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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Prince Philip : The 5 times he brought the royal family to heel

Strong emotion in the United Kingdom. Prince Philip died in the morning of April 8. As he was fresh out of hospital and preparing to celebrate his 100th birthday, some hoped that he would help Elizabeth II deal with the turbulence in the royal family. Long before the stunts of his grandson Harry and Meghan Markle, he had been able to calm the most rebellious of the Windsors…

It is a whole page of the history of the royal family of England that turns. Prince Philip died this April 8, at Windsor Castle. This prince of Greece and Denmark by birth, but never crowned king, will not have had time to celebrate his 100 years, which he had to celebrate in June. If he had planned his funeral, he will not have had the time to solve the thorny problem Meghan and Harry, from which he had been preserved during his hospitalization earlier this year. After a month of relatively heavy care, Prince Philip was released from the King Edward VII Hospital on Tuesday, March 16. Direction Windsor Castle, where Elizabeth II was waiting impatiently, while the Megxit had already turned to the settlement of accounts between the Sussex and the Royal family. Freshly operated, the heart of the Duke of Edinburgh remained fragile. But follower of a military discipline, almost more royalist than the queen although often grumbling in private not to be better considered than a “fucking amoeba”, the venerable Philip will never have tasted self-pity, let alone sentimentalism.

While Prince Harry and Meghan Markle continue their war with the Windsors, while Charles and William have failed to bring “Dirty Harry” to his senses, while Kate Middleton remains “downcast” by Meghan‘s revelations in front of Oprah Winfrey, the British press was excited about Prince Philip’s return to the management of family affairs. Some journalists were amused by the sorting through the papers that Windsor staff probably had to do before the arrival of the “Boss”, others imagined his falsely naive reaction – “Have I missed something?” – upon his return to Elizabeth. It is true that the Duke of Edinburgh never hesitated to bring order to the turbulent Windsors. The proof with 5 difficult cases…

1- Princess Margaret, the sister-in-law deprived of marriage with a divorcee

When Elizabeth officially crowned in June 1953, 16 months after the death of her father George VI, the young sovereign and Prince Philip were already married and young parents. The couple had been married in November 1947 and had given birth to Prince Charles in November 1948 and Princess Anne in August 1950. Admiring Philip, Prince of Greece and Denmark, since his adolescence, Elizabeth II naturally turned to him to consolidate her reign and authority. Philip had to make sacrifices: their lineage would bear the double patronymic Mountbatten-Windsor, he would always have to walk two steps behind his wife… It is to say that the ruffles of Princess Margaret, Elizabeth’s younger sister, quickly tested his patience. When the latter asked for the right to marry Captain Peter Townsend, divorced, in the spring of 1953, her elder sister was caught in a real dilemma. As head of the Anglican church, she could not satisfy his request, Elizabeth made Margaret languish, Townsend was posted to Belgium. In 1955, it is a frank no. The youngest daughter of George VI is collapsed. Philip reminded his wife of the foundations of the constitution. With the births of Princes Andrew and Edward, Margaret will be relegated more and more to the margins, abandoned to a decadent life that has no impact except on the sale of tabloids …

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2- Wallis Simpson, the mistake to erase

It’s an understatement to say that she turned his life upside down and that he held it against her until she took her last breath. If Edward VIII had not abdicated for love of Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee who could not claim the title of queen, Elizabeth II’s father would never have been crowned king, his eldest daughter would never have ensured the succession and Philip would have led a much more normal life by her side. With “ifs”… The Duke of Edinburgh has never imagined his life in the conditional. Becoming Prince Consort after the accession to the throne of Elizabeth II, Philip was obsessed only by his duties. So when Edward VIII and Wallis tried to return to the United Kingdom after going into exile in France, he supported his wife’s choice to keep them at a distance. So much the worse for the deserters, short of money and honors. Philip’s mantra is already formulated: “the monarchy first, then and always.” Wallis will be allowed to return to England only for the funeral and burial of Edward in Windsor. A tolerance. His end of life, handicapped by senile dementia, will not interest the royal family. Even though her body will be repatriated to Windsor with that of Edward…

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3- Diana, the daughter-in-law supported, then let go

When Charles, 31 years old and with a list of conquests a little too long for an heir to the Crown, announced his engagement to the young Diana Spencer in February 1981, Prince Philip breathed a sigh of relief. His eldest son, too whiny, too unconcerned about the burden that awaited him since his birth, had always disconcerted him. Daughter of one of the oldest English artistocratic families, still a virgin and moldable, Diana ticked all the boxes for the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, who despaired of seeing the Prince of Wales settle down. Unfortunately, the marriage of Charles and Diana quickly turned into a fiasco. The heir to the throne continues to frolic with Camilla Parker Bowles. Diana mutilates herself, gives in to bulimia. In the early 90s, the situation has become unbearable. Philip maintains a correspondence with his daughter-in-law, encouraging her to hold on. Like Charles, Diana starts to have affairs. Philip is annoyed, asking her to think about why her husband is not faithful. In 1995, the Princess of Wales emptied her bag on TV, revealing all the underbelly of her disastrous marriage, in the program Panorama. In private, she said she was also ready to reveal infidelities of Philip. This is too much for the Duke of Edinburgh who never wants to hear about it and supports Elizabeth II, when she forces the couple of Wales to divorce.

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4- Sarah Ferguson, the other daughter-in-law became his bête noire

Between them, everything had started well. In the middle of the 80’s, facing the too shy Diana, Sarah Ferguson, Andrew’s fiancée after much more sulphurous relationships of the young prince, does not lack assets: she is the daughter of a colonel and polo coach, her cheerful temperament and her dynamism reconcile the media with the moribund Windsors, and above all, she loves Philip’s humor. On July 23, 1986, the wedding mass was said. Six years later, it is rather an oration for Fergie. In the middle of August 1992, while the whole royal family was gathered at Balmoral, Sarah’s frolicking with a Texan millionaire around a swimming pool in the south of France was splashed across the front page of the Daily Mirror. No one expected this much at breakfast time. Like the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh has an upset stomach. Fergie is driven out of the Scottish domain. Divorced from Andrew in 1996, left to her own devices, the Duchess of York makes a comeback to the Windsors, on the occasion of the wedding of Meghan Markle and Harry in 2018. Prince Philip closes his eyes. When, in the summer of 2019, the Epstein affair catches up with the former husbands of York, compromised with the sexual predator, Sarah, who has just returned to Balmoral with Andrew, must once again clear out: the Prince Philip, expected at the estate, is in a rage.

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5- Meghan Markle, the enigma on which he warned

Withdrawn from public engagements in 2017, Prince Philip appeared in close proximity to Meghan Markle only on the occasion of two Christmas masses in Sandringham, the presentation of Archie to the media and a few weddings at the Windsor. After accusing the Windsors of racist reflections before the birth of his son, during his interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry‘s wife made it clear that these comments did not engage either Elizabeth II or the Duke of Edinburgh. It was for the best. After the first claims of independence of the Sussexes in early 2020, the husband of Her Majesty, stunned by the insolence of Harry and Meghan, would have weighed for his grandson to be stripped of his military titles, in anticipation of a harder Megxit. Stunned by Harry’s crush on the former Suits heroine and his eagerness to marry her, the Duke of Edinburgh reportedly expressed his reservation back in 2017, “We date actresses, we don’t marry them.”

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Photo credits: Agency / Bestimage

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