Prince Philip: The Man Behind the Throne (2021) Movie Script

is that curious phenomenon
that mixes fairy tale
and reality.
It's Cinderella,
but this time,
the prince is real.
Philip was the penniless prince
who led a remarkable life.
He's not Greek.
The Greek royal family has
no Greek blood whatsoever.
They were Danish.
He was a gorgeous blonde Viking.
You can see why a young girl
would fall in love with him.
NARRATOR: But he had to make
sacrifices for his place.
Lord Mountbatten
was one of the conspirators
who set Prince Philip up.
They changed his name,
they changed his religion,
they put him
into the British Navy
and they made him
a British citizen.
It was made quite clear to him
it doesn't really matter.
He just had to turn up.
For somebody as active as he,
that wasn't funny.
There was a period
early on when he thought,
"I'm not sure
whether I'm cut out for this."
And his quest for control
brought strain.
Yes, Prince Philip
can have a bit of a temper.
Yes, he can shout at you.
He likes a good discussion.
And if the discussion
becomes heated,
so much the better.
NARRATOR: Philip shaped his life
through discipline.
He was dynamic.
He was intelligent.
He was imaginative.
He was a man who liked
to be moving forward
at all points,
a man of action.
he did was by sheer willpower.
He gave up smoking
on the morning of his marriage.
He had his last cigarette,
put it out, and never looked
at another one again.
And of course, he was charming.
He could get away with anything.
NARRATOR: But his legacy proved
his biggest challenge.
He was the man of the house.
He was head of the family.
What he said goes.
Charles wasn't the man
that he wanted him to be,
and that used to
really rile him.
belonged to the generation
where you don't complain
about your childhood,
you just get on with life.
These are the cards
you've been dealt with.
You play the hand you've got.
COMMENTATOR: Among the first
to declare himself
is her own husband,
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
he kisses the Queen's cheek
and touches the Queen's crown
in token of his readiness
to help her bear its burden.
The thing you've got to remember
about the Duke of Edinburgh
is that he was more royal
than anybody
you're ever likely to meet.
He was more royal
than the Queen.
Both the Queen
and the Duke of Edinburgh
were great, great grandchildren
of Queen Victoria.
But the Queen was descended
on one side from aristocracy,
on the other side from royalty.
With the Duke of Edinburgh,
on both sides of his family,
he was descended
from royalty, kings, queens,
kaisers, tsars.
He was related to them all.
Princess Alice of Battenberg,
Prince Philip's mother,
was born in the presence
of her great grandmother,
Queen Victoria,
at Windsor Castle in 1885.
She was the first
of the great grandchildren
to be born.
She descended
from Princess Alice of Hesse
who had died.
So Queen Victoria had
rather adopted her mother,
Victoria of Battenberg.
She was an unusual figure.
She was hard of hearing,
highly intelligent.
Many of Prince Philip's
in terms of his interest
in public service,
his caring side,
the interest in the environment,
in spiritual matters,
that all came from his mother.
Her life was difficult
because everything
that she had held sacred
was overthrown
in the First World War.
And her two aunts,
the Tsarina
and the Grand Duchess Ella,
were murdered in Russia.
She was actually
almost completely stone-deaf
because her Eustachian tubes
were blocked,
so this was quite isolating.
She was a very beautiful
and intelligent girl.
NARRATOR: Philip's father had
an even more royal birthright.
The Greeks
basically ran out of royals,
and so they imported
the Danish royal family,
and they basically became
the royal family of Greece.
Prince Philip
was a Prince of Greece,
though he had no great fondness
for the Greeks,
he once told me,
because his grandfather
was assassinated.
The Greek royal family
were forever going
in and out of exile.
One of the Kings of Greece said
the prerequisite of being
a king of Greece
is you have a suitcase
permanently packed.
Princess Alice married
Prince Andrew of Greece
and went to live in Greece.
She then had four daughters
and then, much later,
the son, Prince Philip.
He was born on the kitchen table
in the house
called Mon Repos in Corfu.
In those days,
babies were born at home.
I guess the kitchen table
is as good as anything.
NARRATOR: The new baby was named
Philippos Andreou
of Schleswig-Holstein-
Prince of Greece and Denmark.
But almost
as soon as he was born,
things went wrong
for the Greek royal family.
Prince Andrew of Greece
was arrested and put on trial,
a show trial, accused of treason
and was due possibly
to be executed.
They only got out by the skin
of their teeth, really.
They were rescued
by the British Royal Navy.
They took refuge
in a suburb of Paris,
where they lived
for the next seven years.
Prince and Princess Andrew,
his parents,
didn't have any money.
So they had to rely
on the kindness of actually
one or two rich aunts
like Edwina Mountbatten,
wife of Lord Mountbatten,
who paid
for Prince Philip's education.
The heiress was married
to Philip's high flying
and dynastic ambitious uncle.
His father floated down
to the south of France,
where he ended up living
with a mistress on a yacht.
His mother had
a nervous breakdown
and ended up in an asylum
in Switzerland.
And for several years,
Prince Philip
saw neither of his parents,
he didn't see his mother
for two or three years,
not a birthday card,
not a Christmas card,
no communication of any kind.
When I asked him about this,
he sort of dismissed it.
He said that wasn't, you know,
unusual, these things happen.
Prince Philip
always held his father
in very high esteem.
And when I wrote
a biography of his mother,
he bridled
at every mention of his father.
So what I would say
is that he's managed
to convince me
that he thinks his father
was a good father.
But I'm afraid
he hasn't actually convinced me
that his father
was a good father.
And I'm afraid his father
was rather a broken man.
When he was in exile in Paris,
he would go down to the Ritz
and have a few drinks
with friends
and tell a few jokes.
And that's sort of
how he got through life.
Members of the royal family
don't like being in exile,
they want to serve
their countries.
And they feel terribly
disappointed if they're not.
At one point in a draft
of the book I wrote,
Prince Andrew surrendered
the role of husband and father,
and Prince Philip wrote
in the margin, nonsense,
I had a holiday of three days
with him every summer.
It's not my idea of being
a good father.
His father had sort of
fled the family home,
was a dissolute figure
who gambled away
what family savings
there were in the casinos
in Monte Carlo,
and his mother latterly
became a nun
and went into holy orders.
So it's a slightly
eccentric background.
Prince Philip was a dutiful son,
despite the fact
that during a lot of his life,
his mother wasn't around.
And he used to write to her
copious letters describing
things that he'd been doing.
So it was a close relationship.
And in her fading years,
she went to live
at Buckingham Palace.
And Earl Mountbatten,
Prince Philip's uncle used
to call her Alice at the Palace.
Prince Philip said to me once,
you know, "My father was away,
my mother was ill,
I just had to get on with it.
Philip became a refugee
at distant
relatives' country estates.
Prince Philip
had no money at all.
The family
had lots of rich relations,
who had lots of castles
and lovely homes,
but personally,
no money whatsoever,
and he even
had to put cardboard
in the soles of his shoes
because there were holes
in them.
So, I mean,
he was really penniless.
It didn't bother him
because he was so confident.
RICHARD KAY: Philip had been
raised by aunts, uncles,
cousins, sisters.
He'd had to fend for himself,
he'd had to sort of stand up
for himself,
and he'd done
a very good job of that.
He never really talked
about this difficult childhood,
but it must have been
hugely challenging.
The only evidence of it
you'll ever find
is in visitors' books.
You go to visitors' books
from the 1930s,
different houses that he's been.
I've seen it a couple of times.
He would be visiting a house,
and he'd put his name
in the name list,
signing the address
in the visitors' book,
his name,
and then on the address column,
he'd simply put, no fixed abode.
So he must have been aware
during his childhood
that he had no fixed abode,
but he never complained
about it.
The great stability
in his early life
was his grandmother, Victoria,
Princess Louis of Battenberg,
later Marchioness
of Milford Haven,
and she was the one
who bought him
his school clothes
'cause his father
didn't really bother with him
and his mother wasn't there.
Education provided a structure
to the young prince's life.
Prince Philip was at school
in Germany in Baden,
where one of his sisters
was living,
and they had
this brilliant headmaster,
Kurt Hahn, who very quickly saw
what was happening in Germany
and the rise of Nazidom.
And so he moved his whole
enterprise to Scotland,
to Gordonstoun
and set up the school there.
Gordonstoun is a remote
Scottish boarding school
with a curriculum focused
on fitness,
initiative, and self-discipline.
