Queen Elizabeth was ‘distressed’ when three of her kids’ marriages ended in divorce

There were moments in the 1990s where the Windsors were the most dysfunctional soap opera around. In quick succession, Prince Charles and Princess Diana separated, Princess Anne divorced her first husband (Mark Phillips) and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s marriage crashed and burned. To be fair, Andrew didn’t actually want to divorce Fergie – the Queen and Prince Philip basically forced him into divorcing her, but obviously they remained very close and they still live together. But the others? Anne was desperate to divorce Mark Phillips for years, and she ended up marrying Timothy Lawrence the same year her divorce came through. Anne and Timothy were carrying on an affair during her first marriage. And the Charles-Diana stuff… well, obviously, we know what happened there. All of this ‘90s tumult is part of Robert Hardman’s book, Queen of Our Times: The Life of Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen was very upset that three of her children’s marriages crashed and burned.

The Queen was upset about her kids’ divorces: “Outwardly stoical, as ever, the Queen was finding the divorce talks deeply upsetting,” Hardman writes in his book, which is excerpted in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “Another former member of the Household recalls that, every now and then, there would be a glimpse of her despair.”

Sheer sadness: “It distressed her much more than she let on,” a former staffer tells Hardman, recalling his attempt to put the broken royal marriages into some sort of perspective. “I said, ‘Ma’am, it seems to be happening everywhere. This is almost common practice.’ But she just said, ‘Three out of four!’ in sheer sadness and exasperation. One shouldn’t underestimate the pain she’s been through.”

1992, her “annus horribilis”: “I don’t remember a single occasion when I went to see her and she exclaimed, ‘No! What next?’ ” her former press secretary Charles Anson tells Hardman in Queen of Our Times, out April 5. “The issue was sometimes embarrassing, but she got on with it. It is immensely reassuring in those situations to work for someone who isn’t knocked back.” Throughout, he adds, she was “never short; never irritable; completely steady.”

The Stillness Approach: Outwardly, the Queen chose “stillness” amid the drama surrounding Charles and Diana’s split — an approach she learned from her father, King George VI. “Her mother’s strategy in these situations— to carry on as if they were not happening—had earned her the nickname ‘imperial ostrich’ among royal staff,” Hardman writes. “The Queen’s response, as ever, was to follow the example of her father, absorbed from his days at sea, and to treat adversity like the ocean.”

The Queen doesn’t panic: “Storms will come and go, some worse than others,” Sir John Major, who worked so closely with her through this period, tells Hardman. “But she will always put her head down and plough through them. The Queen has always lived by the doctrine, ‘This too shall pass.’ ” Hardman writes, “While the Queen has sometimes been accused of being slow to act, there has never been a charge of panic. Her default mode in the face of a crisis is stillness.”

[From People]

Panicking isn’t great, but neither is stillness? Sometimes action is needed. In times of crisis, you want someone level-headed and organized in thoughts and actions, not someone who wants to stand still and allow the crisis to wash over them while they ignore it. Why are they trying to make this sound like a good thing, my God. As for all of the ‘90s divorces… Anne, Charles, Edward and Andrew all had massively dysfunctional childhoods. Queen Elizabeth didn’t do a lot to raise them or emotionally support them, and Philip was ill-equipped (if not incapable) of being a hands-on, comforting parent to the children. I’m not saying that everything is Elizabeth and Philip’s fault, but there is so much generational trauma in that family even to this day. Part of that generational trauma is rooted in Liz’s instinct to “ostrich” and ignore every issue that comes up.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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81 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth was ‘distressed’ when three of her kids’ marriages ended in divorce”

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  1. AnneL says:

    The Windsors were so opposed to divorce and believed in carrying on, so why did they make Andrew divorce Fergie? Because she was unfaithful? So was Philip. I guess it’s different for women but Anne was having an affair. I find that puzzling.

    I feel for Edward. He seems pretty happily married, but if he wanted to divorce Sophie there would be a lot of pressure on him to just stay the course. Mummy wouldn’t want to go zero for four. He’s like Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain at Gettysburg, the last one holding the line.

