Anne calls Philip ‘my teacher, supporter and critic’ in touching tribute

Tess de la Mare and Laura Elston
·3 min read

The Princess Royal has paid a moving tribute to her father, describing him as “my teacher, my supporter and my critic”.

In a touching message released by Buckingham Palace, Anne said it was her father’s example of a “life well lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate”.

Duke of Edinburgh death
The Duke of Edinburgh with Princess Anne and Prince Andrew in his pram in 1960 (PA)

Anne personally chose a photograph of herself with the duke to accompany her words.

The pair were shown laughing as they sat side by side in the sunshine while watching the Dressage stage of the Eventing in Greenwich Park during the London 2012 Olympics.

Anne, whose daughter Zara Tindall won an Olympic silver medal in the team eventing that year, was wearing sunglasses and a Team GB sun hat and jacket, while Philip was dapper in a straw boater and suit and tie.

Watch: Princess Anne speaks about Prince Philip's legacy

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The princess described how her father’s death at the age of 99 was not unexpected, but she admitted she was not really ready for it.

She wrote, in the message which was also shared on the royal’s family’s social media accounts: “You know it’s going to happen but you are never really ready.

“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.”

Anne and Philip
Princess Anne with her father in 1985 (Ron Bell/PA)

She continued: “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.”

A young Anne with brother Charles and father Philip
A young Anne with brother Charles and father Philip at Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park in 1956 (PA)

She finished with the words: “I would like to emphasise how much the family appreciate the messages and memories of so many people whose lives he also touched.

“We will miss him but he leaves a legacy which can inspire us all.”

Anne was Philip’s only daughter and the pair were similarly matched.

Philip and Anne
The Duke of Edinburgh shares a joke with his daughter Anne at the general assembly of the International Equestrian Association in 1986 (PA)

They shared a love of sport, particularly their passion for equestrianism.

Both were known for their no-nonsense ‘take-no-prisoners’ approach and their hardworking dedication to royal duty.

“The key to the princess is that she is Prince Philip in skirts,” royal author Lady Colin Campbell once wrote.

Watch: Queen left with ‘huge void in her life’ says Prince Andrew