He responded very well
to that sort of outward
bound way of life,
which was sort of making
people into good,
responsible citizens
and pushing them.
He was always sort of
to the fore at his schools.
He's so successful at sports,
you see,
which is terribly important
for British school boys.
Gordonstoun is by no means
the right school for everybody,
and it certainly
wasn't the right school
for his son,
the Prince of Wales,
but it was very much
the right school
for Prince Philip
and he did very well there.
NARRATOR: While Philip had found
a home of sorts...
COMMENTATOR: The infant daughter
of the Duke
and Duchess of York
was christened
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
and affectionately welcomed
as the Empire's Baby.
NARRATOR: After her uncle,
King Edward the Eighth,
abdicated for love,
the Empire's Baby was now
destined to be Queen.
GYLES: The Queen had an idyllic
British childhood.
Completely perfect.
Loving parents
who were a loving couple,
an adoring father,
adoring grandparents,
a close family unit,
just her and her sister,
Princess Margaret Rose,
two young girls being
brought up in London.
Country pursuits for them.
Just a perfect small,
close family surrounded by love.
Her life was always set out.
The inevitability of her
one day becoming Queen
was there for her.
She just followed the path.
From a young age,
would often accompany
her parents on royal tours
and visits.
where the king studied
as a cadet before the war
to the Royal Naval College,
here it is now in 1939,
by the Queen and Princesses.
NARRATOR: Philip was now 18
and had graduated
from Gordonstoun.
Despite a desire to fly
with the RAF,
his uncle,
Louis Mountbatten,
had steered him
towards the Navy.
The influence
of Lord Mountbatten
is rather interesting.
Having studied
a lot of the papers,
I think I'm confident to say
to you that Lord Mountbatten
took no interest in him
whatsoever until he saw
the possibility that he might
marry Princess Elizabeth.
NARRATOR: Mountbatten arranges
that his cadet's nephew
join the royal party
at Dartmouth.
Prince Philip was charged
with looking
after the princesses
while the King did his duty,
and it was love at first sight.
She was about 13.
There he was.
I have to say,
showing off a bit,
and looking very handsome.
NARRATOR: Newsreel shows
Philip in uniform,
standing a couple of steps
behind the royal family.
It's the first time
he and Elizabeth
were filmed together.
Prince Philip was funny,
witty, very handsome,
and quite full of himself.
And he was
a very engaging young man,
very charming
and very kind, actually.
You can see why a young girl
would fall in love with him.
He was a gorgeous blonde Viking.
When they left
later in the day,
Philip urgently rowed his boat
across after the royal barge,
waving goodbye to them.
I mean, that was presumptuous,
at the very least.
The young pair struck up
a written correspondence.
You wouldn't have thought
they were well suited
because Princess Elizabeth
had such a sheltered upbringing,
and Prince Philip had this
much more
sort of a bohemian upbringing.
The royal establishment
had their doubts
about Philip's suitability.
They weren't anti-Philip,
they were anti the fact
that he wasn't part
of the British establishment.
He might have royal blood,
but he hadn't got a bean
and he had a difficult family
And I think
that that King George
and Queen Elizabeth felt
that she was too young
to make up her mind,
and perhaps
they would have preferred
a sort of rich English
or Scottish aristo
than a penniless prince.
PHIL: Prince Philip put his
foot in it straightaway
when he arrived up at Balmoral
to meet
Princess Elizabeth's parents,
King George VI
and Queen Elizabeth.
And he walked into the room
and actually did a curtsey
'cause he was wearing a kilt
and he thought
that would endear him
to his future parents in law.
But in fact, they didn't think
it was at all funny.
The courtiers were not friendly.
They thought
that he was ignorant.
They thought he wasn't properly
educated, i.e.,
he hadn't been to Eton,
which is, you know,
the thing for the courtiers.
He told me when he went
to stay at Windsor Castle,
there was a flunky taking him
to his room
and showing him the way,
and he said rather impatiently
to this flunky,
"I do know the way, you know,
my mother was born here."
They thought he was a bit
of a rough diamond, basically.
And of course,
he was a foreigner.
His sisters were very Germanic.
They'd all married Germans,
two of whom were Nazis.
So it was difficult
and the Queen Mother
always called him the Hun.
When he came into the room,
she'd say,
"Here comes the Hun,"
which I don't think
he particularly liked.
His sister, Sophie,
the one who became
Princess George of Hanover,
her first husband,
Prince Christopher of Hesse,
died in 1943, and he had been
a member of the party
and they all became
disillusioned by this later.
But I mean, there's no question
about it, they were
because a lot of princes in
were taken in by Hitler.
Cecile was living in Darmstadt
and married to the Grand Duke,
who had literally
just inherited the title.
And they were coming
over to England
for the wedding of his brother
to Margaret Geddes.
And unfortunately,
the plane hit a chimney
in the fog at Ostend,
and everybody
on board was killed.
So Prince Philip was called
into his father's study.
And I remember
when I first started working
with people in his office,
they said, one thing
you should know about him
is this awful thing happened
that he desperately minded
about his sister
and even more so
because she was pregnant
at the time.
And I mean, the little baby
was actually born
in the trauma of the accident.
And so he then travelled out
with his father to Darmstadt,
to the funeral, and,
you know, there were just
rows of coffins.
There's no question
about it that there was
a lot of Nazi influence
in Darmstadt,
but you obviously
can't put that
at Prince Philip's door at all.
I mean,
he was there because he was
attending his sister's funeral.
But he will have seen that
and he'd have been
very well aware of it.
But it was very difficult
for him and, of course,
when he was marrying the Queen.
So some of the stuffier
courtiers were very much
taking the idea that,
you know, I mean,
he was basically German.
Having German connections
was about to get
extremely undesirable.
CHURCHILL: Now we are at war,
and we are going to make war
until the other side
have had enough of it.
Philip was a very good sailor.
We saw him in naval
service from 1939.
He served in both
the European theatres
and the Far Eastern theatres
of war.
NARRATOR: Serving on board
HMS Valiant
in the Mediterranean,
Philip made his mark during
a night-time attack
on three Italian cruisers.
He fixed a searchlight
on the bridge of an enemy ship
and held it steady
until the battle was won.
It was
Britain's greatest victory
over the Italians at sea.
He served
with great distinction.
He was
in Mediterranean home waters,
he served Cape Matapan,
was mentioned in despatches
and he also served
in the Far East.
So when people kept talking
about VE Day,
that meant nothing to him
because he still had to go on
serving till the whole thing
was over.
And the war in the Far East
was also over,
which was a little bit later.
NARRATOR: While Elizabeth
waited patiently
for her pen-pal prince,
Philip received a mention
in despatches
and the Greek War Cross.
Prince Philip had a heroic war.
He was a young man.
And I think he enjoyed the war.
He certainly did his stuff
during the war.
Officers who knew him
at the time,
but men who served under him,
they really liked him.
They reckoned
he was a good leader
and a good bloke.
So he had
a distinguished naval career,
and he expected
that to continue.
Philip's heroic actions
had not gone unnoticed
back home.
COMMENTATOR: Neither her parents
nor the girl herself desired
that she should live
a sheltered life.
She was rapidly approaching
Her rare self-reliance
was evident in her bearing.
PHIL DAMPIER: During the war,
Princess Elizabeth
had had a picture of him
on her mantelpiece,
and her nanny actually said
to Princess Elizabeth,
"You shouldn't really have
that there,
otherwise will people
start talking."
So Elizabeth went away
and came back
with another photo
of Prince Philip with a beard,
and said, there we are
I don't think
anyone's going
to recognise that.
NARRATOR: Victory brought
a chance for the now
20-year-old Elizabeth
to reconnect with Philip.
After years spent housing
his nephew,
Lord Mountbatten
accelerated his plan
for the now
anglicised war hero.
His uncle
became extremely interested
and set Prince Philip up.
They changed his name from
Glucksburg into Mountbatten.
They changed his religion
from Greek Orthodox
into the Church of England,
and they made him
a British citizen.
SARAH: Lord Mountbatten
certainly promoted
the marriage
as far as he could do.
He became much closer
to Philip than he had been.
A delightful royal occasion
was the wedding
of Lord Mountbatten's daughter,
Patricia, whose
bridal attendants included
both the princesses.
At the church door,
Prince Philip of Greece,
now Lieutenant Mountbatten lends
a hand with the coats.
