How Prince Philip secretly comforted Prince William at Princess Diana's funeral

Prince Philip was determined to support his grandsons at Princess Diana's funeral, according to a new royal documentary

How Prince Philip secretly comforted Prince William at Diana's funeral
(Image credit: Getty)

The Duke of Edinburgh's thoughtful gesture to Prince William at Princess Diana's funeral has been detailed in a new ITV documentary. 

Prince Philip's comforting gesture to his grieving grandsons following the death of their mother has been detailed in a new documentary for ITV. 

Philip: Prince, Husband, Father will shed light on the lesser-known family moments of the Queen's late husband, who died aged 99 in April, through "rare archive and audio recordings" and a collection of interviews with biographers, friends, and colleagues. 

The documentary comes shortly after Prince William and Duchess Kate banned BBC from Christmas concert broadcast in response to its controversial series, The Princes and the Press. 

This latest documentary is unlikely to cause such a stir within the Royal Family, however, focusing heavily on flattering anecdotes about Prince Philip's personal life. In one clip, Martin Palmer, who co-founded The Alliance of Religions and Conservation with Prince Philip, explains how the Duke supported his young grandsons at their mother's funeral in 1997. Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris at the age of 36, leaving behind her two beloved children, William, 15, and Harry, 12. 

Princess Diana's funeral 1997

Prince Philip walked with Prince William and Prince Harry behind Princess Diana's coffin at her funeral in 1997 

(Image credit: Getty)

The heartbroken teenagers walked behind Diana's coffin in the funeral procession at Westminster Abbey on September 6, alongside Prince Charles, Earl Spencer, and Prince Philip. By staying close to his grandsons' side during the painfully long ritual, the Duke was able to comfort them away from the cameras' eye. 

"There’s a moment where they go under the Horseguards Parade arch where it’s quite clear that Prince Philip—and I asked him about this he said, "Yes, I didn’t think the cameras could see us"—at that point, he turns to William and comforts him,' Martin said. 

"You’ve just got to watch that moment and realize, here is a grandfather who is trying to help his young, very vulnerable grandson struggle through this awful awful moment."

It's understood that the Duke of Edinburgh had not intended to take part, but agreed to walk with his grandsons at the last minute in an act of solidarity. Prince Philip made the touching pact with William and Harry at a dinner before the funeral, telling the boys, "I'll walk if you walk." 

Philip: Prince, Husband, Father will air on ITV at 9pm on Tuesday, 26 December. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.