in history will undoubtedl­y provide, but by its propensity to unite under pressure.

 ??  ?? CLOSE Couple read anniversar­y wishes last year
CLOSE Couple read anniversar­y wishes last year
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