Philip was essentially
a part German princeling
and there was resentment
and unhappiness
about that in the country.
And clearly it affected
the royal family too,
and they were worried
about a union.
They'd had to shore up
their own... the monarchy here,
their own throne,
only a generation or so earlier,
because of the overthrow
of the Tsar in Russia,
and they didn't want anti-German
feeling to erupt again
because of Elizabeth's choice
of husband.
Lord Mountbatten saw
the danger of Lord Euston,
later the Duke of Grafton,
who was a Grenadier Guard,
and he was a great friend
of the Queen's.
It's always said
that Lord Mountbatten
got him a double promotion
and sent out to be ADC
to Lord Wavell in India,
which very conveniently
got him out of the way.
They loaded the gun for him
and they left him
to pull the trigger.
They couldn't force him
to do it.
The king initially refused
to allow the couple
to get married.
However, the steely princess
threatened abdication
if she didn't get her prince.
A number of women
that swooned over him
'cause he was a good looking
young man
and he was a dashing
naval officer.
There was some unease certainly
among higher members
of the family,
but they did manage
to overcome it,
I have to say,
because Philip
was a very charming man,
capable and was quite clearly
devoted to Elizabeth,
which I think meant
everything to King George.
They were a very,
very strong family unit,
and it meant the break up
of that.
And the king absolutely
adored his daughters.
And, you know,
he was probably quite happy
with the arrangement as it was.
A lot of families, I think,
are concerned when a daughter
suddenly marries
perhaps the first man
that she's ever
fallen in love with.
So in order to see
whether it was going
to work or not,
the king was happy to take them
all off to South Africa
and make them delay
and wait a bit.
But after that, he realised
that it was going to go ahead,
and it did.
After waiting a year,
the public announcement
of the engagement went ahead.
I am so happy
that my future husband
is by my side.
INGRID: The general public
were thrilled.
It was the austere war years.
London was a filthy,
dirty grey bombed out city.
And suddenly,
this golden looking couple
are going to get married,
so everyone could relate
to the joy of their romance.
HUGO: The Queen Mother
had very much hoped
that the Queen would marry
a Grenadier Guard.
There'd been lots of them
around at Windsor Castle
during the war.
And she said, "Won't
the Grenadiers be cross?"
And actually, they were so cross
that they wouldn't have
Prince Philip
as Colonel of the Regiment
in 1952,
which was not very nice of them.
He gave up smoking
on the morning...
on the morning of his marriage.
I think
he had his last cigarette,
put it out, and never looked
at another one again.
That is
typical of Prince Philip.
Everything he does
is by sheer willpower.
And actually just having
a cigarette and saying,
"Right, that's it,
I'm never smoking again."
HUGO: The wedding, it was
a moment of great colour.
I mean, it was still a service
dress uniform occasion,
so it was no sort of red tunics
or anything like that.
And, you know,
rationing was still on
and it was not so easy.
But nevertheless,
it did give everybody
great hope for the future.
None of his three
surviving sisters
were invited to the wedding,
which they minded
about bitterly.
But luckily, by the time
of the coronation in 1953,
they were all determined
to be there
and they jolly well were there.
Gandhi sent a tray cloth
that he had specially
made for her.
And Queen Mary,
the Queen's grandmother,
completely misread it
and thought
it was his loincloth,
and said, "Disgusting thing."
NARRATOR: Philip and Elizabeth
took up the new titles,
the Duke
and Duchess of Edinburgh.
If you look at the pictures
of the pair of them on honeymoon
at Broadlands
Lord Mountbatten's house,
they're looking extremely
fondly at each other.
And at that time,
Prince Philip was writing,
you know, quite dashing
things about her,
say, and she's lovely all over.
Clarence House in London
became the royal residence.
Marriage did give Prince Philip
great stability,
despite his denials
and saying he was fine.
It gave him... it gave him
a home for a start.
It gave him a home.
It gave him somewhere
he could be around his friends.
Despite the difficulties,
Philip grew into his new role.
In between a whirlwind
of naval duties,
diplomatic efforts
and charitable engagements,
the couple had two children,
Charles in 1948
and Anne in 1950.
He had to curb
a lot of the things
that he was thinking
or what he would like to do
until such time as the Queen
came to the throne,
he was able to do very much
more after that.
During the early years
of their marriage,
Prince Philip was in the Navy.
So he wasn't exactly
a house husband,
but he took charge
of the children.
And obviously, they had nannies,
but the Queen was busy
with affairs of state.
She was 26 years old.
She had two young children.
And Prince Philip made
the decisions
as far as the children
were concerned.
It was very much like
an old-fashioned marriage
where the man is deferred to,
because that's how
the Queen was brought up.
And so obviously that's the way
she's going to be.
SARAH: He really liked the idea
of bringing up the children.
Throwing Prince Charles
into the swimming pool at
Buckingham Palace.
They had this wonderfully
happy time, which...
where Prince Philip
was quite often in Malta.
The Navy
was in full swing there.
And the Grand Harbour
had wonderful ships in it,
and there were
polo matches and dances
at the Phoenicia Hotel.
The Queen has always said
Malta was the only place
other than England
that she could call home.
She could drive around
in her little car,
she could go shopping,
she could go to the cinema,
she could go and watch
Prince Philip playing polo.
It was a place
where they were very relaxed
and where they could really
be as normal a young family
as possible.
But the simple life didn't last.
Whilst Philip and Elizabeth
were on a tour of Kenya,
the king died suddenly.
From Sandringham,
the Queen Mother spoke
to her daughter
on the telephone.
Here lay the body
of the beloved king,
whom death,
with cruel suddenness
has taken from our midst.
The high and mighty Princess
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary
is now by the death
of our late sovereign
of happy memory become
Queen Elizabeth the Second
by the grace of God,
Queen of This Realm.
Elizabeth was now Queen.
According to his equerry,
Michael Parker,
who happened to be
on the trip to Kenya
with them at the time,
it was complete shock.
He went white
and he just put a newspaper
over his face and just tried
to absorb the enormity of it all
because neither he
or the Princess thought
that her father
was gonna die.
They'd expected another
ten years of freedom
of married life
before the Princess
had to take up
the reins of the monarchy.
So it was a huge shock.
Their happy existence was over.
He generally thought
that they would carry on
as man and wife,
naval officer
and wife until about 1960.
That turned out to be
a vast overestimate.
And of course, life changed
considerably after that.
He had to give up his career.
That was a major setback
for him.
And he had to adjust
to this new untested role
as a sovereign's partner,
companion to the Queen.
It was all very unfamiliar
territory to him.
As the Queen's consort,
Philip was granted
ceremonial titles.
That is probably
one of the biggest blows
in his life that he had to face
because he hated getting
any appointments
which he hadn't earned.
You couldn't give him anything,
any honour unless you could
prove that he'd earned it.
So to suddenly find himself
made an Admiral of the Fleet,
a Field Marshal and Marshal
of the Royal Air Force,
he hated all that,
and you can understand why.
His uncle, Lord Mountbatten
rose to be head of the Navy.
His grandfather had risen
to be head of the Navy,
and everybody said Prince Philip
could have done it
on his own merits
and he would have been.
It's unquestionable
that to be the consort
to the Queen of England
is a pretty important role.
So you're not leaving
the naval career for nothing.
Once Queen,
Elizabeth's workload
The Queen didn't discuss
affairs of state
with Prince Philip
because constitutionally
she's not allowed to.
She is sovereign
by an Act of Parliament
and through succession
and government papers go to her.
While he was the Prince
of the United Kingdom,
he was not entitled
to look at any state documents.
I said to the Duke of Edinburgh,
"Did you know what to do?"
He said,
"No. I had no idea." I said,
"Were there people
telling you what to do?"
He said, no.
There were people telling me
what not to do.
For the Queen,
when she became queen,
there was a role set out.
It was clear
what she was going to do
because there is a role
for the Queen,
and she stepped
into it naturally and easily.
But he was then left
on the side-lines
and it was challenging for him
because the Queen
then had as her advisors,
a Prime Minister,
in Winston Churchill,
who was an old man by then
and who had literally sat her
on his knee in the 1920s
when she was a baby girl
and her father's
private secretary.
So these two old men,
as it were,
and she was only 26,
came to dominate the Queen
and the Duke of Edinburgh
was left out.
The Queen is actually
a fundamentally shy woman,
and having Philip at her side
helped enormously.
