Prince Philip Told Royals to Follow 1 Rule When Doing TV Interviews, Friend Said

Royals tend to be very private people. Although they often appear in public to support charitable causes, they do not give many interviews to reporters. 

However, once in a while, a royal will sit down for a TV interview. In this case, the late Prince Philip had a rule he insisted they follow, according to a close friend.

Prince Philip wearing a hat, smiling
Prince Philip in 2017 | Victoria Jones – WPA Pool /Getty Images

Royals have done some famous TV interviews

Royal interviews are rather rare, but occasionally there will be some that appear and blow people away.

For example, Princess Diana’s 1995 interview with the BBC’s Panorama is one that people still talk about today. Sitting down with journalist Martin Bashir, the late princess opened up about the dark sides of her marriage to Prince Charles and royal life in general. This eventually led to her and Charles’ divorce, but the interview gave many people insights into the inner workings of the royal family.

Similarly, in early 2021, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had an interview with Oprah Winfrey that was aired on CBS. A year earlier, the couple had stepped down as senior royals and moved to California. In the interview, they criticized the royal family for not supporting them enough and even accused one royal of racism

Prince Philip reportedly told royals to follow 1 rule for TV interviews

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Prince Philip was the patriarch of the royal family for several decades until his death in April 2021. He guided other royals on many important matters, including interviews.

Earlier this year, and journalist and one of Philip’s close friends, Gyles Brandreth, shared the Duke of Edinburgh’s thoughts on Harry and Meghan’s Oprah interview. Here, it was also revealed that Philip had a rule for TV interviews.

“The fact that the Meghan and Harry interview was aired while Philip was in hospital did not trouble him,” Brandreth said (via Express), “What did worry him was the couple’s preoccupation with their own problems and willingness to talk about them in public.”

Brandreth continued, “‘Give TV interviews by all means’, he said, ‘but don’t talk about yourself.’ That was one of his rules. I know he shared it with his children. I imagine he shared it with his grandchildren, too.”

Prince Philip believed ‘no good would come of’ the Sussexes’ Oprah interview

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When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Oprah interview aired, Philip was dealing with severe health problems that would eventually lead to his death. According to Brandreth, he did not predict that the interview would be beneficial in any way.

“I know from someone close to him that he thought Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was ‘madness’ and ‘no good would come of it,’” Brandreth said. “I was not surprised because that is exactly how he described to me the personal TV interviews given by Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, back in the Nineties.”

According to research firm YouGov, in the months after the interview, Harry and Meghan’s popularity declined in the United Kingdom. Harry used to be one of the most popular royals, but he is now in 9th place with an approval rating of 36 percent. Meanwhile, Meghan is the second least popular royal with an approval rating of 28 percent.