Prince Philip didn't want anyone to feel left out when they joined the royal family, so when Princess Diana married Prince Charles in 1981 and Meghan Markle married Prince Harry in 2018, he took them under his wing.
“When Diana married into the family, Prince Philip really looked after her because he looks after all the girls — including Meghan when she first came into the family — because he knows what it’s like to be the new boy on the block or the new girl on the block and suddenly come into this family with all their strange protocols and everything else,” royal biographer Ingrid Seward told Us Weekly in 2020.
“Philip, being a very intelligent man, he knew how to handle all these newcomers, but in return, he expected loyalty, and he expected that they, too, would have a sense of duty like he had.”
Since Philip — who died on April 9 at 99 years old — retired from his royal duties in 2017, he wasn't able to get to know the former actress, 39, on a deeper level.
“He was very welcoming to Meghan because of course, she was a newcomer and a very different newcomer. At the time of Meghan and Harry’s romance, he wasn’t around nearly as much because he’d retired. So he didn’t see very much of Meghan at all. So he didn’t really have a chance to form a relationship with her,” Seward shared.
“He was determined that he was going to go to the wedding because he literally just had a hip operation six weeks before, which is a really good example of him being absolutely determined that whatever happened he was gonna walk down that aisle at the wedding and take his seat.”
Philip even tried to help Diana save her marriage to Charles, but eventually, they divorced in 1996.
“He decided that in the lack of anything else happening, he would write to Diana,” Seward said. “Diana was very grateful to him because basically she didn’t have to face seeing him that way. She could just deal with it in the letters, and he was helpful. And he said things like, ‘Diana, [you] must remember that this monarchy is not a popularity contest. It’s all of us working together,’ which is probably something he could have said to Meghan to try and make these newcomers understand that … it’s about the institute of the monarchy as a whole.”
Meanwhile, Meghan and Harry honored Philip on the day he died by writing a short and sweet message on their Archewell website. “In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Thank you for your service, you will be greatly missed," they wrote.
Three days later, Harry spoke about some beautiful memories with his grandfather that he will always cherish. “My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour. He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next,” the 36-year-old wrote in a statement.