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The Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip’s moving gesture to a grieving boy

By Harry Pot / Anefo -, CC0, Wikimedia Commons

Since the Duke of Edinburgh’s death on Friday, many have shared previously unknown stories of the royal that shed light on what Queen Elizabeth II’s consort was like behind the scenes.

One of the more touching stories took place in 1963 in Washington D.C. after the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy. Prince Philip flew to Washington to attend the funeral and express condolences on behalf of The Queen and met First Lady Jackie Kennedy and the Kennedy family. President and First Lady Kennedy had two children: Caroline and John Jr.

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John Jr. – ironically later nicknamed “America’s Prince” in adulthood – was just a few days away from his third birthday when his father was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, by Lee Harvey Oswald. Back at the White House, the little boy said he missed his father and even asked, “Where’s Daddy?” and also said that he had no one to play with.

Prince Philip – a man who grew up without a father – stepped in to comfort the young boy. When First Lady Jackie Kennedy went looking for her son at the White House, she went into the playroom to find the Prince on the floor playing and laughing with John Jr.

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A few years later, the British government gave some land to the United States at Runnymede for a memorial for the late President Kennedy. A photo from the inauguration of the British memorial to President Kennedy shows young John Jr. holding hands with Prince Philip and his mother.

The story of the Duke of Edinburgh’s moving gesture to play with John Jr. was shared on Twitter by the West Wing account.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.