Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy says Prince Philip’s death on Friday marks a “very sad time” for the whole of the Commonwealth.
“But, it’s a perfect time for us to really think about what a life of service the Duke of Edinburgh has led,” she told Breakfast.
Dame Patsy said the prince consort had an extraordinary life of service, and really made the role his own at a time where there wasn’t a role model.
Prince Philip was “a trailblazer in his own right”, she added.
This was evident during her lunch with Prince Philip and the Queen in 2016, as she began her role as New Zealand's Governor-General, Dame Patsy said.
“It was an equal and interesting conversation. Very relaxed,” she said of the dynamic between the prince and the Queen.
“He was very much a no-nonsense person, but that makes him sound a bit gruff.
“To be frank, I didn’t know what to expect. Actually, he was very charming. He was engaged with us.”
Dame Patsy said Prince Philip had a beer with his lunch, and would fit in with any Kiwi household.
He also questioned why Dame Patsy and her husband were vegetarians when lunch was served.
Dame Patsy said she’d told the Duke of Edinburgh it was because they wanted to take better care of their health, and that they were also concerned for the environment and animal welfare.
The prince then explained he’d asked because one of his sisters was vegetarian, calling her “mad” in a loving manner, she said.