‘They all depended on him’ Jennie Bond’s insight into the Duke of Edinburgh’s family union

Prince Philip documentary: Bond on 'welcome' royal insight

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Former BBC royal correspondent, Jennie Bond, joined Roger Johnson and Nina Warhurst on Sunday morning on BBC Breakfast. Jennie was a guest on the show to talk about “Prince Philip the Royal Family Remembers”, a new BBC documentary surrounding Prince Phillip’s death. Talk turned to Prince Phillip, the love he had for his family and the bond they had.

After watching the documentary trailer, Roger began: “It is pretty rare to get them talking in this way, isn’t it?”

Agreeing, Jennie replied: “Yes, they don’t like giving a lot away about themselves, they are a very private family, as we all know.

“I think this will be a welcome change of image actually in the time it has been quite rough for the monarchy and the royal family,” she explained.

“Lately, with Prince Andrew’s court case pending, some bad publicity surrounding one of Prince Charles’ charities, this will be very welcome.”

She continued: “This will be a very affectionate portrait of the man who was really the lynchpin of the family for almost 100 years, as Prince Charles says.

“They’re all very lucky to have him for so long, and they all depended on him probably a lot more than any of us realised,” she told Roger.

Roger went on to ask: “Jennie, I was going to ask you about that because this is a programme that was conceived to celebrate his 100th birthday in the hope that he would make that landmark.

“Sadly, as we know, he died at the age of 99, but even today, the Prince Andrew allegations are in the papers, the access row over Prince Charles are in the papers.

“He would have been instrumental in trying to guide the family through this crisis,” Roger explained.

Giving her opinion on the statement Roger made, Jennie said: “Well, he would in his slightly younger years, I think when he reached his late 90s, he stood back and let the Queen be the matriarch that she is.

“She is very much now the head of the family, but Prince Phillip, as this documentary illustrates, was a man that they would go to with their problems,” She exclaimed.

“He was astounding, as Prince Harry says in the documentary, he was a fantastic listener, but he didn’t probe, he didn’t interrogate you about things.

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“He let you find your own space to air your problems and try and find and work your way through your problems; he was a facilitator in that direction.”

The BBC documentary includes interviews from a range of the Royal family, speaking about their experiences and the life of Prince Phillip.

Documentary makers went inside Buckingham Palace to meet the duke’s long-serving staff and to capture his study, private office, and library.

The documentary is set to air on BBC One at 9pm on Wednesday, September 22, giving viewers an insight into his life.

Speaking on the documentary, the BBC said: “With special access to the Queen’s private cine-film collection, this film is an unrivalled portrait of a man with a unique place in royal history.”

It was originally conceived to mark the duke’s 100th birthday in June, but the nation’s longest-serving consort died two months before his centenary.

In the trailer, members of the royal family can be seen paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, describing him as a “huge presence” who was “unapologetically him.”

More than a dozen members of the Royal Family have taken part, including all of the Queen’s children – the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, and the Earl of Wessex – and their grandchildren: the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, and Lady Louise Windsor.

BBC Breakfast airs every day from 6am on BBC One.

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