Philip celebrated his 99th birthday in June away from the public eye in Windsor Castle. He has kept out of the royal limelight since his retirement
Philip celebrated his 99th birthday in June away from the public eye in Windsor Castle. He has kept out of the royal limelight since his retirement in 2017 but he is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. Philip’s royal legacy and dedication to the crown has often been admired — he has also been recognised as the main character who can keep the rest of the Royal Family in line.
Harry and Meghan upset many royal spheres earlier this week when they claimed that the Commonwealth needs to “address” its past, and “right those wrongs” so the association can move forward.
In response, talkRADIO commentator Dan Wootton suggested that the Duke of Edinburgh should get on a plane, and tell the couple “to stop being so ridiculous”.
However, a Town & Country article from June last year explained that as Philip gets older, he represents a royal world which is slipping away.
Journalist Juliet Rieden wrote: “At nearly a century, the Duke of Edinburgh is the proud, doughty patriarch of a Royal Firm eminently well-prepared for the modern era.
“And while he has been praised at times for his efforts to modernise the institution into which he married, Philip represents a royal modus operandi the likes of which we’ll never see again.
“His was an epoch of Empire and old Britain that is, definitively, no more.”
Philip came to embody the “stiff upper lip” mantra which defines the Royal Family and British aristocracy, and which newcomers such as Meghan Markle have openly pushed back against.
The journalist added: “The world Philip has inhabited for more than 70 years has already largely drifted away — and with it, most of the power that the House of Windsor once wielded.”
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The journalist added how the “abiding image of Philip” with his hands clasped behind his back standing behind the monarch is a complete change to Harry and Meghan’s trademark affection and hand-holding.
She continued: “Philip is also the last of the royals to have a certain freedom despite the strictures of his gilded cage as the monarch’s consort.”
Philip’s approach towards international travel is also a far-cry from Harry and Meghan’s.
He has become famous for his gaffes abroad, which many have now decried as offensive in the current age, while the Sussexes have developed a name for themselves as the most modern royals, with a huge global following.
As Ms Rieden explained, Philip’s time away from the limelight represents “the end of an era indeed”.
By extension, Harry and Meghan’s speech represents a new approach to the Commonwealth away from the traditionalist Duke of Edinburgh.