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20 of Prince Philip's sweetest family photos with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren

The royals affectionately referred to him as Pa and Grandpa

prince philip family man obit© Photo: Getty Images
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
April 7, 2022
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The royal family at Windsor 1969© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Philip's tumultuous childhood made him into a man who guarded his emotions. The Queen's husband, who sadly died aged 99 on 9 April 2021, paraded his self-reliance as proudly as one of his military medals. Speaking about the former wartime naval officer, one royal commentator said: "[The Duke of Edinburgh] built a picket line around himself."

Yet the royal patriarch also provided a firm and loving hand that steered the family through decades of change and controversy. Prince Philip understood that the Windsors' ability to serve Britain was largely based on their unity as a family. In 1968, he commissioned an unprecedented fly-on-the-wall documentary titled Royal Family to give the nation an insight into life behind the palace walls.

While in his later years he softened into his role as mentor to his grandchildren – particularly Princes William and Harry – being a father was a more complex, difficult endeavour.

As the Queen, royal family, and royal fans prepare to mark his first death anniversary on 9 April 2022, HELLO! takes a look back at some of his sweetest family moments...

READ: The four words the Queen wrote in last note to Prince Philip

WATCH: Prince Philip's best family moments

prince philip with children 1951© Photo: Getty Images

The Duke became a father in 1948 when Charles was born one year after his marriage. The child provided his mother with an heir – and his father with a conundrum.

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prince philip 1952 balmoral© Photo: Getty Images

Although his daughter Anne described the naval man as a hands-on father, and fondly recalled how he would read bedtime stories to her and play "chasing games", his early relationship with her brother was more strained.

Father and son's opposing personalities clashed – the Duke himself articulated the issue to royal biographer Gyles Brandreth when he said: "Sometimes a romantic thinks that a pragmatist is unfeeling. That's the way it is."

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prince philip with baby andrew© Photo: Getty Images

Baby Prince Andrew (pictured) followed in 1960, followed by Prince Edward in 1964.

MORE: 14 heartwarming photos of Prince Philip as a doting grandfather

prince philip charles polo 1963© Photo: Getty Images

Later on, both Philip and Charles would come to appreciate each other, and compromise on a truce where the sensitive son came to respect the stoic, authoritative father.

MORE: The Queen and Prince Philip's unearthed wedding video will give you goosebumps

prince philip royal family museum 1988© Photo: Getty Images

Ironically, it was with Charles' first wife, the late Princess Diana, that the longest-serving royal consort started to shed his tough exterior. His poignant letters to her – often signed "Pa" – showed him attempting to provide strength and comfort amid the breakdown of the Waleses' marriage.

MORE: Prince Harry is the spitting image of his late grandfather – see the photo

prince philip with zara and peter© Photo: Getty Images

Where the Duke thoroughly came into his own, though, was with the younger generation. His support and advice was invaluable as they navigated the strains and pressures of public life.

prince philip diana funeral© Photo: Getty Images

When Prince William voiced doubts about walking behind his mother's coffin in 1997, it was his grandfather who offered to accompany the bereaved youngster on the most difficult journey of his life. The young Princes might regret, thought Philip, not paying this one last tribute to Diana. "If you like, I'll walk with you," he said.

prince philip and family balmoral 1960© Photo: Getty Images

For over seven decades the Queen relied on the support and security provided by her husband on countless engagements and overseas tours. 

MORE: The Queen and Prince Philip's love story

prince philip family pose together during the Olympic Games in 1976© Photo: Getty Images

All grown up, the family are pictured at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

prince philip prince william© Photo: Getty Images

It was perhaps the Queen and Prince Philip's rock solid marriage that William looked as an example when choosing Kate as his bride.

prince philip laughing prince harry© Photo: Getty Images

During their grandmother's Diamond Jubilee year, Prince Harry told Andrew Marr: "I don't think that she could do it without him."

prince philip with prince andrew ascot© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Philip was known for his great sense of humour. On seeing plans for the Duke and Duchess of York's house at Sunninghill Park in 1988, he famously said: "It looks like a tart's bedroom."

prince philip walkings dogs in the woods© Photo: Getty Images

Delivering her Golden Wedding Anniversary speech at Banqueting House in London, in 1997, the Queen famously said: "He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know."

prince philip family buckingham 1972© Photo: Getty Images

The family are pictured here at Buckingham Palace in 1972. In the same year during her Silver Wedding speech at the Guildhall, the Queen famously said: "If I am asked what I think about family life after 25 years of marriage, I can answer with equal simplicity and conviction, I am for it."

prince philip meghan markle kate church© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Philip, pictured here at Christmas 2017, welcomed his grandson's wives into the family with open arms. He attended William and Kate's wedding in 2011 followed by Harry and Meghan's in 2018.

prince philip playing princess eugenie© Photo: Getty Images

Ever the doting grandfather, Prince Philip has a close relationship with all of his grandchildren. Despite fears he may not attend Princess Eugenie's wedding in October 2018, the Duke made sure he was well enough on the day.

prince philip with beatrice and eugenie© Photo: Getty Images

Both Beatrice and Eugenie have spoken lovingly of their grandfather. Commenting on the Queen and Philip's marriage, Eugenie has said: "They are the most incredibly supportive couple to each other. Grandpa was unfortunately taken ill and for Granny to come and do that alone was probably quite testing. And I think he is her rock, really, and she is his." 

queen prince philip great grandchildren© The Duchess of Cambridge

Buckingham Palace shared this adorable photo of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh with seven of their great-grandchildren taken by the Duchess of Cambridge in Balmoral in 2018.

Future king Prince George stands proudly next to his great-grandmother, who is holding baby Prince Louis, while Princess Charlotte poses in the middle of her great-grandparents.

Prince Philip sits next to great-granddaughter, Isla Phillips, who is holding baby Lena Tindall.

Mia Tindall can be seen smiling on the right of the photograph, while the Queen and the Duke's eldest great-grandchild, Savannah Phillips, stands behind the sofa and her royal cousins. 

prince philip zara tindall kiss© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Anne's daughter Zara plants a tender kiss on her grandfather's cheek.

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