When the Duke of Cambridge was introduced to Matt Smith, the actor who would play his grandfather in The Crown, at a charity event a few years ago, he was asked if he had any advice. “Just one word,” came the reply. “Legend.” The Duke of Edinburgh was a huge presence in Prince William’s life, playing a critical role as mentor, role model and sounding board. Both of similar temperaments, pragmatic, plain speaking and quick witted, the Duke saw a lot of himself in his grandson. He is thought to have felt assured that the institution of the monarchy, to which he had dedicated almost his entire adult life, was in safe hands. From their adoration of Africa to their environmental interests, their love of sailing, horses and polo, the two men shared many common interests. Both were pilots and passionate about shooting and land management. Their relationship was strengthened following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, when the Duke immediately took on the role of staunch defender.