The Duke of Edinburgh turned 98 yesterday, two years after announcing his retirement from royal duties. Even though he might have celebrated the milestone birthday with his wife, the Queen, royal sources suggested the pair are now “leading separate lives” and don’t see each other “for weeks”. Charlie Proctor, editor of Royal Central, told Daily Star Online that Philip spends little time at Buckingham Palace, as he views it more like a “workplace” rather than his home.
Despite now spending more time apart than before, Philip and the Queen reportedly speak on the phone every day.
Over the last 72 years, the pair have maintained a strong and stable bond, with the Queen describing the Duke of Edinburgh as “my strength and stay”.
However, according to a newly-resurfaced biography, there was a particular feud that caused a lot of tension and division in their marriage, which reportedly left the Queen “in tears”.
The Queen was reportedly left in tears by Prince Philip “almost brutal behaviour”
The Queen and Prince Philip have been married for more than 72 years
When Elizabeth’s father, King George VI, died, and the Queen ascended the throne in 1952, the Duke of Edinburgh wanted his children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, to take his family name Mountbatten.
However, former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Elizabeth’s grandmother, Queen Mary, and the Queen Mother, all strongly believed that the Royal Family name should remain Windsor.
The Queen sided with the older Windsor generation and rejected her husband’s wish.
On April 9, 1952, the monarch issued a public declaration and confirmed that “her children will be styled and known as the house and family of Windsor”.
Philip was said to be heartbroken and told his friends that he felt “like a bloody amoeba” as he was the “only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children”.
He refused to let the matter drop and, when the Queen was pregnant with Prince Andrew in 1960, she told then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan that “she absolutely needed to revisit” the issue of the family name because “it had been irritating her husband since 1952”.
In the biography, Ms Bedell Smith cited an entry in Mr Macmillan’s diary, in which he wrote: “The Queen only wishes to do something to please her husband – with whom she is desperately in love.
“What upsets me is the Prince’s almost brutal attitude to the Queen over all this.
“I shall never forget what she said to me that Sunday night at Sandringham.”
Mr Macmillan passed the problem onto his deputy, Rab Butler, and the Lord Chancellor Lord Kilmuir.
Queen Elizabeth II with former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
Ms Bedell Smith noted: “By one account, Butler confided to a friend that Elizabeth had been in ‘tears’.”
On February 8, 1960, 11 days before the birth of Prince Andrew, a compromise was reached as the Queen made a new declaration in Privy Council saying that she had adopted Mountbatten-Windsor as the name for all her descendants who do not enjoy the title of His or Her Royal Highness.
The surname first appeared on an official document on November 14, 1973, when Princess Anne chose to sign marital documents with “Mountbatten-Windsor” when she wed Captain Mark Philips at Westminster Abbey.
Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1952
Prince Philip and the Queen with Prince Charles and Princess Anne
Its legacy endures today, too.
After Meghan Markle and Prince Harry welcomed their first-born son into the world recently, his name was confirmed as Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Philip’s passion for the Mountbatten name is perhaps understandable.
He gave up his royal titles before proposing to the then Princess Elizabeth and took on the surname Mountbatten, sacrificing his previous title – Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.
The name comes from his maternal grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg, who naturalised as a British citizen and anglicised the family name.
A similar change was made in the Royal Family, too.
King George V dropped the Saxe-Coburg and Gotha name in favour of Windsor in July 1917.
It came at the height of World War 1 and was considered essential to keep the public on side while British troops fought Imperial Germany in France.
The move has since been called the Royal Family’s “best marketing exercise” by historian Dr David Starkey.
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