Can you imagine if you've got
any degree of shyness
walking into a room
where all eyes are on you,
hundreds of people all waiting
to see what you're going to say,
what you're wearing,
what you're gonna do?
The coronation of the new Queen
brought an early chance
for Philip to show his worth.
COMMENTATOR: St James's Palace
was the meeting place
of the newly appointed
Coronation Commission
presided over
by the Duke of Edinburgh.
Planning the event
was Philip's
first task as royal consort.
It went without a hitch.
At the coronation
Prince Philip's humour
sort of stood out right
from the start,
and just after the Queen
had been crowned,
he had to kneel at her feet
and swear his allegiance to her.
And a few seconds later,
he said to her,
"Where did you get that hat?"
And I think
that's the first example
of how he relaxed
the Queen using jokes.
He was the perfect foil for her
because he would make her
giggle at quite serious moments.
COMMENTATOR: The royal family
assembled together
on the palace balcony
to receive the acclamation
of their subjects
on Coronation Day.
But outside the marriage,
Philip was frustrated
by attempts
by the British establishment
to rein in his influence.
When the Queen
came to the throne,
Winston Churchill insisted
as Prime Minister
that Prince Philip couldn't have
his name Mountbatten
to name his children.
NARRATOR: Philip's uncle,
Lord Mountbatten,
had overstepped the mark.
So Lord Mountbatten
boasted at dinner,
well, the House of Mountbatten
now reigns in this land
and he wasn't entirely wrong.
What actually happened was
that Prince Ernst of Hanover,
who was at dinner
with Lord Mountbatten,
went to see Queen Mary,
and said, you know,
this is what Mountbatten
is saying.
And she summoned Churchill,
and said, this must not be.
And Churchill
was a very powerful figure.
And to some extent,
I think he rather bullied
the Queen into it being still
called the House of Windsor.
There were very many
good reasons for doing that.
The House of Windsor
is a very, very good name
for the Royal House.
Everybody knows
Windsor Castle,
loves it,
it was a very clever thing.
That, of course,
is also a made-up name
that was made up in 1917.
But it is said, I think,
Prince Philip was genuinely
because most men give
their name to their family.
Mountbatten's boasting
had sealed
the fate of the dynasty.
Philip was furious
and their relationship
would never fully recover.
He actually complained,
I'm nothing but a bloody amoeba.
He's the only man
in Christendom, he complained,
whose own children
didn't take his name.
He was unhappy about that,
but it was also the restrictions
on what he could
and couldn't do.
He couldn't speak so frankly,
as he had done before.
The old school courtiers
at Buckingham Palace
were very unfriendly to him.
They didn't like him.
They thought
he would be a philanderer.
They didn't appreciate his views
and his ideas of modernisation.
He was a bright, sharp,
opinionated young man.
He didn't like the set up
at Buckingham Palace.
He found it stuffy.
He found this habit of servants
wearing wigs ridiculous.
So he clearly wanted to be
more than just
your breath of fresh air.
He was gonna make
big changes
if he was gonna stick around.
But there was a period
early on when he thought,
"I'm not sure
whether I'm cut out for this."
A world tour provided Philip
with an escape from
the restrictions of royal life.
Prince Philip
went off to Melbourne
to open
the Olympics in Australia.
And then he took
the opportunity to hijack,
if you like,
the Royal Yacht Britannia
and sailed off for another
three months with his friends.
INGRID: Prince Philip was away
for almost six months
with his equerry,
Michael Parker.
They went off on a sort
of world tour on Britannia.
And of course it started gossip
and people were imagining
that he must be having
wild affairs all over the world.
Speculation was rife in papers,
particularly abroad,
that the marriage
was in dire trouble.
was an alpha male,
very much so.
I would describe him
as a great man's man
because he can mix
with the men and be a man's man.
But he was a ladies' man
as well.
He could have women smiling
and turning to jelly.
Prince Philip has been accused
time and time again, and go back
to French newspapers
in the 1950s, of him
having a wandering eye
and perhaps even
a wandering hand.
In the early '60s,
it emerged that Prince Philip
had been going to Thursday Club,
which was a club in London
with some very
racy characters going to it.
There are all sorts of rumours
that he'd met
various women there.
There was a lot of rubbish
about the orgies
of the Thursday Club,
which I think were just
sort of...
drunken boys evenings,
Stories have been written
about a whole legion of women
whom Philip has allegedly
been involved with.
He certainly had an eye
for pretty women,
and he liked, you know,
the company of pretty women.
There were quite
a lot of rumours.
And the trouble is that
how can you tell
whether an affair
is a physical affair
or just a friendship
and an attraction.
And that's the problem.
Well, Prince Philip
had a way of dealing
with accusations
of past affairs.
He said if I... you know,
how could I do this if I always
had a detective with me,
if I was always
surrounded by people.
At the end of the day,
there's never been
any firm evidence
that he had affairs.
No, Prince Philip
was one of those people
that window shop,
but he didn't buy.
COMMENTATOR: On a faraway island
in mid-Pacific, an escort,
indeed a serenade
by ladies of the island
and his Royal Highness
borne aloft
on a Pacific Island throne.
through the Britannia tour,
crisis hits
when Philip's equerry,
Captain Michael Parker
is sued for divorce.
His wife alleges adultery.
The rumours built up,
particularly overseas,
not for the first time
in the last 100 years.
It was the press in America
that started the rumour
as much as they did about
King Edward VIII's affair
with Wallis Simpson,
they all emerged in America.
And it was the American press
which ran story
after story suggesting
that Philip was getting
up to no good
while he was out of the country.
Such were the rumours,
and so concerned
were Buckingham Palace
and indeed the Queen
that she authorised the palace
to issue the one
and only statement
about the state of her marriage
to Prince Philip,
basically saying, all is well.
But significantly,
she flew out to Portugal
to meet him
ahead of his return to the UK.
And I think that was
a significant concession,
if you like,
to all these rumours
and to show that all was well
in the marriage.
PHIL: The Queen, assuming
that he have grown a beard
while he was away,
actually turned up
with a false beard on to try
and greet him.
In fact, he'd shaved it off
by the time he got there.
So, the joke fell a bit flat.
But by then, they seem to have
reconciled their differences.
And then only four years later,
Prince Andrew was born
and then Prince Edward.
So that's why Prince Andrew
became known as the love child
because it kind of indicated
that the marriage
was back on track in 1960.
NARRATOR: The experience
did not endear
the press to Philip.
Prince Philip did not like
the media
and really didn't want to engage
in any kind of conversation
with them.
So the way we always see him is,
as you know,
of sort of rather
grumpy personality.
I got on extremely well
with the press,
I normally do, I think,
but there are certain things...
occasionally which they do,
which perhaps
I don't like so much.
He walked away as soon as
somebody asks a silly question.
I mean, a reporter said,
"How was your flight, sir?"
And he said, "Have you ever been
on an aeroplane?"
The reporter said, "Yes,"
"It was just like that."
Or "How are you feeling today,
sir?" the Reporter said.
"Well, do I look sick?"
NARRATOR: Philip threw himself
into charitable work,
using his influence
to further causes
which he felt passionate about.
Prince Philip said he didn't
resent the loss of his career,
but he knew he had to find
something else to do.
And because he's not
the sort of man that could sit
for five minutes doing nothing.
What he used to do
was to work out
when he was required
and the Queen did need him
there for a lot of things
in the course of the year.
When he wasn't required,
he plough his own furrow.
COMMENTATOR: Prince Philip's
recent tour of America
helped to collect $1 million
for children's charity.
Prince Philip was a man
who lived very much
in the present.
If you'd had
his particular childhood,
you don't spend a lot of time
looking back.
And he was a man
who liked to be moving forward
at all points
and, you know, a man of action.
And there was always
a new issue and a new problem,
new things to be solved.
Shortly after the war,
the National Playing
Fields Association
was set up
because local authorities
wanted to build on bomb sites
and wanted
to build on green belt
'cause there was
a desperate shortage of housing
because they'd been flattened
during the sort of '39-'45 war.
And Prince Philip
put his foot down
with Kurt Hahn,
who established Gordonstoun,
and said, "No, children
must have space
to run around,
must have space to breathe."
And that's why we have
so many open spaces and parks
and greenbelt throughout
the United Kingdom."
And it's largely down to him.
And, you know,
people don't know about it.
