To mark the first anniversary of his father’s death, Prince Charles shared a sweet throwback photo of himself with his mom and sister from 1955. The photo, taken on the grounds of the royal family’s beloved Balmoral estate, shows Prince Philip pushing Charles and Princess Anne on a swing, as Queen Elizabeth lovingly watches on.
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The Instagram post comes just days after the royal family held a Thanksgiving service for the late Duke of Edinburgh, where representatives of the many charities he worked with and foreign dignitaries paid tribute to the queen’s husband of 73 years.
The Duke of Edinburgh, died at age of 99 on 9 April 2021, just two months shy of his 100th birthday. The date of his passing happens to fall on the same day as Charles and Camilla’s wedding anniversary, but the couple decided not to post anything on social media about their special day, preferring to join the other royals in marking the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.
While Charles and Philip were devoted in service to the queen, their relationship was said to be complicated, particularly during Charles’ childhood. Former press secretary to the queen Dickie Arbiter says Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were always good parents but royal duties often had to come first.
Philip himself recognised their differences, once having said, “He’s a romantic and I’m a pragmatist. That means we see things differently. And because I don’t see things as a romantic would, I’m unfeeling”. According to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, it’s only in the past 20 years that the two men started getting along and bonded over their shared love of the environment.
When his father passed last year, Charles, his firstborn son, was particularly devastated. “As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously,” he said at the time. “He was a much-loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth, who also, I think, share our loss and our sorrow.
“My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful,” he continued.
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Speaking to the BBC, Charles recalled that in his last phone call with his father, the duke still had his cheeky sense of humour. The Prince of Wales had tentatively brought up plans for his father’s centennial, just two months away.
It was a celebration that Philip, who didn’t crave being the centre of attention, was not necessarily excited about. Charles suggested a party to mark the milestone. “We’re talking about your birthday! And whether there’s going to be a reception,” he said loudly, knowing his father was slightly hard of hearing.
Philip, who was known for his wit and charm, responded without missing a beat, “Well, I’ve got to be alive for it, haven’t I?” His father’s last words were a happy memory for him. “I told him, ‘I knew you’d say that!’” Charles says.
Sources: usmagazine.com, itv.com, inews.co.uk, mirror.co.uk, people.com, Instagram.com