    • Snuffles says:

      Maybe because Fergie was so shamelessly obvious about it and got caught on camera (and apparently with one of her daughters nearby). Also, not a blood royal.

      Even though everyone knew about the other affairs, none of them got busted on camera. Well, there were recorded phone calls in Charles and Diana’s case, but Charles is the heir and male, so he’s allowed to get away with that behavior.

      • Jan90067 says:

        That is exactly it: that it was so shamelessly public. It “embarrassed” the family. That is precisely why he hated her.

      • Swaz says:

        Exactly that, The Royals are only interested in the optics. If Meghan wasn’t smart, beautiful, photogenic and chic the royals wouldn’t spend 2 years trying to destroy her while trying just as hard to transform Kate into Meghan. Good Luck.

      • Jaded says:

        Fergie was an attention-hogging buffoon for a long time before the marriage fell apart. Philip always thought her much too *common* and I remember those early years when she behaved like a bumptious, out of control puppy. It wasn’t necessarily the infidelity, it was the total obviousness of it. Yes Philip had affairs (and likely Andrew) but they were discrete about it. Fergie? Not so much…

      • Bex says:

        Anne’s love letter to Timothy Lawrence ended up with the press. The press made a huge production about funding them, quotes a bit from them, and then made a huge production about returning them to their rightful owner.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      “Anne and Timothy were carrying on an affair during her first marriage.”

      This is true. It is also true Mark Phillips was carrying on numerous affairs during the marriage. IMHO, the Phillips’ had an aristocratic “open” marriage. Phillips had an affair, one of many, with Heather Tonkin, a New Zealand art teacher and equestrian, and fathered a daughter Felicity Tonkin. born in 1985.

      It is also believed by many that Anne & Andrew Parker-Bowles have “carried on” since the day they met.

      • YOKOOHNO says:

        Very interesting BayTampaBay! Do you have any idea why Anne and Mark divorced?

        My thoughts on the divorces are – if Anne and Mark had an understanding similar to other aristocratic marriages, why did they end up divorcing? If the Queen was so adamant that divorce was bad, I don’t understand how it got to three divorces when only Charles and Di’s appeared so contentious. Why couldn’t they have kept Anne and Andrew from divorcing?

        Also…on the subject of Edward’s “successful” marriage, there were a lot of rumours about Edward and his preferences during his theatre time and my guess is that his marriage is a very successful arrangement. I feel like the only “successful” marriage of the queen’s children is probably not a conventional marriage and that’s why it has worked….

      • C says:

        I don’t think Anne and Andrew Parker Bowles were still carrying on. He was with Rosemary Pitman for a long time before he and Camilla divorced and he married Rosemary. He also had a lot of other mistresses and Camilla knew about it.

        YOKOOHNO – I don’t think Anne and Mark had an arrangement. Or if they did, I think she fell in love with Timothy Laurence and decided she wanted out, to be with him. The Palace itself confirmed their romantic correspondence in 1989 a few months before they formally separated.

      • Talia says:

        Anne and Mark divorced because her fairly incendiary love letters to Tim Lawrence ended up in the hands of a tabloid.

        Palace PR decided that throwing Mark P under the bus by revealing his multiple affairs and portraying Tim as her true love eternal (rather than the latest in a string of *Anne’s* affairs) who she turned to after her cruel first husband had broken her heart by cheating was the best PR strategy.

        It also let them test out the strategy so they could use it with Charles and Diana later.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Anne was rumored to have had a fairly serious affair with Detective Sergeant Peter Cross , her Royal Personal Protection Officer. This affair supposedly began in 1979.

        With regards to Andrew Parker-Bowles, it is my understanding that “if” this supposed “life-long” affair with Anne is real & true it has been on-off and sporadic over the years based on what I have read.

      • kirk says:

        Interesting conversation re: Princess Anne’s marriages and divorce. I didn’t realize she had to go to Scotland to marry Timothy Laurence since Church of England was still not allowing divorcees to remarry. Seems like Mark Phillips paternity of love child with NZ art teacher wasn’t confirmed until 1991. Apparently Ann and Mark weren’t getting along at all and separated in 1989, finally divorcing in 1992. Took another ten years (2002) for Church of England to allow divorcees to remarry.