It had been
the first national charity
that he became involved
in when he became engaged
to Princess Elizabeth
back in 1947.
And what surprised me
when I turned up at the offices,
it was to find, A,
he was the President
and he was there, and B,
he found somebody very committed
to the task in hand
and extremely hands on.
He was interested in psychology.
He read a lot of Carl Jung,
the Swiss
analytical psychologist.
Jung thought
that the happy people
in this life
are outward looking,
not interested in themselves,
interested in other people
and the world around them,
science, nature, art,
the world beyond themselves.
Philip had real reservations
about people
who spent time brooding
about themselves,
thinking about themselves,
hugging themselves,
being kind to themselves.
He didn't have much chock
with any of that.
a great deal of interest
in physical fitness
for young people.
He once said that he was worried
that kids in future
would only have to bother
about lifting a knife
and a fork.
And this was decades
before we started
to get worried about obesity.
The Duke of Edinburgh's
Award scheme
has touched the lives
of millions of people.
It teaches leadership
and then they have the ability
to earn various certificates.
Once you get a gold standard,
you've really got somewhere.
He was the first royal person
to talk about overpopulation.
He talked about conservation.
He knew
that certain species,
you know, were going to die
out unless they were preserved.
Prince Philip was President
of the World Wide Fund
for Nature
for many, many years.
He could go to any country
in the world
and get access
to the head of states.
The work
he did with conservation
over the years was amazing.
He also alleviated
the burden of the Queen
from running the royal estates.
He did all that for her
because he realised
that was somewhere
where he could help her a lot.
He was very much to the fore
when it came to managing
the estates of Sandringham
and Balmoral.
He was also a deputy ranger
at Windsor Castle.
So he got a tremendous input
for sustainability
within the homes.
He had to, for himself,
find his own role
and that he did through
all the different projects
in which he got hands
on involvement.
And then the other 830
and more organisations
in which he was involved.
COMMENTATOR: The evening
raised 10,000 pounds
for the Duke's Award scheme.
So a good time was had by all.
He made a real difference
to people's lives.
As he said to me once,
"The fundraising never stops."
When the endless cycle of royal
and charitable duties
got too much,
Philip retreated
to the family's country estates.
Working for anyone
that's powerful, rich, famous,
which of course the royal family
are all of the above,
they have two lives.
There's their work,
and there's their pleasure.
And I was very, very fortunate
because I was part of
His Royal Highness' pleasure.
I started off at the bottom
of the ladder
and worked my way up
to the private coachman
to His Royal Highness
The Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Philip would come
from Buckingham Palace,
which was the office
to Windsor Castle,
have a wonderful
weekend driving the horses.
The horses didn't care
who he was.
They would sometimes act good
and sometimes not act good.
But for him,
it was a spiritual release.
He enjoyed the fact that
just because he told
the horses to do something,
they didn't always do it.
I think
it was his therapy personally.
NARRATOR: But Philip wasn't
satisfied with a gentle trot.
Three, two, one, go.
NARRATOR: He helped to develop
competitive carriage driving
into a fast-paced
international sport.
It was quite surreal,
actually, that her husband,
Her Majesty the Queen's husband,
was driving a carriage that him
and I had designed
and built to a sport
that he'd invented
with horses she'd bred.
And I think
that's pretty unique.
We went
to several European, World
and National Championships.
He was
an international competitor.
On his own merit,
he won two bronze
and a gold medal
as part of
the British Team driving,
so he was an excellent horseman.
To do anything with horses,
you have to be
a great communicator.
Competitions we'd go to,
they'd always be a drinks party
or a cocktail party,
and to see him working
his way around the room was -
I would love
to have 10% of that.
But of course,
when you're
in the heat of competition,
sometimes Prince Philip
was guilty of talking
like a sailor to his horses
sometimes when we were going
through the obstacles,
if they didn't go exactly
where he wanted them to go.
NARRATOR: But Philip was never
far from his main role
as husband to the Queen.
By 1977, Elizabeth had been
on the throne for 25 years
and was in the limelight
wherever she went.
Nobody can be normal
with the Queen.
There is an invisible
moat around the Queen.
The Queen's own children bow
or curtsey
to her when they meet her
for the first time in the day.
NARRATOR: The renown reflected
onto Philip.
The first time
I met the Duke of Edinburgh,
I was slightly nervous.
You know, worried about saying
or doing something wrong.
But he was
an absolute gentleman.
He made me feel
very much at home,
very comfortable.
The Duke was the only person
on the planet
that would treat the Queen
as a human being
because he was her partner,
her soul mate, her best friend.
Prince Philip wore the trousers
behind the scenes.
PHIL: There was
an example of that
when he was driving
with his uncle,
Lord Mountbatten,
in the back of the car.
They were driving across
the royal estate
and the queen started
that Prince Philip
was driving far too fast.
And he said, if you make
another complaint
about my driving,
I'll chuck you out.
And she just went quiet.
And when they stopped,
Lord Mountbatten
said to the Queen,
"Why do you let him talk
to you like that?"
She said, "Well, because
he would have thrown me out."
I once went with the Queen
and the Duke of Edinburgh
to the Royal Variety Show.
And she disappeared
into the middle of the crowd
to be introduced
to various people.
And I stood
at the edge of the gathering
with Prince Philip.
And he was observing the scene.
And suddenly I realised
that he'd caught her eye
and across the crowded room,
I watched them
look at each other,
and she smiled
and he raised his glass to her.
I thought, "Yes, of course,
there is something special
between these two people."
It isn't obvious,
but it's there.
Philip played up to his role
as a representative
of Her Majesty.
He enjoyed looking the part.
He always
dressed immaculately.
He was conscious
of what he was wearing.
Whenever we turned up
for an event,
he would always
be wearing the correct tie.
He always had a handkerchief
in his pocket
at exactly the angle,
the same line
that his father used to have.
He comes from that era
when men did dress very smartly.
You would never see him
out and about with a shirt
and a tie and a jacket.
They were around
in the days of, let's say,
the old Hollywood.
Even though they were
never classed celebrities,
you would see them
at these different events,
white tie, black tie...
lounge suit,
he always looked immaculate.
NARRATOR: So impactful
was Philip's style
that to some,
he attained a spiritual status.
There's an island in the deepest
part of the Pacific Ocean,
where locals worship
Prince Philip as a deity,
as a god.
It's the one place on Earth
where he is senior,
if you like, to his wife
because everywhere else
she is the sovereign.
She is the Queen,
he's the man two steps -
two paces behind or so.
And here he is the godlike
figure who they worship.
They venerate him as a god.
What was interesting
when I raised this with him,
he said, "I don't want to talk
about that."
And I said, "Why not?"
He said, "Because, you know,
you would just want
to make fun of these people.
You want to make -
it's a funny story for you.
A picture of these native people
with a picture of me
in their boat as though it's -
can't we respect
people's traditions,
whatever they may be?"
they even very kindly sent him
a penis gourd at one point
and got a letter back
when the Palace was asked
whether Prince Philip
was going to wear this,
the answer came back
from the courtier,
we are reluctant to commit
His Royal Highness.
GYLES: When you meet royalty,
it's always difficult.
Somebody once said,
when royalty leaves the room,
it's rather like getting
a seed out of your tooth.
You know, it's a relief
because it's quite awkward.
The Duke of Edinburgh
was aware of that,
and whenever he went down
a line meeting people,
he went out of his way to try
to make
at least one of them laugh,
and he usually succeeded.
You're going to watch
the world's leading
plaque-unveiler at work.
The royal tours were great fun
with the Queen
and Prince Philip.
And I always used to try
and take a day
where I just follow
Prince Philip around.
It was very, very funny
to see him at close range
and how he interacted
with people.
A classic example was
when they went
to the National Cyber Centre.
This centre was basically
any possible nuclear attacks
or spy networks.
And he said to one of the chaps
sitting in their computer,
"Do you speak Russian
or Chinese?"
And the bloke said, "No."
He said, "Well, let's hope
they don't attack
when you're in charge."
He was in Ghana and said,
"How many MPs have you got
in your parliament?"
And the chap said, "About 200."
And he said,
"That's about right."
He said, "We've got 650
in our parliament,
and most of them
are absolutely bloody useless."
1963 at the Kenyan Independence
and he was out there, a lot
of countries were handed over
from the British Empire.
And as midnight struck
and the band struck up
and the union jet came down
and the Kenyan flag
was about to be raised,
he turned to Jomo Kenyatta,
the Kenyan leader, and said,
"Are you sure you want to go
through with this?"
