Prince Harry 'the teenager' vs 'duty-bound' William – Tributes to Prince Philip analysed


Prince Harry, 36, and Prince William, 38, are on very “separate paths”, as Harry himself admitted during his interview with Oprah Winfrey last month. While William is destined to be King, Harry has quit his role as a royal altogether and is pursuing a life from himself away from the monarchy with his wife Meghan Markle, 39, in the USA.

While William and Harry’s relationship has been characterised by distance in recent years, the brothers are united in grief over their grandfather Prince Philip’s death.

The Duke of Edinburgh died peacefully at Windsor Castle last Friday and both Harry and William are due to attend his funeral at St George’s Chapel this coming Saturday.

On Monday the brothers spoke out to honour Philip in separate tributes.

William’s kind words were shared on his official Kensington Palace social media channels while Harry posted his statement on his website.

READ MORE: Prince William turns to Zara Tindall as he ‘cannot count on Harry’

Language expert and author Judi James analysed Harry and William’s tributes to Philip and shared her insights with

Judi said: “In defining the man that was their grandfather both William and Harry appear to be defining themselves and endorsing their own lives and future choices at the same time, picking out mirrored qualities that they would naturally have empathy with and picking that reflected version of themselves in this very complex man to praise and honour.”

In Prince William’s tribute to his grandfather he wrote: “My grandfather’s century of life was defined by service – to his country and Commonwealth, to his wife and Queen, and to our family.

“I feel lucky to have not just had his example to guide me, but his enduring presence well into my own adult life – both through good times and the hardest days.

“I will always be grateful that my wife had so many years to get to know my grandfather and for the kindness he showed her.

“I will never take for granted the special memories my children will always have of their great-grandpa coming to collect them in his carriage and seeing for themselves his infectious sense of adventure as well as his mischievous sense of humour!”

William added: “My grandfather was an extraordinary man and part of an extraordinary generation.

“Catherine and I will continue to do what he would have wanted and will support The Queen in the years ahead. I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job.”

As the future king, William is acutely aware of his own destiny and this comes through in his tribute, Judi claimed.

She said: “In many ways, he appears to be stepping behind the Duke in terms of loyalty to the Firm and confirming his own unwavering dedication to his own role as future king.

“He is clearly admiring these qualities in his grandfather and picking up the baton to continue this aspect of his own life role.

“William also speaks as a family man though, stressing ‘…the kindness he showed Kate’ and how his own children gained from their ‘special memories’ with him.

“There is some reference to being ‘mischievous’ and having an ‘infectious sense of humour’ to add emotional dimension but then William returns to more of a historic narrative and again waves that baton of duty in the air, telling the world that he will ‘continue to do what he would have wanted’ which is to ‘support the Queen in the years ahead.’

“This moving tribute is all about continuity and what sounds like a sense of honour and loyalty to the Firm.”

Harry,  on the other hand, seems to enjoy more freedom of expression in his tribute to Philip as he is no longer bound by royal protocol.

Harry’s tribute read: “My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour.”

 “He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm—and also because you never knew what he might say next.

“He will be remembered as the longest-reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke.

“But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’til the end.

“He has been a rock for Her Majesty The Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, and while I could go on, I know that right now he would say to all of us, beer in hand, ‘Oh do get on with it!’

“So, on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself.

“You will be sorely missed, but always remembered – by the nation and the world. Meghan, Archie, and I (as well as your future great-granddaughter) will always hold a special place for you in our hearts.”

The heartfelt message was rounded off with, “‘Per Mare, Per Terram,'” – which means “By Sea, By Land” in Latin, and is the motto of the Royal Marines, of which Harry was Captain-General before he quit the Firm.

Judi said: “Harry’s tribute is equally moving but, as a very contrasting man to William and leading a very different life, Harry has chosen to highlight qualities that could easily be used to define himself.

“His version of his grandfather is ‘authentically himself’ with ‘charm’ and a ‘sharp wit’. ‘Beer in hand’ he was to Harry ‘master of the barbeque, legend of banter and cheeky right to the end’.”

Harry’s emphasis is on “being authentic” as opposed to the “duty and service” highlighted by William.

Judi said: “For Harry, this sense of ‘being authentic’ is clearly the most important and praiseworthy quality and in many ways, he seems to be explaining his own behaviour by picking it out.

“The choice of words here make Harry sound more like a teenager than a mature adult and it’s as though he found a playmate in his grandfather.

“It’s the version of Harry that we saw rapping with Corden in the US and it implies that Harry would have had the Duke’s approval for this type of behaviour.

“In terms of royal life and duty, Harry also selects a mirrored version of both his life and his grandfather’s to show a more formal and shared sense of duty and rapport. Both Harry and Philip were Captain-General of the Royal Marines and it is this Latin motto that Harry picks to supply the nod between two men who had done their duty via their military service.”


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