    • HamsterJam says:

      @Jaded “Discrete” Um, they were dramatized on The Crown, so they could not have been all that discrete

      • C says:

        I liked how in The Crown they made it seem like Diana had all these rotating lovers and Charles was with his “one true love” when he had at least three. Hopefully they will touch on that in the upcoming season.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @C – That gets my goat to with regards to The Crown as Charles had at least three, possibly five, affairs other than Camilla after his marriage to Diana.

      • Tessa says:

        The crown left out lady Tryon the other married mistress who was involved with Charles and no mention of Janet Jenkins among others Camilla was not the only one

      • tuille says:

        It wasn’t so discreet. “Discrete” has a different meaning entirely.

      • Nore says:

        How much truth lies btw in the rumour that Charles was once also entangled with Penelope Eastwood?

    • teecee says:

      Fergie was the married-in, not the blood royal. And she was the woman, which makes it worse.

  2. Snuffles says:

    “ I’m not saying that everything is Elizabeth and Philip’s fault, but there is so much generational trauma in that family even to this day. Part of that generational trauma is rooted in Liz’s instinct to “ostrich” and ignore every issue that comes up.”

    I think Harry has come to this conclusion himself and that’s why he said in the interview that he had compassion for the Charles and William being trapped in this situation. Of course, no one on that side of the pond wants to hear that. Everyone is supposed to think being in the royal family is the ultimate status that EVERYONE would want. Take that away and it all crumbles.

    As for the Queen, her insistence that it will all go away and get better if they ignore it or ride it out is what has gotten this family in the mess they are today.

  3. Jane says:

    One of the trauma responses (I’m told) is not just fight or flight, but freeze – to stop as though in the sights of a predator. QEII had a father with a famously terrible temper (The Crown notes this too) and a mother who was charming but not at all maternal (something The Crown lets slide). And this was a time when affectionate parenting was seen as leading kids to become criminals, which is what gay people were treated as then. QEII just couldn’t cope.

  4. kelleybelle says:

    What about when Meghan was nearly driven to suicide and so many derangers were saying that she faked her pregnancy? What about that?

    • WallOfFire says:

      Derangers are still claiming she faked her pregnancies. It’s utter lunacy.

      • kelleybelle says:

        It would’ve been impossible to do. They’re too stupid and shallow to realize that.

  5. Aud says:

    This is why I believe William will try to avoid divorcing Kate and just live separately. I think he likes the PR of having kids and a “stable” marriage. I think he wants to have that to trot out for the press while privately being single. I can see it going on until someone in the media turns on him/one of them is caught “cheating”

    • Merricat says:

      I think William will just wait for the queen to die. Since Charles has no room to judge on the subject, that’s when it will happen, if it happens (and many signs point to yes).

    • Snuffles says:

      If William had ANY sense, he should know that this invisible contract won’t always favor him. If “happy family” isn’t making the tabloids money, and he can no longer serve up the Sussex’s on a platter, they will eventually turn on him and expose his affairs to make a profit.

      Honestly, he would be better off orchestrating an amicable divorce, so he can live his bachelor life and not be a hypocrite.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        The tabloids will turn. And when they do it will be better for him to amicably divorce than have an affair broadcasted. Those affairs are like dominos.

    • windyriver says:

      I don’t think Will cares that much about the PR of a stable marriage. At least not anymore, and certainly not when you look at his behavior in the last year. If he did, the optics with Kate would be better, even if it’s just pretense. Said something like this elsewhere, but IMO Will’s primary emotion right now re: relationships (and lots of other things) is jealousy of Harry. Will may be a racist, but he knows a pretty, sexy woman when he sees one, and unlike Kate, she’s competent when it comes to work. Will sees what Harry has, knows how good the he and Meghan look together, and wants some of that. He knows he’s not going to have it with Kate. His unhappiness is so apparent, I just don’t see Mr. Incandescent having the temperament to hang on too much longer in the marriage. And Charles will likely be happy to see the extended Middleton family get the boot. Will will likely wait for TQ to pass, and that’s it.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ windyriver, @ Suffles, I agree that Incandescent is waiting until TQ passes and KKKHate gets the proverbial boot!! They are already setting her up post divorce with AC.

