'Master of the barbecue': Prince Harry pays tribute to Prince Philip with heartfelt statement

By Zach Harper

Prince Harry has paid tribute to his late grandfather, Prince Philip, remembering the Queen's late husband not only for his devotion to his wife, U.K. and Commonwealth, but a man with an incredible sense of humour and beloved family man.

The Duke of Sussex released his statement on April 12, just after returning to the U.K. the day before. He was spotted at London's Heathrow Airport the afternoon of April 11 and is reportedly self-isolating at Kensington Palace.

"My grandfather was a man of service, honour and great humour," Harry wrote. "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."

Harry, who served two tours in Afghanistan with the British army, inherited his devotion to military service from his grandfather. Philip had a long history with the Royal Navy – right from when he was a baby. The Duke of Edinburgh was rescued from the island of Corfu by the British, carried on board a warship in an orange crate in 1922.

Philip at the Royal Naval Officers' School in Hawthorn, England in 1947, just before he married Princess Elizabeth. Photo: © PNA Rota/Getty Images

He later entered Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in 1940, served on the HMS Valiant in World War II, fought in the Battle of Crete and Battle of Cape Matapan and served on the HMS Chequers in Malta after the War in his early married life with Princess Elizabeth, who went on to become Queen.

"He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke," Harry wrote. "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: a master of the barbecue, a 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."

Prince William also released a statement summing up his feelings about the loss of his grandfather on April 12. Taking to Instagram, the Duke of Cambridge shared a photo of Philip with Prince George. Taken by Duchess Kate, it shows the late Duke of Edinburgh holding the reigns of a carriage while the eldest Prince of Cambridge holds a book and smiles at the camera.

Like Harry, William wrote that he appreciated his grandfather's legacy of service and "mischievous sense of humour," saying he wants to carry on what he started. His and Harry's words also ended similarly.

"I will miss my Grandpa, but I know he would want us to get on with the job," he wrote.

Philip will be laid to rest on April 17 with a ceremonial royal funeral at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle. Only 30 guests will be in attendance, in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions. He will be laid to rest in the Royal Vault, underneath the Chapel.

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