PRINCE PHILIP: His Secret Life by John Parker

PRINCE PHILIP: His Secret Life

Email this review


Parker's previous book about royalty, on the Duke of Windsor (King of Fools, 1989), was a gossipy quick read, but Prince Philip makes for a tamer subject with less egregiously dirty laundry. Born in Greece in 1921 to German/Danish royalty, Philip was raised largely by relatives, including his mother's brother, Lord Mountbatten, who urged him to enroll in the Royal Naval College--where he first met then-Princess Elizabeth. Although the relationship that would develop over many years was said to be ""true love,"" during his wife's first pregnancy the Prince caused a minor scandal by frequenting men's clubs and nightclubs. When Elizabeth became queen, Philip spent much time traversing the globe; he was shooting crocodile and touring Antarctica, for instance, while Britain was facing the Suez Canal crisis. When a friend resigned a palace post under reports of adultery, the tabloid buzz was that Philip and Elizabeth's marriage was also in trouble--but together they remain. So what's here of the promised secret life? Not much. Parker (Five for Hollywood, 1991) reports affairs and a possible illegitimate child, but he depends heavily on printed sources, offers little flavor of the prince's alleged naughty leanings, and pads his account with tedious filler (endless genealogy, long discussions of Philip's charitable works). Of interest to the royalty-obsessed only.

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 1991
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: St. Martin's