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The Duke of Edinburgh

Princess Anne and Prince Edward pay tribute to their father the Duke of Edinburgh following his death aged 99

Chatham House & Northern Ireland Office via Flickr

The Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex have paid tribute to their father, the Duke of Edinburgh, following his death aged 99.

Speaking in a broadcast interview with ITV News, both Princess Anne and Prince Edward reflected on their father’s life and their relationship with him over the years.

Speaking of his father’s difficult childhood where he fled Greece as a refugee, Princess Anne said: “It must have been really quite difficult because he was that much younger than his sisters.

“The father figure was very intermittent then went and his mother struggled at that stage, so he had friends elsewhere who took him in during the holidays. 

“He was virtually a refugee as this stage because he had nowhere else to go literally. And that probably why Gordonstoun had such an impact.”

Prince Philip fled Greece as a baby in exile following the execution of his grandfather. He settled in Germany, and Paris, before finally settling in the United Kingdom, attending Gordonstoun School in Moray, Scotland.

Prince Edward said: “The Duke of Edinburgh Award is probably among the best-known of the foundations in his name, and initially started by his former headmaster Kurt Hahn, who when it was rolled out beyond Gordonstoun came to my father and said ‘would you get involved in this.’

“My father got Lord Hunt involved in helping to shape how it would roll out and that was of course one of his geniuses, being able to find the right people to take things on and shape them.

“The fact it has now spread to more than 140 countries, way beyond the Commonwealth, way beyond the English speaking world, is enormous testament to that original vision.”

Both Princess Anne and Prince Edward also reflected on their father’s relationship with The Queen.

Edward said: “My parents have been such a fantastic support to each other during all those years and all those events and all those tours and events overseas.

“To have someone that you confide in and smile about things that you perhaps could not in public. To be able to share that is immensely important.”

Anne added: “Without him life will be completely different. But from society’s perspective he was able to keep pace with the kind of technological changes that have such an impact… but above all that it’s not about the technology it’s about the people.”

You can see the ITV News interview with Anne and Edward by clicking here.