NARRATOR: But the jokes
didn't always land.
He occasionally got into trouble
because he wasn't particularly
politically correct.
He just spoke as he found,
he was easy with people.
He tried to keep
the conversation going.
So he makes the odd remark.
And occasionally
they would go adrift.
He once said to me that it
always made his heart sink
if he saw he was going
on a foreign trip
and he saw the British press
were going to be there
'cause he knew they'd spend
the four days of the trip
just waiting for him
to make a gaffe,
and that would become the story.
What I liked about him
was that when he'd done
one of these so-called gaffes,
he never ever apologised for it.
If you saw him the next day,
he would just carry on
as if nothing had happened.
If we're having a conversation
and somebody pokes
one of these at you
with a tape recorder behind
or one of those
long listening devices
and they can overhear
a conversation 20 yards away,
you get a bit anxious.
He argued that we in the media
have got this all wrong,
that all he is doing
is breaking the ice.
He always wanted to get
a rise out of people
and he'd like
to make them laugh.
Sometimes it could be offensive.
You had to know his ways.
I remember thinking,
whatever he says,
he doesn't really mean it.
He's just sort of -
it's just his manner.
The great thing
about the Duke of Edinburgh,
there isn't really
any kind of myths
or anything,
that people say to me,
is this true or is that true"
because what you see
is what you get.
That is the reality with him.
I'm delighted he took it down.
I hope he did it.
He was probably the last man
who'd get away with politically
incorrect jokes.
I think a lot of people
admired that.
GYLES: What's interesting
about the Duke of Edinburgh
is that he wasn't particularly
as to whether the public
liked him or not.
He came from an era
where he fought in the war
and he saw some horrors there.
He thought that most people
in the modern era
are a little bit too sensitive
therefore, you know, they're
a little bit too
sensitive to criticism.
And he certainly wasn't that.
He'd take on board any criticism
and just brush it off,
and he accepted
that that was part of the job.
When he went to Canada
many years ago,
he actually said openly,
"If you want us,
we're here, we'll do our bit.
But if you don't want us,
just let us know,
we'll go away again."
He said people seem to think
the monarchy
is there for itself.
The monarchy
is not there for itself.
It's there for the people.
And if the people want change,
then they can have change,
they can vote for it
because that's what democracy
is all about.
Perhaps it was a little bit
unfair to concentrate
on his witty one-liners
and not the immense contribution
that he actually
made to public life.
NARRATOR: The global attention
a level of protection.
Prince Philip tolerated
police officers,
and he liked his freedom.
And obviously he never
had protection
until he got married
to the Queen,
then he had to put up with it.
NARRATOR: Like it or not,
security was important.
In 1979, Lord Mountbatten,
now Prince Charles's mentor,
was killed by an IRA bomb.
When we were at Sandringham
and Balmoral,
if he wanted some free time,
we would step away.
And at the end of the day,
if Prince Philip's gonna get
in his car
and drive off
with the protection officer,
there's not a lot
you can do about it.
Prince Philip was really
not that security minded.
He was a strong, healthy,
vigorous man.
You've got something interesting
to talk about like
carriage driving.
I always used to say,
"Well, can I come with you?
'Cause I'm interested
in carriage driving.
I'm not coming
with you as the bodyguard."
And he sort of allowed him
to go that way.
Equally, there were other times
when I could go and say,
"Sir, you really need
a policeman with you today."
was often required to adapt
to security concerns.
DAVID: Most weekends
when we were driving,
he would say to me,
"We have a guest this weekend."
One day, he said to me,
"We're taking
Mrs Reagan on the carriage."
President Ronald Reagan
and the First Lady,
Nancy Reagan were in the UK
for a state visit.
But security was tight.
Prince Philip
came out for a drive.
He said, "Bloody woman."
I said, "What's happening, sir?"
He said, "Oh, we've got
to have secret service men
riding on the carriage."
Security men had a suit
that was two sizes too small
and no neck,
just a head
put on top of his shoulders.
We get on the carriage
and we drive up.
The Queen and the President
was riding two horses
from Canada.
We finished up at this area.
You drive
between these plastic cones
that are about six inches
wider than the carriage.
And of course,
we're driving by them.
And she said,
"Oh, what are these?"
"Oh, I'll show you," he said.
So we then start, trot on,
and we started trotting
around these cones.
And I looked up
and there's the Queen
and the President.
And I'm thinking
all this security
and we're going to kill
the President's wife
driving through the cones.
Constitutionally, of course,
Prince Philip did not have
an official role of any kind,
but it's entirely
up to the Queen,
how much she consulted him
about whatever.
On private family matters,
of course,
she deferred to him as any wife
would of that generation.
was the head of the family.
That was Philip's role.
And the Queen pretty much
made that clear
from when they started having
that Philip's role
would be inviolate.
NARRATOR: As eldest child,
Charles would one day be king.
Prince Philip was very close
to his daughter,
Princess Anne and Prince Edward.
He was never particularly
close to Prince Charles.
Charles wasn't the man
that he wanted him to be,
and that used to really
rile him.
I once asked
the Duke of Edinburgh
about his relationship
with Prince Charles,
and I said, "To me, sir,
you both seem so similar.
I mean, you walk the same way,
you talk the same way,
you share interests
in all sorts of things
that are similar.
You know, young people,
the environment."
Then he stopped me,
he said, "No, no, no."
He said, "Yeah,
we are very similar.
Of course, we're very similar.
But there is
a fundamental difference.
And the difference is this,
that Charles is a romantic
and I'm a pragmatist."
And Prince Philip
was a real pragmatist.
He liked to solve things.
He liked to get things done.
He was a doer, he was practical,
he was - he wasn't a romantic.
They're not at all the same
sort of person.
And I think that Prince Philip
perhaps expected too much
of Prince Charles.
Whenever Prince Charles
came up with a new scheme,
be it some sort of green
or some sort of idea to do
with architecture or farming,
his father would always
question him on it.
And he would always try
and put him on the spot
and get an answer out of him
as to why he was doing this.
And maybe sometimes
he agreed with him,
but he would never
sort of let him know
that he agreed straight away.
He was always... You know,
he always tended
to sort of make people
explain things to make sure
that they knew
why they were doing it.
There was a time when the media
was full of Prince of Wales
and his relationship
with his parents,
and he didn't get
on with his parents.
It's like any other family.
There are times you get
on with your family
and there are times you
don't get on with your family.
But this is
a high profile family.
So they can't sneeze without it
being reported as having flu.
They can't cough without
it being reported
as having bronchitis.
So, every everything they do,
every move they make
is under the microscope,
and every move
they make is reported on.
Prince Charles went through
a period of being
a bit sorry for himself.
He co-operated with a biography
in which he talked,
about as a small child, feeling
lonely in his perambulator.
And I think Prince Philip
would have found
that sort of thing disappointing
to read about.
And it wouldn't have made
much sense to him either,
because he belonged
to the generation
where you don't complain
about your childhood.
You just get on with life.
These are the cards
you've been dealt with,
you play the hand you've got.
NARRATOR: Philip watched
as Charles's relationships
dominated the media.
The arrival of Diana Spencer
brought more attention.
RICARD: In the beginning,
I think Philip possibly had
the easiest relationship
with her.
Philip had been an outsider.
Diana was
a bit of an outsider herself.
She married
into the royal family.
He married
into the royal family.
She was an outsider as far as
the royal family was concerned.
She wasn't an outsider as far as
grand English life was concerned
because she was
the daughter of an earl.
In some ways,
Prince Philip was to blame
for the marriage
of Charles and Diana
because he did put pressure
on Prince Charles to marry her.
And clearly,
she wasn't the right -
she wasn't the right wife
to Charles
and he told him to stop,
stop dithering
and make your mind up.
I'm sure at the time,
he was probably joking,
but he even said,
"If it doesn't work out,
you can go back to Camilla."
With Charles and Diana married,
and before long,
parents to another
future king, William,
the royal family's prospects
seemed assured.
Even the Queen
and Philip's second son, Andrew,
had settled down.
Andrew was hard work,
the Queen's favourite,
but in many ways,
a spoiled child
and a successful serviceman.
He made a great career
in the Navy.
And then Fergie
came into his life,
and they were thrilled.
I mean, they were delighted.
