The passing of Prince Philip was certainly devastating for the royal family but only one grandchild will get to inherit something extremely special to him.
When Prince Philip passed away on April 9, 2021, he left behind a lot of heartbroken loved ones, especially his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II. But just because he's gone doesn't mean he's not putting a smile on his family's faces. Some of his favorite mementos will go to one very lucky royal grandchild who shares the same passion as him; the love of carriage riding.
The Duke of Edinburgh began driving carriages in the 1970s when he switched out of playing polo. In fact, he was credited for bringing the sport to the UK. As president of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, he not only helped draft the first international rules for the sport which sparked his interest, but he also represented Britain in three European championships and six world championships. In a book he wrote about the sport, he said, "I am getting old, my reactions are getting slower, and my memory is unreliable, but I have never lost the sheer pleasure of driving a team through the British countryside," according to Mirror UK.
However, he didn't keep the love for the sport to himself — he showed his granddaughter, 17-year-old Lady Louise, the ropes as well. And it is to her that he left his treasured ponies and the custom-made carriage filled with his prized possession during his funeral.
Daughter to Prince Philip's youngest son, Prince Edward, and Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, Lady Louise shares her grandfather's love of carriage riding. As a tribute to him, on the morning of his passing, she was seen in Windsor Great Park inside his carriage putting the ponies through their paces. Sources close to the royal family told the Daily Mail that the young lady plans to regularly exercise the ponies, Balmoral Nevis and Notlaw Storm, at Windsor.
As for the carriage, it is a simple polished dark green contraption that Prince Philip started using during his 90s to make his way around Windsor. At the funeral, his cap, whip, and brown gloves were kept on a folded blanket placed on the seat. A tiny red pot was also inside the carriage and contained sugar lumps that the late Duke of Edinburgh used to feed the ponies.
While paying tribute to Prince Philip, the Earl and Countess of Wessex shared some of the antics that he used to get into while driving the carriage around the Windsor estate. Sophie shared that he had been "pulled out of a few ditches here, I seem to remember," to which Prince Edward replied, "In the early days, yes, he used to have a few problems." Though he may not be around anymore physically, memories of Prince Philip's lively personality will help others remember him with love and happiness. R.I.P.
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Robin Jones / Stringer