Prince Philip: Churchill was ‘suspicious’ of Duke claims expert
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Winston Churchill feared Prince Philip could do the UK “harm”, according to documents from the 1950s. The former Prime Minister is said to have been “suspicious” of the Duke of Edinburgh due to his family links. Royal experts discussed the tense relationship in Channel 4 documentary, ‘Queen Elizabeth: Love, Honour and Crown’.
Narrator Jane Whittenshaw told viewers: “Philip would not be privy to his wife’s dealings with her Government.
“Her first Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, was even supposedly suspicious of Philip, as the diary of his private secretary reveals.”
A 1952 diary entry from Sir John Colville reads: “Although he wished the Duke of Edinburgh no ill, he neither liked nor trusted him.
“And only hoped that he would not do the country any harm.”
Historian Professor Jane Ridley explained: “Philip was Mountbatten’s nephew.
“So there may well have been worry that if Philip was given any kind of political power, he would try to implement Mountbatten’s political agenda, and act as though he was king.”
Royal biographer Penny Junor added: “What went on with the Queen and her Prime Ministers remained private and secret from him.
“I think that must have been incredibly difficult.”
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Churchill was instrumental in blocking some of Philip’s desires early into his reign.
Notably the Prime Minister was the one who convinced the Queen not to adopt the Mountbatten surname.
The monarch had put pressure on him, as she wanted to please her husband, but he refused.
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Again, many in the Government at the time feared that the name change would give Philip and his uncle too much power.
The Queen Mother was also vehemently against it.
However, eight years later, when Churchill was no longer the Prime Minister, the Queen finally secured the change.
Harold MacMillan’s Government agreed to the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.
In 1960, it was therefore declared that the Queen’s descendants, other than those with the style of Royal Highness and the title of Prince/Princess, or female descendants who marry, would carry the name of Mountbatten-Windsor.
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