Princess Anne reveals side of Prince Philip 'not many people understood' in emotional tribute on his 100th birthday

Princess Anne, Princess Royal walks past the Australian War Memorial during a dawn service to commemorate Anzac Day at Wellington Arch on April 25, 2021 in London, United Kingdom
(Image credit: Photo by Jonathan Brady - Pool/Getty Images)

Princess Anne has spoken out to reveal the side of Prince Philip that “not many people understood” on what would have been his 100th birthday.

Princess Anne has candidly spoken about her father Prince Philip in what is said to be her first new interview since he sadly passed away (opens in new tab) in April. The Princess Royal is the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s only daughter and she was the only royal woman to walk behind his coffin on the day of Prince Philip’s funeral (opens in new tab). Though she is a prominent senior member of The Firm (opens in new tab), Princess Anne is often perceived by fans to be one of the most down-to-earth royals.

After being hilariously mistaken for Hollywood actor Tom Cruise (opens in new tab) as she departed from a recent royal outing last month, Princess Anne’s sense of humour really captured the hearts of certain local residents.

Though it was her warmth as she discussed Prince Philip on what would have been his 100th birthday that will no doubt resonate with royal fans today.

See more

Speaking to ITV News Royal Editor, Chris Ship, the Princess Royal opened up on a side of the Duke of Edinburgh many people might not know about.

“There were not many people who understood just how broad his interests were and how supportive he was of an astonishingly wide range of organisations. And his perspective was really important,” she explained.

Princess Anne then went on to recall how Philip’s vibrant life had made him such an inquisitive person, stating: “I think your life experience makes a huge impact. He’d seen a lot of it and across a really wide area of both work and industry and in academia.”

"He probably asked more questions than he gave opinions. He was always good at that,” she added.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh with his daughter, Princess Anne, circa 1980

Princess Anne’s reflections came as she presented the award for engineering, which recognises an individual’s special contribution to this field. As reported by, the award had never before been awarded to a female engineer, though this year, Anne presented the medal, which bears her father's name, to Dr Gladys West via video link.

Dr West received it in recognition of how her work modelling the earth’s surface led to the development of GPS satellite positioning. As a former Naval Officer and navigator, Anne reportedly stated that Gladys’ work was “particularly relevant” to her late father. 

It’s understood that The Royal Academy of Engineering had always planned to issue a special centenary award of The Prince Philip Medal to mark his 100th birthday.