Prince Harry has revealed his late grandfather Prince Philip urged him to stay safe when he went to serve in Afghanistan and told him: “Come back alive.”
Harry, who was deployed twice to Helmand province, says the Duke of Edinburgh gave him space to talk about his time in the war-torn country and would “never probe” but always listen.
He pays tribute in a new documentary on BBC One this week.
The moving film was originally intended to celebrate the Duke’s 100th birthday, but he died in April, two months before his centenary.
Philip, who served in the Royal Navy in the Second World War, had sound advice for his grandson.
Harry says: “Going off to Afghanistan, he was very matter of fact and just said, ‘Make sure you come back alive.’ Then, when I came back, there wasn’t a deep level of discussion – more a case of, ‘Well you made it. How was it?’
“That’s how he was. He was very much a listener, he sort of set the scene for you to be able to share as much as you wanted to share. But he would never probe.”
All of Philip’s children and grandchildren pay tribute in the new film and speak with affection about the man who was a central figure in their lives.
The Duke loved barbecues so much he once asked a Sandringham engineer to build a special trailer for his cooking kit.
Prince Charles recalls: “He adored barbecuing and he turned that into an interesting art form.”
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But he admits: “I could never get the fire to light or something ghastly so (he’d say): ‘Go away!”’
William says his grandad was “a dab hand” at outdoor cooking, adding: “I can safely say there’s never been a case of food poisoning in the family attributed to the Duke of Edinburgh.”
And Sophie, Countess of Wessex says he loved cookery shows and reveals Hairy Bikers was “one of his favourites”.
The Queen is not interviewed, but granted access to her film collection.
The documentary also goes inside Buckingham Palace to capture the study, office and library used by the Duke during 70 years of public service.
■ Prince Philip : The Royal Family Remembers is on BBC One at 9pm on Wednesday.