Prince Philip's poignant last words to Charles as he remained witty to very end

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Prince Philip
Prince Philip's poignant last words to Charles as he remained witty to very end

King Charles revealed his late father the Duke of Edinburgh was cracking zingers to the very end. Prince Philip's famed wit earned the royal equal measures of fandom and controversy over the years. And, true to form, the 99-year-old couldn't resist one last one wisecrack the day before he died, according to his son.

The King revealed what would probably prove to be his father's final words to him before he peacefully died after a long and extraordinary life. Charles said he rang the duke at Windsor Castle to ask him what he would like to do to celebrate his 100th birthday.

In an intimate interview, he describes how he tentatively broached the subject with his father on April 8, daring to suggest a party he knew Philip was not keen on. "We're talking about your birthday," Charles says he told his dad.

Knowing his father was slightly hard of hearing, he then repeated himself more loudly, according to the Mail emphasising: 'We're talking about your birthday! And whether there's going to be a reception!' Philip replied sharply, without missing a beat: "Well, I've got to be alive for it, haven't I?"

Charles told him: "'I knew you'd say that!" The exchange, which was one of their last before Philip passed away at Windsor in April, was recalled by his son in a BBC one special being broadcast next week.

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Prince Philip's poignant last words to Charles as he remained witty to very endHarry tells the BBC in his interview how much his grandparents' marriage has inspired him (Getty Images)
Prince Philip's poignant last words to Charles as he remained witty to very endPhilip's children: Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, attend his funeral at Windsor Castle in April (WPA Pool/Getty Images)

In Prince Philip : The Royal Family Remembers, Charles was joined by the full cast of senior royals to pay tribute to Philip's life and legacy. Prince Harry - in what was his first appearance in royal family duties since splitting from the 'firm' - was filmed speaking about his grandfather from his new home in California. He tells the documentary-makers Philip's marriage to the Queen continued to inspire him.

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"From my grandmother's perspective, to have someone like that on your shoulder for 73 years of marriage – it doesn't get better than that," Harry says. Princess Anne, the duke's only daughter, also reveals he always read his children a bedtime story as she recounts touching childhood memories.

Prince William also paid tribute to his grandfather's world renowned sense of humour - recalling how nothing could rattle the duke. William recalls his grandfather stopping his vehicle to ask a group of young walkers participating in Philip's pride and joy Duke of Edinburgh outdoors skills award on the Balmoral estate - enquiring how they were getting on. One of them apparently chirped back: "Jog on grandpa," to which William said his grandfather turned back to him delightedly, remarking: "the youth of today!'

Prince Philip: The Royal Family Remembers, Wednesday, 9pm, BBC1

Talia Shadwell

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