Prince Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten, was assassinated in 1979, during World War II. Shortly after the incident, rumors swirled that former IRA commander Martin McGuinness was the one who ordered his bombing.

During his interview with Vanity Fair, journalist James Reginato said that the public was appalled when they saw the Queen shaking the hands of Lord Mountbatten’s suspected killer. And to make things worse, Prince Philip and his relatives didn’t engage in the same gesture.

But during their interview, Lady Pamela Hicks and her sister, Patricia, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, praised the monarch for what she did. Patricia said that Her Majesty was absolutely right to shake the hands of Guinness.

“I very much approve of anything that will bring about peace. The whole point is to work toward a peaceful solution,” she said. Lady Pamela added, “What is the point of bitterness? It achieves nothing. We just hope that people who used to live together in peace will be able to do so again .”

Meanwhile, the sisters also reflected on how the assassination affected their family for years to come. According to Patricia, her father and mother-in-law had good and long lives.

“The overwhelming tragedy is the local boy and my son, who were just starting their lives,” she said.

In related news, the Queen also made headlines this week after it was revealed how she and Prince Charles gave their blessing to Prince William and Kate Middleton years ago.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl told Vanity Fair said that the two senior royals first gave the Duke of Cambridge permission to live his life away from the spotlight up to some extent, and the dad of three couldn’t be more grateful for this.

“William doesn’t want George and Charlotte going through some of the experiences he went through growing up. Everything he does regarding his family is very deliberate,” Nicholl said.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II is seen at the Chichester Theatre while visiting West Sussex on Nov. 30, 2017, in Chichester, United Kingdom. Getty Images/Stuart C. Wilson