"He was very much a listener. But he would never probe."
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has spoken for the first time about his late grandfather Prince Philip, following his death in April of this year.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s private funeral, which was held at St. George’s Chapel on the Windsor Castle estate, was the first time that brothers Prince William and Prince Harry had been seen in public together following their reported fall out, with Harry flying back from his home in Montecito, California, for the sad occasion.
Though Prince Harry paid tribute to his late grandfather on social media following his passing, this week marks the first time Harry has detailed his special relationship with the Duke of Edinburgh, as he reveals how his grandfather gave him the space to talk about his time in Afghanistan.
Appearing in BBC documentary Prince Philip: The Royal Family Remembers, Harry recalls, “Going off to Afghanistan he was very matter of fact and just said, ‘Make sure you come back alive’… then when I came back, there wasn’t a deep level of discussion, more a case of, ‘Well you made it. How was it?’ That’s how he was.
“He was very much a listener, he sort of set the scene for you to be able to share as much as you wanted to share but he would never probe.”
Harry served on the front line in Afghanistan as a forward air controller between 2007 and 2008, before his presence was revealed by foreign media and he had to be returned home to the UK.
His is just one of the touching tributes paid to Prince Philip from his four children, adult grandchildren and long-serving staffers in the hour-long BBC documentary, which will air on BBC One on Wednesday 21 September at 9pm.
Remembered fondly by his grandchildren for his famous sense of humour (though the Queen was reportedly less impressed with his antics), the moving portrait of the late duke was originally conceived in honour of what would have been his 100th birthday, with most of the footage filmed before his death.
Her Majesty the Queen was not interviewed for the programme.
“More than anything I miss his humour. But I miss him more for my grandmother because I know how incredibly strong she was with him there,” Harry adds.
“I also know that she’s going be OK without him.”