This Morning's Alison Hammond rounds on Prince Harry critics in emotional speech fuming 'It's unfair – leave him alone'

ALISON Hammond leapt to the defence of Prince Harry with an emotional speech on This Morning.

She joined in a debate on the show about the statement he issued in the wake of Prince Philip's death pleading: "Just leave him alone."

The 46-year-old star was responding to a discussion with Tom Swarbrick during the news review where he likened Harry's statement that the late Duke was the "legend of banter" to "something a teenager might say".

Alison said: "Tom, I feel like whatever Harry says now, he is going to be criticised, and I think it's so unfair.

"Just leave him alone. He's just lost his grandad. Leave him alone."

Speaking about the "two very different" statements issued by Harry and his brother William, Tom said: "The Duke of Cambridge released a statement praising the Duke's lifetime of service to Queen, country and Commonwealth.

"Harry released his half an hour later with a contrasting statement, a master of the barbecue and a legend of banter. I suppose they are always going to be different."

He added: "The 'legend of banter' stuff is a bit discordant with the national mood and the sombre way people are responding to it, but it's his grandfather, it's his grief.

"Even if it is a bit like what a teenager might say, actually it's his relationship, let's back off."

Prince Philip – who was married to the Queen for 73 years and described as her constant "strength and stay" – passed away peacefully on Friday morning at the age of 99.

In a statement Prince Harry wrote: "He was authentically himself, with a seriously sharp wit, and could hold the attention of any room due to his charm – and also because you never knew what he might say next.

"He will be remembered as the longest reigning consort to the Monarch, a decorated serviceman, a Prince and a Duke.

"But to me, like many of you who have lost a loved one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right 'til the end.

"He has been a rock for Her Majesty The Queen with unparalleled devotion, by her side for 73 years of marriage, and while I could go on, I know that right now he woudl say to all of us, beer in hand, 'Oh do get on with it!'

"So on that note, Grandpa, thank you for your service, your dedication to Granny, and for always being yourself."

Prince Philip's funeral will be held at St George's Chapel on Saturday – the same place where Meghan Markle and Prince Harry got married.

The Queen, 94, is currently in an eight-day period of mourning for her husband of 73 years which is due to end on the day after her 95th birthday.

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