NARRATOR: Sarah Ferguson
had aristocratic ancestry
and a promising career in PR.
Philip approved.
He had initially taken
to her greatly.
I mean he thought
she was marvellous.
I mean, like the Queen,
they were astonished
that anyone wanted to take
Prince Andrew off their hands.
NARRATOR: But Andrew
and Sarah's relationship
soon ran into trouble
and became front page news
when she was photographed
sunbathing topless
while having her toes sucked
by her financial adviser.
When the toe sucking fiasco
erupted in that summer of '92,
Philip was utterly furious.
I mean, he thought
that she had brought great shame
on the royal family.
And he let his feelings
be known quite obviously.
It wasn't just the toe sucking,
I mean,
it was the whole collapse
of the marriage,
her inappropriate gestures
she did, her largesse.
She spent lots of money.
She was always
seemed to be buying things,
travelling first class,
doing un-royal things
in a slightly undignified way.
He really didn't want anything
more to do with her,
and if she walked into a room,
he would walk out.
And it got to the extent
where Fergie would only be
welcome in royal homes
when Prince Philip was away
or not present.
And their relationship
never really recovered.
Andrew wasn't the only son
with a troubled relationship.
Charles and Diana were
struggling to reconcile
a life of royal duties
with a 12-year age difference.
Prince Philip and Princess Diana
got on really well actually.
He had a great deal of sympathy,
and I think that he disapproved
of how Charles behaved to Diana.
And he'd write
nice letters to her,
describing himself as Pa
and the queen as Ma
and supporting her.
There was a lot of stuff
about how royal duty interferes
so much in a royal marriage,
quite unlike any other marriage.
And he was trying to be
sympathetic and helpful.
The marriage of the heir
to the throne was important.
It was important to the country,
to the monarchy,
and to the Commonwealth
that he felt he should get
involved if he could.
I've read the letters
that he wrote
to the Princess of Wales
and I've read her replies.
And they are very good letters
on both sides.
They are very moving,
particularly since we know
what eventually happened.
But he was really trying
to engage with her
and to find points of contact.
And saying things like,
you know,
you both like the opera.
Why don't you try
and go to the opera
together a bit more?
That sort of thing.
All sorts of things like that.
I said to her -
at the time, I said, well,
these are very helpful letters.
They're supportive letters.
And she acknowledged
that they were,
but she said that the time
she received them,
she found it hard to accept
that they were being offered
on that basis.
He gradually
became more and more
annoyed with her.
He said to her, Diana,
you must remember
it's not all about you.
You're part of us,
and it's about us as a whole.
At the end, Diana said,
"I hate Prince Philip,
I hate him."
So she took really against him.
NARRATOR: Philip was not often
in a position
where he didn't get his own way.
Diana told me that he shouted
at his staff
and she told me that she told
William and Harry
never ever speak to people
that work for you like that.
But I think Prince Philip
had a very loyal band
of old retainers.
If he tore a strip off
somebody in his office,
he'd go in later in the day
and say,
"Could you just look through
these papers for me?"
And you'd realise that, "OK,
you are on track again."
If I made a mistake
or what he thought
was a mistake,
I could say to him,
"Well, hang on a minute,
so we did that
'cause of A, B, C."
And sometimes he'd accept it.
But other times he would say,
"Well, you could have done
that better."
And you say,
"Yeah, fair comment."
But you could argue the point.
Did he like a good argument?
No, he likes a good discussion.
And if the discussion
became heated,
so much, the better.
I wouldn't go as far
to say argument,
and it becomes a shouting match.
It's a good...
a good discussion,
a good debate.
Despite Philip's debating skills
and with all the pressure,
Diana declared war.
Prince Philip kept saying
to the Queen, Lilibet,
you have to do
something about Diana.
This is when they were
at the height of the war
of the Wales',
and the Queen kept thinking
if she didn't do anything,
it would go away.
And Prince Philip kept saying,
"You've got to do something."
So he was chiding her.
When the Queen is dealing
with political situations
and things, she will take
advice and act on it.
And so there are
two different people.
One is what should the Queen
do as opposed to
what would the person inside
the Queen like to do?
He did write a letter
suggesting that
they could lead separate lives
and carry on with their duties.
But unfortunately,
that wasn't the view taken
by the couple.
Princess Anne was
the first of the royal children
to battle it out through
the divorce courts,
with her tank driving husband,
Captain Mark Phillips.
is a matter of great sadness.
And for the for the royal family
to have three marriages
go wrong,
it must have been profoundly
and deeply disturbing for them.
I think Prince Philip's
viewpoint would be
if they can't make it work,
it's better
that they are out of it
rather than their destructive
publicity affecting
the monarchy.
NARRATOR: But nothing
could prepare the palace
for what was to follow.
Diana's death
put the royal family
under intense focus.
There was a lot of criticism
levelled at the Queen
and Prince Philip
for not coming back to London.
And unfortunately, again,
it was media instigated,
you go and ask the question,
"Do you think the Queen
and Prince Philip
should be in London?"
And the answer, "Yeah,
of course they should."
If you put the question,
"The Queen and Prince Philip
are up at Balmoral supporting
their grandchildren,
William aged 15, Harry aged 12.
Do you think they're doing
the right thing for them?"
And the answer would be yes.
So it depends how you put it.
It was a very,
very difficult period
and it was only really
because the Queen
and Prince Philip supporting
had dug in
and just kept their heads down
and carried on
that they were able to survive.
And I think if it hadn't been
for their characters,
the monarchy
could have been finished.
NARRATOR: Just a few months
after Diana's death,
Philip and Elizabeth celebrated
their 50th wedding anniversary.
I think that the main lesson
that we've learned
is that tolerance
is the one essential ingredient
of any happy marriage.
And you can take it from me
that the Queen
has the quality of tolerance
and abundance.
NARRATOR: After half a century
as the Duke of Edinburgh,
Philip had developed
many hobbies
for the Queen to tolerate.
There were so many things,
science, technology,
all those things,
he was interested in, industry.
I mean, you know, it's endless.
The arts as well, pictures,
he had a huge collection
of pictures he was buying.
He was an extremely
knowledgeable ornithologist.
Prince Philip has written
over a dozen books.
He's written about conservation.
He's written about science.
He's written
about carriage driving
and managing estates.
He was fascinated
by comparative religion,
and he had friends
who were Buddhists,
who were Muslims,
who were Jewish people.
He went to the Vatican
for a private audience
with Pope John Paul II.
But he wouldn't want to talk
about that in public.
That wasn't his style.
He did studied religion
very deeply.
He's got a collection
of about 600 books on religion.
GYLES: In fact,
he published three books
about faith and the environment.
Nobody reads them. They are
too complicated for people.
He was a voracious reader,
which Sophie of Wessex,
Prince Edward's wife,
told me not too long ago
that he was constantly reading
and even well into his 90s.
He also used to take
the UFO monthly magazine.
Yes, he did.
NARRATOR: Philip didn't limit
his interests to academia.
He kept himself very fit indeed.
Exercises, stretching exercises,
he went swimming.
He did his own version
of the Atkins diet, you know?
He didn't eat too much,
not too many carbohydrates.
He was good
on that sort of thing.
Moderation in all things.
He didn't drink very much.
But he could mix
a mean gin and tonic.
You know,
he drank a little bit of beer.
He was very self-disciplined,
When he was a young man,
he would run around the garden
at Windlesham Manor
wearing sweats
and a lot of jerseys,
you know,
which is what people do now.
And then it used to make
the Queen laugh.
She says, "Why are you doing
this ridiculous
running in all those clothes?"
He said, "Because I want
to sweat it off."
GYLES: Flying was one of
the great passions of his life.
He went on flying from being
a young man in his 20s
through to being in his 60s
went on flying.
He flew as much in his lifetime
as somebody in the RAF
would have done.
I felt
that if I knew how to fly,
I might begin to understand
some of the demands on
and some of the difficulties
of pilots
whether service
or airline.
The Queen's Flights upgraded
from turboprop
to a jet aircraft.
So he said to me,
"Oh, I can't drive too much
over the next
couple of weeks.
I want to upgrade my licence."
This is the Queen's husband.
He's learned to fly a jet.
So he had to take a helicopter
from the East Terrace
of Windsor Castle,
fly to Brize Norton,
jump in a jet fly that,
fly a helicopter back.
After about the third day,
I said,
"How do you do this, sir?
