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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Prince Philip: Like Meghan, he had a hard life at Buckingham


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An exceptional pillar of the monarchy, Prince Philip has, like Meghan Markle or Lady Diana, known a difficult daily life at Buckingham. This is in any case what the author Ian Lloyd reveals in his book The Duke.

While he used to put the Firm in order, there was a time when Prince Philip struggled to get used to life at Buckingham, decades before Meghan Markle complained about the daily routine to Oprah Winfrey. The man the ex-actress said she was close to, however, got a frosty reception from the Windsors, according to the book The Duke. In it, British author Ian Lloyd traces the first steps of the late Duke of Edinburgh within the monarchy. After a first Christmas with his future in-laws in 1943, he made his way in the midst of adversity. Quoted by biographer Harold Nicolson, George VI’s private secretary Tommy Lascelles revealed that Her Majesty Elizabeth II’s parents initially found him “hard, ill-tempered, ill-educated” and were certain that he would be an unfaithful husband.

It must be said that the Queen Mother had other expectations for her eldest daughter. Concerned about her future, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon had drawn up a list of eligible bachelors for her. Young men from the British aristocracy, sensitive and charming. Perfect husbands and sons-in-law in her eyes, and therefore everything that Her Majesty Elizabeth II did not dream of. Far from being convinced by Prince Philip, this young man she called “the Hun”, the Queen Mother would have been prey to an anti-Germanic feeling, as Ian Lloyd deciphers. A few years before sharing her table with him, she had been struck to the heart by the death of his brother Fergus, during the First World War.

Le prince Philip et Sa Majesté Elizabeth II en juillet 1947, à la suite de leurs fiançailles
Mirrorpix / Bestimage
Prince Philip and Her Majesty Elizabeth II in July 1947, following their engagement

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They did not get along well

Fortunately for him, Prince Philip was able to impose himself on his in-laws, especially on the side of King George VI, who saw in him a man “intelligent [and] full of humor.” “I like Philip,” he wrote to his mother as early as 1944. But another woman was quickly exasperated by the interested party. After his mother, it was Princess Margaret’s turn to express her reservations about her sister’s relationship. This one, in her eyes, deserved better than such a boring man. “His Highness and Prince Philip did not get along well,” recounted the historian Sir Roy Strong, relying on the words of a close to the monarchy, “all his jokes about the Navy irritated him.”

The people uncompromising with Philip

The greatest similarity he cultivates with Meghan Markle remains his relationship with the opinion. Engaged as early as July 1947 to the young Princess Elizabeth, Prince Philip was confronted with the public gaze, especially that of the press, which constantly hounded him in the streets of London. Then came the poll, shortly after obtaining his British citizenship, according to which 40% of the people were opposed to their union. His origins, the fruits of a nomadic youth, were the cause of this outcry. “Nobody knew if he was of Greek, Danish, German or British origin,” according to Ian Lloyd. Persevering, Prince Philip finally won over his subjects through his dedication to the Crown… and, no doubt, thanks to his propensity for gaffe.

Photo credits: AGENCY / BESTIMAGE

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