Prince Philip's stag do discussed by royal experts
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The Duke of Edinburgh was known for never being one to mince his words, and could sometimes be both colourful and controversial. He died in April this year aged 99. Philip and the Queen enjoyed 73 years of marriage, tying the knot in November 1947.
Her Majesty is spending her summer holiday at Balmoral without her husband by her side for the first time.
Karren Brady, perhaps best known for being Sir Alan Sugar’s aide on BBC series The Apprentice, is current vice-chairman of West Ham United.
She revealed an incident when Philip wasn’t afraid to speak his mind.
Writing in The Sun, she recalled being invited to the annual Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Ceremony at St James’s Palace.
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Hundreds of young people had gathered to wait for the distribution of the certificates for which they had worked so hard.
While waiting for the ceremony to begin, Baroness Brady engaged in some small talk with Philip.
She later realised the errors of her ways.
She wrote: “This was a mistake. Why?
“Because my small talk has always consisted of football on the basis that most people have got a view or at least something to say on the matter.
“However, I quickly gathered he was not a fan by the face he pulled when I was just halfway into my first sentence.”
Undeterred, Lady Brady asked him if it was true that Her Majesty was a West Ham supporter.
In true Prince Philip style, Lady Brady recalled: “He looked utterly baffled and said – shouted, actually – “Why on Earth would you think that?”
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Lady Brady explained that the London Stadium, the current home of the Hammers, was one of the capital’s few football stadiums, and justified her question by saying that Her Majesty had once unveiled a plaque there.
She said: “At this point, he laughed so loudly that his security guard came over, just as Prince Philip was telling me that if the Queen supported every club, team and stadium where she unveiled a plaque, she would be a fan of thousands of teams.
“He had a point.”
The Queen has often been reported to be an Arsenal fan.
Jeremy Corbyn said in a 2016 speech in the House of Commons: “Now, we know the Queen is absolutely above politics.
“She may be above football, too, but many locals harbour this quite secret view that she’s actually, privately, a Gooner.”
Arsenal legend Cesc Fabregas also claimed Her Majesty told him she was “a fan” of the Gunners during a reception at Buckingham Palace in 2007.
However, the Mirror reported in 2009 that Her Majesty had let slip she is a secret West Ham fan to staff after overhearing a discussion about the rivalry with bitter neighbours Millwall.
Her allegiance reportedly dates back to her admiration for the late Ron Greenwood, the Hammers’ most successful manager.
A Windsor Castle source told the newspaper: “The Queen has never wanted people to know who she supports because she wants to be seen as neutral.
“But she gave up her secret after overhearing one of her staff members saying he was a Millwall fan and was talking to another member of staff about the derby between West Ham and their arch rivals.”
The royals have always followed football closely – Prince William is President of the Football Association and cheered England on at Euro 2020 earlier this summer, joined by wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and their eldest son Prince George.
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