Prince Philip 'crucial in helping coach William as future king’ & passed on his ‘serious and fun' nature to Duke & Harry

PRINCE Philip was "crucial in helping coach William" as the future King, a royal expert has said.

The Duke of Cambridge, 38, vowed to honour his grandfather through his own service to the Queen in a moving tribute last week.

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And royal historian Robert Lacey told People the Duke of Edinburgh played an important role in setting up Wills' future as head of the monarchy.

"Philip was crucial in helping coach William as a future King," he said.

"It was Philip's idea to set up the lunches between William and his grandmother.

"When the time came for the Queen to talk business with William, Philip would quietly excuse himself because he didn't feel that the constitutional side of the Queen's job was something he wanted to interfere in."

Princes William and Harry each gave moving tributes to their "grandpa" last week.

Harry, 36, hailed him as “master of the barbecue” and “legend of banter”.

And William praised his “infectious sense of adventure” as he talked of “his mischievous sense of humour”.

Reflecting on the tributes, Penny Junor said Philip passed on "elements of the serious and the fun" to his grandsons.

And Harry "very much got his sense of duty and active service from his grandfather".

The royal biographer told People that because "Harry is a much more relaxed character, he was able to bring in the more frivolous memories of his grandfather".

It comes after millions watched William and Harry speaking to each other as they walked side by side away from St George’s Chapel after Philip's funeral on Saturday.

They spoke for about four minutes — having been deliberately kept apart during the procession an hour earlier.

The brothers had walked in the procession behind their grandfather's coffin an hour earlier, separated by their cousin Peter Phillips.

But Robert Lacey believes the set-up should have been coordinated differently.

"The procession choreography, in retrospect, was a mistake," the author of the bestselling biography Battle of Brothers said.

"As we saw, they could have walked side-by-side quite happily after all.

"What pleased me afterward was that it all seemed so totally natural, and they drifted to each other like the old days."

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