The heartbreaking fear the Queen and Prince Philip had over Prince William following the death of Princess Diana is revealed

Prince William
(Image credit: Getty)

The heartbreaking fear the Queen and Prince Philip had over Prince William following the death of Princess Diana has been revealed.

The Queen and Prince Philip feared their grandson Prince William would "go off the rails" after the death of Princess Diana.

Prince William was just aged 15 and his brother Harry was 12 years old when their mother died in a car crash in Paris.

But despite having their father Prince Charles to take care of them, her Majesty was reportedly fearful that the Duke of Cambridge would be affected by the death of his mother, according to a royal source.

In the new ITV documentary Philip: Prince, Husband, Father, released following the death of Prince Philip aged 99, Martin Palmer, a close friend of Prince Philip, claimed that he and the Queen were worried that the young prince would be unable to handle the loss and it was of particular concern to the Firm because William is second in line to the throne in the royal succession.

Martin explained how a clip of the funeral showing Prince Philip comforting his grandson was particularly telling. He said the clip showed a grandfather who "is trying to help his young, very vulnerable grandson struggle through this awful, awful moment."

He added, "There's a moment where they go under the Horse Guards Parade arch where it's quite clear that Prince Philip - and I asked him about this he said, 'Yes, I didn't think the cameras could see us' - at that point, he turns to William, who he is walking beside and comforts him."

"He knew what it was like to be a member of a dysfunctional family and he did his damnedest to make sure that did not happen to his grandchildren."

Princess Diana, Prince William, Prince Harry

Princess Diana (1961 - 1997) with her sons Prince William (left) and Prince Harry on a skiing holiday in Lech, Austria, 30th March 1993. (Photo by Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)

Prince Philip's "dysfunctional" childhood was documented by author Sally Bedell Smith, who wrote in her book Elizabeth The Queen, she described how he was sent by his parents at the age of eight to England for boarding school.

The family eventually broke down. Philip's mother, who was born deaf, was ill periodically, diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent time in a sanitarium in Switzerland.

His father went off with his mistress to Monte Carlo, where he died in 1944.

And Philip was left to be brought up in the U.K. by his mother's family, shuffled among various relatives and boarding schools throughout his youth.

Selina Maycock
Senior Family Writer

Selina is a Senior Family Writer for GoodtoKnow and has more than 16 years years of experience. She specialises in royal family news, including the latest activities of Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet. She also covers the latest government, health and charity advice for families. Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism, and gained her NCTJ and NCE qualifications. During her career, she’s also written for Woman, Woman's Own, Woman&Home, and Woman's Weekly as well as Heat magazine, Bang Showbiz - and the Scunthorpe Telegraph. When she's not covering family news, you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories (including award-winning scarecrows!)