Princess Anne describes Philip as 'my teacher, my supporter and my critic' as she pays tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh
Princess Anne has paid her respects to the Duke of Edinburgh, who died at the age of 99.
The Princess Royal has paid a moving tribute to her father, describing him as “my teacher, my supporter and my critic”.
In a touching message released by Buckingham Palace on Sunday, April 11, Anne said it was her father’s example of a “life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate”.
Anne personally chose a photograph of herself with the Duke to accompany her words.
The pair were shown laughing as they sat side by side in the sunshine while watching the dressage stage of the Eventing in Greenwich Park during the London 2012 Olympics.
Anne, whose daughter Zara Tindall won an Olympic silver medal in the team event that year, was wearing sunglasses and a Team GB sun hat and jacket, while Philip was dapper in a straw boater and suit and tie.
The princess described how her father’s death at the age of 99 was not unexpected, but she admitted she was not really ready for it.
She wrote, in the message which was also shared on the royal’s family’s social media accounts: “You know it’s going to happen but you are never really ready.
“My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate.”
She continued: “His ability to treat every person as an individual in their own right with their own skills comes through all the organisations with which he was involved.
“I regard it as an honour and a privilege to have been asked to follow in his footsteps and it has been a pleasure to have kept him in touch with their activities.
“I know how much he meant to them, in the UK, across the Commonwealth and in the wider world.”
She finished with the words: “I would like to emphasise how much the family appreciate the messages and memories of so many people whose lives he also touched.
“We will miss him but he leaves a legacy which can inspire us all.”
Buckingham Palace announced on Friday (April 9) that Prince Philip had died “peacefully” at Windsor Castle the same morning. He was just two months away from his 100th birthday in June.
The Duke of Edinburgh had dedicated decades of his life to public service, becoming the longest-serving consort in British history after more than 70 years of marriage to the Queen.
He officially retired from public engagements in the summer of 2017 and had spent much of the Covid-19 crisis staying with the Queen at Windsor.
Anne is the pair’s only daughter and the second of their four children.
She and her father shared a love of sport, particularly their passion for equestrianism.
Both were known for their no-nonsense ‘take-no-prisoners’ approach and their hardworking dedication to royal duty.
“The key to the princess is that she is Prince Philip in skirts,” royal author Lady Colin Campbell once wrote.