Long before Prince Philip comforted his grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry after the death of their mom Princess Diana, the Duke of Edinburgh helped another bereaved young boy: John F. Kennedy Jr. In the wake of the Queen’s husband’s passing, West Wing Reports (edited by Paul Brandus) tweeted a story about how Prince Philip entertained Jackie Kennedy’s son days after his father President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
A story about Prince Philip, who died today at 99. The weekend of the Kennedy assassination, he flew to Washington for the funeral. At the White House on Sunday, Nov. 24, 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy was looking for John Jr. and opened the door to his playroom. There she found (more)— West Wing Reports (edited by Paul Brandus) (@WestWingReport) April 9, 2021
“The weekend of the Kennedy assassination, he flew to Washington for the funeral. At the White House on Sunday, Nov. 24, 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy was looking for John Jr. and opened the door to his playroom,” West Wing Reports tweeted. “There she found the Prince sprawled on the floor, playing and laughing with the murdered president’s son. Days from his 3d birthday, John had said earlier that he “didn’t have anybody to play with” (also: “where’s Daddy?”) and her Majesty’s husband decided that he would entertain the boy. RIP.”
The account also shared a photo of Prince Philip standing next to John Jr., holding his hand. The image was taken during the inauguration of Britain’s Kennedy memorial at Runnymede in 1965. Fast-forward to 1997, and the Duke walked alongside William as he and Harry followed their mother’s coffin, which the Duke of Cambridge has previously described as “one of the hardest things” that he’s ever done.
Princess Anne spoke about her father’s decision to walk with his grandsons in an interview with ITV News. She recalled, “I seem to remember him saying that in fact, it was a question of, ‘If you’ll do it, I’ll do it.’ And that was him as a grandfather saying to them, ‘If you want me to be there, if that’s what you want to do and if you want me to be there, I will be there.’”
Prince Philip, the longest-serving consort in British history, passed away on April 9 at Windsor Castle. The Duke’s ceremonial royal funeral will take place April 17 at St. George’s Chapel. On Saturday, a palace spokesperson said (via AP), “Although the ceremonial arrangements are reduced, the occasion will still celebrate and recognize the duke’s life and his more than 70 years of service to the Queen, the UK and the Commonwealth.”