Prince William pens moving tribute as he shares new picture of Prince Philip with Prince George

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·6-min read

Watch: Queen described loss of Duke of Edinburgh as a 'huge void in her life', says Prince Andrew

Prince William has shared a never-before-seen picture of his son Prince George with Prince Philip as he released a personal tribute to his late grandfather.

William, 38, said the Duke of Edinburgh's life was "defined by service" and that he was pleased his wife the Duchess of Cambridge had been able to get to know him over the years.

William 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!

"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."

The Duke of Cambridge chose this image to accompany his tribute to his late grandfather. (Kensington Palace)
The Duke of Cambridge chose this image to accompany his tribute to his late grandfather. (The Duchess of Cambridge)

Read more: Prince Harry shares tribute to Prince Philip: 'He was a master of the barbecue and legend of banter'

The tribute, which was shared on the Royal Family social media accounts on Monday, was accompanied by a picture of the duke in a carriage with a younger Prince George.

The picture was taken in Norfolk in 2015 by the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Duke of Edinburgh, a keen carriage driver well into his 90s, smiles at the camera while his great-grandson George looks off to the side, holding a book. 

William's tribute followed messages from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh's children over the weekend.

Prince Charles, 72, released an unscripted video from outside his home at Highgrove, and said: "As you can imagine, my family and I miss my father enormously. He was a much-loved and appreciated figure and apart from anything else, I can imagine, he would be so deeply touched by the number of other people here and elsewhere around the world and the Commonwealth, who also I think, share our loss and our sorrow.

"My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that. It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time."

Princess Anne shared this picture with her tribute to her father. (Buckingham Palace)
Princess Anne shared this picture with her tribute to her father. (Buckingham Palace)

Read more: Who will support the Queen after Prince Philip's death?

Then, sharing a photograph on Instagram, Anne the Princess Royal said: "My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate.

"His ability to treat every person as an individual in their own right with their own skills comes through all the organisations with which he was involved. I regard it as an honour and a privilege to have been asked to follow in his footsteps and it has been a pleasure to have kept him in touch with their activities. I know how much he meant to them, in the UK, across the Commonwealth and in the wider world."

On Sunday morning, princes Andrew and Edward, the youngest sons of the Queen and the duke, shared their thoughts after leaving a service at St George's Chapel in Windsor.

Prince Andrew said: "We’ve lost almost the grandfather of the nation."

Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, said the Queen was "thinking of others before herself", to which Edward added: "As always. But bearing up, and again it’s just that wave of affection for him and just those lovely stories."

Watch: Prince Charles: We will miss Prince Philip enormously

Moments after William shared his statement, his younger brother Harry also released his thoughts, in which he said his grandfather had been "cheeky right 'til the end". 

Harry said: "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.

"'Per Mare, Per Terram.'"

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 31: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Pool/Indigo/Getty Images)
Prince Harry and Prince Philip at the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match at Twickenham Stadium in 2015. (Max Mumby/Pool/Indigo/Getty Images)

Read more: Who's who: The 30 royals who might be at Prince Philip's funeral

Philip's funeral will be a small event, with just 30 mourners allowed under current COVID guidelines.

Harry has flown back to the UK to be there, but the final guest list won't be confirmed until Thursday.

No part of the day will be viewable to the public from outside Windsor Castle as they prevent crowds gathering.

Watch: The wonderful life of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh