A touching moment between the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, and John F Kennedy Jr in the wake of JFK's assassination, in 1963.
In the wake of Prince Philip's sad death on Apr 9, 2021, the whole of the United Kingdom has been in a state of mourning. Tributes to the late Duke of Edinburgh have been pouring in from around the world, and many have taken the opportunity to share their memories of the man.
Details about Prince Philip's funeral have been released, while members of the Royal Family have offered tributes to their late father. Now, a story has emerged about Prince Philip helping a young John F. Kennedy Jr in the wake of his father's assassination.
Author Paul Brandus detailed in a tweet how Prince Philip consoled a two-year-old JFK Jr. after flying to Washington, D.C., for President John F. Kennedy's funeral.
Brandus said "The weekend of the Kennedy assassination, he (Prince Philip) flew to Washington for the funeral. At the White House on Sunday, Nov. 24, 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy was looking for John Jr. and opened the door to his playroom. There she found the Prince sprawled on the floor, playing and laughing with the murdered president's son. Days from his 3d birthday, John had said earlier that he "didn't have anybody to play with" (also: "where's Daddy?") and her Majesty's husband decided that he would entertain the boy. RIP."
A story about Prince Philip, who died today at 99. The weekend of the Kennedy assassination, he flew to Washington for the funeral. At the White House on Sunday, Nov. 24, 1963, Jacqueline Kennedy was looking for John Jr. and opened the door to his playroom. There she found (more)— West Wing Reports (edited by Paul Brandus) (@WestWingReport) April 9, 2021
Brandus also shared a photo of Prince Philip holding the young boy's hand.
3/— West Wing Reports (edited by Paul Brandus) (@WestWingReport) April 9, 2021
...in May 1965, the British government gave an acre of land to the United States for a memorial to the murdered president at Runnymede - site, 750 years earlier, of King John signing the Magna Carta. Here, John Jr. holds hands with his Mom and the Prince pic.twitter.com/0dYzzurTcd
It is also of course worth noting the role Prince Philip played for Harry and William following their mother's death. The Duke of Edinburgh was reportedly a pillar of strength for the young men in the aftermath of Princess Diana's death.
Prince Philip notably urged Prince William and Harry to walk behind their mother's hearse at her funeral, which William has spoken about in recent years. William and Harry's relationship with their grandfather stayed strong as they both grew older.
* Originally published on our sister website, British Heritage Travel in 2021, updated in March 2023.