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Prince Philip’s death may help ‘heal’ royal rift between Harry and William, says author

Prince Philip: Prince Harry may have 'regrets' claims Myers

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Adrian Tinniswood said it is impossible to overstate the importance of the Duke of Edinburgh in the context of the modern Royal Family – while he stressed the institution will nevertheless adapt and move on in his absence Mr Tinniswood, senior research fellow in history at the University of Buckingham and the author of Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the Royal Household, was speaking at a time of intense speculation about the Duke’s funeral.

Specifically, commentators are wondering about what role Prince Harry will play, with the Duke’s death coming just weeks after he and wife Meghan Markle’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey in the US, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex relocated with baby Archie last year after controversially stepping down as frontline royals.

Mr Tinniswood said it was difficult to say with any degree of certainty, but predicted the occasion of the funeral, which Harry is returning to the UK for, was an ideal opportunity for a reset, particularly between Harry and brother Prince William.

He told Express.co.uk: “I would have to say, on a personal level, I’d hope that it would heal some rifts and bring people together.

“Time will tell – we are talking hours after the event but it does happen.

“But it does happen – things like this, sadnesses like this, bring people together sometimes.

“It’s the same with any family really at these occasions.”

Irrespective, it was impossible to overstate the Duke’s importance, Mr Tinniswood said.

He explained: “As far as his significance is concerned, I think it’s enormous.

“Because the almost banal conventional view is that he was a tremendous support to the Queen but actually he was.

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“They had ups and downs, highs and lows like any marriages but I think a lot of the problems initially, were about him coming to terms with being a consort, not being a king, not being an equal.

“And he came to terms with that – he became not only a sort of pivot around which the rest of the royal household revolved in lots of ways on a family level but as far as royal history is concerned he became an iconic figure.”

The Duke endured a difficult childhood, having been separated from his family as a result of the fallout from the Greco-Turkish war of 1919-1922, eventually being sent to the UK, where he lived with his maternal grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, and attending Gordonstoun School in Scotland.

As a result, Prince Philip was always regarded as something of a loner in his youth, Mr Tinniswood said.

He added: “I think initially it’s true that he was an outsider, but I’ve just been reading about, about Edward VIII and his wife Queen Alexandra and of course Alexandra being a Dane, was an outsider.

“So there is a tradition of members of the Royal Family and sovereigns certainly marrying

“Almost inevitably the sovereign’s spouse is going to be an outsider initially.

“And it is a mark of his success I think he made himself such an insider. He overcame that.”

Looking to the future, while the loss of the Duke would come as a colossal blow to the Queen, Mr Tinniswood was confident the Windsors would adjust.

He said: “As far as being a challenge to the Royal Family is concerned, no it isn’t.

“It’s a terrible thing, it’s very, very sad day but the Crown moves on, the Crown is an institution is much bigger than one person, even a person is as important and charismatic as the Duke of Edinburgh.”

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