“F*** off”, words that would not surprise many to hear out of The Duke of Edinburgh’s mouth, but why he said them may shock some.
For a long time, it was assumed the senior royals did not care about Diana, her funeral or how it all went down, but a conversation between Prince Philip and Tony Blair’s communications team show otherwise.
The “anguished” Prince Philip told the communications team to “f*** off” after they asked for Princes William and Harry to walk behind their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales’ coffin. The reason that was given – “to show the Royals cared” – did not take into the consideration the feelings of two young boys who had just lost their mother.
Her Majesty was not on the call between Balmoral where the Royals were staying and the meeting at Buckingham Palace with Royal Aides, but later showed her support of Prince Philip’s statements to Alastair Campbell and others on the Prime Minister’s communication team.
Anji Hunter, Blair’s Director of Government Relations was in the room during the call and has spoken about it in 7 Days, an upcoming BBC film on Diana’s funeral.
“I can remember – it sends a tingle up my back,” Hunter said.
“We were all talking about how William and Harry should be involved and suddenly came Prince Philip’s voice. We hadn’t heard from him before, but he was really anguished.
It isn’t the first time we have heard of Prince Philips protectiveness over his grandsons. Hunter’s husband, Adam Boulton, a Sky TV political commentator wrote about it in his book, Tony’s Ten Years.
The book reads: “The Queen relished the moment when Philip bellowed over the speakerphone from Balmoral, ‘F*** off. We are talking about two boys who have just lost their mother.'”
With the 20th anniversary of Diana, Princess of Wales’ death, many new stories surrounding the painful time have come to light. At the time, The Queen was accused of not caring when she failed to show up in London to support the people. The one time in her reign she decided to pick her family, her grieving grandsons, over her nation. Yet, a recent letter to one of her ladies-in-waiting showed how things were quite the opposite and just how much it really affected The Queen too.