William reveals how Philip’s jokes landed him in trouble with the Queen

Members of the royal family share the Duke of Edinburgh’s sense of fun in BBC documentary

The Duke of Edinburgh would get into the trouble with the Queen for playing a practical joke on his grandchildren that involved squirting mustard on the ceiling, the Duke of Cambridge has revealed.

William recalled Philip’s sense of fun in a BBC One documentary being screened on Wednesday. It features personal and poignant tributes to the duke, who died in April, from more than a dozen members of the UK royal family.

Both William and the Duke of Sussex separately told of how the Queen and Prince Philip would be amused when royal engagements went awry.

William said Philip loved to play a game at family barbecues using a squeezy mustard tube.

The duke said: “He used to take the lid off and put it in your hands… and then he’d squish your hands together to fire the mustard on to the ceiling.”

He added: “He used to get in a lot of trouble from my grandmother for covering most of the places we had lunch and things with mustard on the ceiling.”

Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall also told of the mustard escapades.

“I can’t remember exactly what he says but he ends up slamming your hands together … It goes all over the ceiling,” Zara said.

Mr Phillips said: “I actually think the marks are still there.”

The siblings also spoke about how the duke loved technology but would get frustrated with new gadgets.

“I just have memories of him getting a new laptop or a new printer, sitting in his office and hearing him shouting at it,” Mr Phillips said.

Both William and Harry said the Queen and Philip looked forward to unexpected events while carrying out their official duties together over the decades.

William said: “My grandfather loved things when they go wrong.

“Both my grandparents love that because you can imagine, they’ve lived a life where everything has to go right the whole time and so when things go wrong, they both chuckle an awful lot.

“Everyone else gets mortally embarrassed. They love it.”

Harry, who was filmed separately, laughed and echoed William’s thoughts, saying: “The two of them are going ‘Well I wonder if something’s gonna go wrong this year? How exciting’.”

Harry, using a cricket analogy, said Philip, who died two months before his 100th birthday, had a “fantastic innings”, scored a six, but “didn’t actually wanna get to a century”.

He spoke of the Queen’s bond with the duke, but said he knew the monarch would be “OK” without him.

“More than anything, I miss his humour but I miss him, I miss him more for my grandmother because I know how incredibly strong she was with him there. I also know that she’s gonna be OK without him,” Harry said.

He described the Queen and Philip as “the most adorable couple” who were very much in love.

Harry revealed how Philip would get his flying hours in while on official tours.

“I just imagine my grandmother sitting in the back of the plane having a cup of tea and going through turbulence and going “Oh, Philip, what are you doing?” he said.

William described his grandfather as “the heart of the family” and expressed his admiration for Philip giving up his successful career in the Navy to support a woman – the Queen – in the 1950s.

“It was very much a man’s world back then. And so for a man to give up his career to support a woman, albeit the Queen, was still quite a big step,” the duke said.

Charles laughed as he remembered Philip trying to teach him to drive a carriage.

The prince said: “It didn’t last very long because, I don’t know why, I got complete hysterics driving the thing up the long walk, with him getting more and more annoyed that I wasn’t concentrating properly.”

As the documentary looked at Philip’s artistic skills, Princess Eugenie said the duke gave her a picture he had painted of a bunch of flowers as a wedding present.

“It was so nice. It’s now sitting in my house in London and I’m so proud of it, you know?” she said.

The royal family, who started to be interviewed for a programme to mark Philip’s 100th birthday, also spoke of the duke’s no-nonsense approach, with William saying: “There’s no games played. He’s very up front”.

Alexandra McCreery, who was Philip’s archivist and worked with him for more than 30 years, described him as “quite tough” but a “very fair boss”.

“There was tremendous love for him, love for the office, loyalty to the private secretaries. They looked after us and, and we worked jolly hard for them so it was. It was a good ship to be in,” she said.

The Princess Royal, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Duchess of Cornwall and Lady Louise Windsor are among others who appear in the broadcast.

Prince Philip: The Royal Family Remembers will be shown in the UK on Wednesday, on BBC One at 9pm local time.

Updated: September 20th 2021, 11:01 PM
EDITOR'S PICKS
NEWSLETTERS