I mean, I know driving
four horses isn't simple,
but here
you are driving four horses,
then flying a helicopter,
which is not that I know
about flying a helicopter,
but it's not like
flying a plane,
and flying a plane
is nothing like,
how do you - how do you
get it all in your brain?"
He said, "Funnily enough,
it's all very similar.
You're at the mercy
of the elements
and you can't control the wind,
you can't control updrafts,
you can't control downdrafts.
You have to kind of go
with the flow."
And of course, if I was to
describe him in one word,
he kind of goes with the flow
as long as
it's in his direction.
Prince Philip
would fly the aeroplane,
and when it got
to its cruising height,
he would come back
and sit with us
and do his paperwork,
but of course he would leave
his captain
and co-pilot
on the flight deck.
I remember once
we were doing a trip
and the World Wide Fund
for Nature lady with us
didn't realise they've got
pilots at the front,
and she spent the entire flight
watching the altimeter
in the cabin worried
that Prince Philip wasn't going
back on the flight deck.
We let it get down
to about 1,000 feet
when she was really panicking
before we went back
and took over the controls.
NARRATOR: As he grew older,
Philip had to abandon
many of his more
adventurous hobbies.
But he remained
at the Queen's side.
The real role that the Queen
and Prince Philip
had was as conciliators.
They were always trying
to move things forward
and make things better
for the rest of us.
You could go back to things
like German state visits
and Japanese state visits,
but obviously the one
that would be most easily
remembered today
would be the Ireland visit.
Irish Republican terrorists
were to blame for the death
of Philip's uncle,
Lord Mountbatten.
HUGO: Prince Philip would have
had a very personal reason
for not wishing to engage
with the Irish.
But he said once
that people should consider,
you know, it's very easy
for them to stir up hatred
and things with their enemies.
But if you'd make friends
with them,
you very often get
a much better result.
NATO is a defensive
and a co-operative alliance
and never intended in any way
to initiate
or to support aggression
of any kind.
On two public occasions,
both times, I think,
wedding anniversaries,
the Queen has spoken very deeply
and movingly of how much
she depends on Philip.
You know,
"my strength and stay"
is her commonest
phrase she uses.
And I think
that summed him up.
I mean, he's been there for her.
He's always been there for her.
And it's hard to imagine
that she could have functioned
as Queen in the way
she has without Prince Philip.
Philip was still carrying out
royal duties well into his 90s.
He joked once that he
and the Queen had to live
to a hundred to keep Charles
off the throne
because they were worried
that he did have some ideas
that were a bit off the wall
and also that he could
tend to be a bit mercurial
and he might not have been as
strong a character as they were.
But in later life,
he had a much
better relationship
with Prince Charles,
and he was very pleased to see
how Prince William turned out
the fact that he married
well to Kate.
And I think they think
that however long Charles
is on the throne,
the long-term future of
the monarchy is in safe hands.
His grandchildren adored him
and they admired him.
And if they've got a problem,
if they need to talk
something through,
it's easy to go
and talk to Grandad.
He's been around a long time.
He's been through the mill
so he could advise them.
They adored him,
and they have huge respect
for what he's done.
He was also extremely good
to various descendants
of his sisters.
He educated quietly
and privately without people
knowing it,
quite a number of their children
and grandchildren.
And I remember
his private secretary,
Sir Brian McGrath had to deal
with odd people,
descendants of some of these,
great nephews of Prince Philip,
who wound up in trouble in India
and would sort of say,
I'm a great nephew
of the Duke of Edinburgh.
So the call would go through
to Buckingham Palace
and Sir Brian would have
to sort it out.
One or two caused quite
a lot of trouble.
Near the very,
very end of Prince Philip's life
because he had lived to face
such a very great age,
the Queen decided
that he should be allowed
to retire and that he shouldn't
have to follow her around
on all their sort of engagements
that they used to do jointly.
And in the last years,
there were times
when he was just
sort of following along
and he'd make the odd remark
here and there.
He wanted to get away
from that whole royal round,
the constant comings
and goings of palace life.
NARRATOR: Prince Philip's
final royal duty
came 65 years
after his naval career
came to an abrupt end.
Since 1952,
he had carried out over
22,000 public engagements.
He sort of really was able
to then drift off
and do whatever he liked.
He moved to Sandringham.
He was living not
in the great big house,
but at Wood Farm,
which is
a fairly modest farmhouse
on the royal estate.
It's a property that perhaps
belongs to the Queen.
And the Queen
and the Duke of Edinburgh
do very much treat it
as one of the private homes,
and it's got a lovely...
it's got a lovely feel about it.
It's very cosy.
He was much happier sitting
with a few staff
to look after him, a footman,
cook, not many people,
a companion
or two came to stay.
He spent his days pottering
around the garden,
painting, reading,
catching up with correspondence.
A long time ago
when Queen Elizabeth,
the Queen Mother, turned 100,
I said to Prince Philip,
what, would you like to be 100?
He said, "Oh, God, no, I can't
imagine anything worse."
He was then, I suppose,
in his late 70s,
He said,
"Bits are falling off already.
He said, "Oh, God no,
I can't imagine anything worse."
I certainly
don't want to live to be 100."
NARRATOR: Just two months
before his 100th birthday,
Philip died of old age
at Windsor Castle
with the Queen at his bedside.
I particularly wanted to say
that my father,
I suppose the last 70 years,
has given the most remarkable,
devoted service.
And as you can imagine,
my family
and I miss my father enormously.
NARRATOR: At the funeral,
his coffin was carried
by a custom Land Rover
designed for the purpose
by Philip himself.
Due to the ongoing
COVID pandemic,
the Queen had to sit alone.
INGRID: I think the public will
look to the Queen
you know
and see how it's affecting her
because basically
since the age of 13,
she's been in love
with this man.
And I think people will worry
how she's going to deal
with the grief of his passing.
RICHARD: I think she's gonna
find it enormously difficult.
In recent years, she's lost
her mother and her sister,
and the third member
of the trinity
was Prince Philip.
I mean, these were
the three most important people
in the Queen's life.
The Duke of Edinburgh
told me that,
I said to him, you know,
"What would you like
your epitaph to be?"
Well, he said, "I don't know.
I did my best to keep the show
on the road while I was here."
In fact, if we regard
the long reign
of Elizabeth the Second
as a success,
the joint author of that success
is the Duke of Edinburgh.
He had supported her
for all those years
and understood how to support
her and loved her.
This is a man who came
from a world
in which it was
taken for granted
that men were the leaders,
there had been very few female
heads of state outside
of the British Isles.
HUGO: He will be remembered for
his courageous approach to life
and his consistency
and his support of the Queen
and his total support
of Britain.
When you
spend 27 years
working with somebody,
yes, I miss him,
I've got so much respect
for him.
If you just look back
at some of the speeches
and lectures he was giving
in the 1960s and the '70s,
they seem incredibly prescient.
I've seen some of his archives,
for various reasons,
for various projects,
and they're extraordinary.
He was way ahead of his time
and most of the things
he talked about,
Prince Charles then followed up
and now Prince William.
NARRATOR: From his start as
a penniless Prince to war hero,
consort, and family man,
Philip shaped his own legacy.
He was very much the power
behind the throne
and much underrated
while he was alive.
And it's gonna be
very, very difficult
for the younger royals
to actually replace that.
But it's incredible to think
that Prince George,
if he lives to a similar age,
will be the first monarch
of the 22nd century.
So if that lasts
into the 22nd century,
I think they'll feel
it's job done.
We have a monarchy
that thrives on longevity,
thrives on continuity
and stability,
where all around us,
presidents and prime ministers
are here today gone tomorrow.
Our monarchy
is not elected out of office.
Our monarchy
is there by succession.
Politicians come and go,
our monarchy continues.
It's 1,000 years
of history.
It's the golden thread
of our island story,
and it's about kings and queens,
princes and princesses
and their flesh
and blood, real people too.
They are human beings like us.
The Queen and Prince Philip
are husband and wife.
And they also are the Queen
and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Throughout her reign,
he's walking one step
behind her,
giving her total support.
So he managed
to support the Queen
and do his own thing,
be a dad, grandad,
husband, friend,
what a remarkable legacy.
This Commonwealth
came into existence
because people made sacrifices
and offered their service to it.
Now it has been handed to us.
And if we don't make
sacrifices for it,
we shall have nothing to hand on
to those who come after us.
And the world will have lost
something of much greater value
than just a grand conception.