Philip: The Final Portrait
Posted by Karen on September 25, 2021, 6:42 am, in reply to ""Prince Philip: An Informal Biography""
Carolyn you asked in the other Philip Thread: "I don't know how much contact he had with his father as he was growing up. I assume it was little, but he never really said." I'm currently reading Philip The Final Portrait by Gyles Brandreth (British author and presenter). Gyles knew Philip for over 40 years, after the Duke's death he said: "The Duke showed me great friendliness over 40 years but royalty offer you friendliness, not friendship, and you have to remember the difference." The Duke didn't see his his often in the early to mid 1930s as his father was living in the South of France and Philip was attending first Cheam School, then for a short while Salem School in Germany and transferred to Gordonstoun with it's creator Kurt Hahan when things became dangerous in the late 1930s. Once at Gordonstoun Philip spent most of his holidays with his Mountbatten relatives and occasionally his Sisters. Once the War started Prince Andrew was essentially trapped in Vichy France (The French region who supported the Nazis), while his son, fought on the side of the British. When the War started Philip was 18 and when his father died in December 1944 at the age of 62 Philip was 23 serving in Royal British Navy. They never saw each other during those 5 years. In the book Gyles writes: "It's clear to me that from his father Prince Philip inherited his appearance, his charm, his humour, his flirtatious way with the ladies. But with his mother he shared a wider and perhaps more significant range of characteristics. He guarded his privacy. He kept his own counsel. He did not war his heart on his sleeve. He hid his light under a bushel. He found it uncomfortable to talk about himself, and had a feeling that it would be unmannerly and unmanly to do so. His manner was deceptive. He was a kindly person, and a caring one. He was more sensitive than he wanted us to think or know. He could be prickly and perverse, stubborn and wilful. He could also be visionary. His spiritual life was important to him. He was his mother's son." It is a totally fascinating and insightful book. I really really recommend it to anyone. |