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Princess Diana’s bond with Prince Philip exposed in sweet letters – with surprise nickname

Prince Philip: William pays tribute to 'extraordinary' grandfather

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Prince Philip, who passed away on Friday aged 99, made a special effort to make Princess Diana feel welcome when she joined the Royal Family in 1981. The pair became close over the years and frequently exchanged letters, with the Duke signing off correspondence to his daughter-in-law “with fondest love, Pa”. Philip also used to offer Diana relationship advice and strove to help the royal heal her relationship with her husband Prince Charles.

Diana married Prince Charles in 1981, after courting for less than a year.

The Duke of Edinburgh is said to have encouraged the marriage, as he was keen for his eldest son and heir to settle down.

Philip took a great shine to Diana, with the pair often conversing and sitting next to each other at formal dinners and events.

The pair exchanged a series of letters in 1992, prior to Diana and Charles’s separation in December of that year.

The correspondence shows just how close Diana was to her father-in-law, with the Duke offering her frank advice and signing off each letter with a touching message.

Philip referred to himself and his wife, the Queen, as “Ma and Pa”.

In one letter, he wrote: “I can only repeat what I have said before.

“If invited, I will do my utmost to help you and Charles to the best of my ability.

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“But I am quite ready to concede that I have no talent as a marriage counsellor!”

In response, Diana wrote: “Dearest Pa, I was particularly touched by your most recent letter, which proved to me, if I did not already know it, that you really do care.

“You are very modest about your marriage guidance skills, and I disagree with you!”

Another letter from the young royal read: “I would like you to know how much I admire you for the marvellous way in which you have tried to come to terms with this intensely difficult family problem.”

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The exchange, revealed at Diana and Dodi Al Fayad’s inquest in 2007, also showed the pair discussed the Prince of Wales’s infamous affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.

Philip wrote in one letter: “We do not approve of either of you having lovers.

“Charles was silly to risk everything with Camilla for a man in his position.

“We never dreamed he might feel like leaving you for her.

“I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind leaving you for Camilla.

“Such a prospect never even entered our heads.”

But not all of Philip’s letters were glowing, and in one rather blunt exchange he said: “Can you honestly look into your heart and say that Charles’s relationship with Camilla had nothing to do with your behaviour towards him in your marriage?”

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