        As for extramarital affairs, their father maintained affairs for years, why would TQ think that the children wouldn’t see it as being acceptable? TQ turned a blind eye….

      • Lisa says:

        @windyriver William does not want anyone who works as it shows him up

    • Tessa says:

      Peter Phillips had a wife and two children and was a family man he wanted someone else and that was that despite his family man image I doubt Will would hesitate to end the marriage if he fell in love with someone else

  6. Bettyrose says:

    LOL! You sit on a literal throne of lies.

  7. Jenn says:

    There is a hypocrisy in royal reporting or whatever. Hardmann is profiting off the most intimate moments of the Queen’s life, and no one bats an eye. Her former aides tell her secrets (for free?), I thought they had NDAs. Or did the Queen approve their participation? Yet Harry is hammered everyday for a memoir about his own life.
    Does the royal family encourage this feeling by the Brits and media that they own the royals? That individual members can’t profit from their own lives, while journalists and former aides can.
    The royal biography business needs to die.

  8. Dorcas says:

    This what happens when people are told to marry who is suitable interms (race,family class,aristo mentality,also choose from the most keen ) instead of love

    • Tessa says:

      In the case of William, he broke up with Kate to try to court aristo women who wanted nothing to do with him. In William’s case, he settled. IMO.

      • WallOfFire says:

        William literally could not get anyone else to marry him. Katie is the absolute best they could do. It’d be sad if he wasn’t such a monster.

      • kelleybelle says:

        At least three times, too.

  9. Noki says:

    Edward wont divorce because it seems that Sophie is his beard and i am sure they have an understanding.

    • SuzeQ says:

      This is my guess too. It’s a shame Edward couldn’t be his true self (if his true self is what has long been rumored).

  10. Amy Bee says:

    According to the royalists, there was no generational trauma in the Royal Family and Harry is mistaken when he speaks about it.

  11. Blue Nails Betty says:

    I suspect the stillness in this instance is the Stoic version of stillness. That stillness is about stilling your emotions so you can see a situation more clearly. It isn’t about being frozen or not doing anything.

    The queen is famous for being publicly unemotional so her stillness is a calming ritual. Granted, that doesn’t explain why she is so damn out of touch, racist, and colonial. But it kind of explains why she seems so unemotional and often moves slowly on decision making.

    • WallOfFire says:

      It’s just emotional stupidity. There isn’t any actual thought behind it.

    • North of Boston says:

      Okay, so say she’s stilling her emotions so she can see the situation more clearly. Then what?
      She seems to just be remaining still, over and over again, for decades.

      Remember when Diana died, how her first impulse was just to remain still, for days, until the outrage at her lack of response finally forced her to do something to acknowledge the loss.

      She’s 90 something now so I don’t expect her to do much, but there were decades where she could have been much more engaged.

      (As an American, I’m not claiming any high ground … I still remember facepalming while watching a doc about QEIi visiting the US. At one point she’s at a reception chatting with POTUS and FLOTUS, and it looks like they are talking serious heads of state business, but it turns out President Reagan was asking her about the waitstaff serving coffee “is that decaf?” “Oh I think it’s not, the decaf is coming later” “is THAT the decaf?” QEII and Nancy, together “No it isn’t, the decaf is coming later, we’ll let you know” Reagan: “oh, okay … It’s that decaf, does he have decaf?”) is it any wonder we’re in the state we’re in?)

      • Bisynaptic says:

        Well, not to get all electorally political, here, but: take a look at the caliber of person elected to the US presidency by Democrats vs Republicans, since Eisenhower.

  12. equality says:

    In the case of her children divorcing, it’s their lives so she just as well be “still” about it. In other cases, a supposed leader who does nothing is not of much value. Why aren’t all the other family members’ actions a big “slap in the face” like anything H&M do or say?

  13. Eurydice says:

    Well, it explains why she didn’t do anything to help Harry and Meghan – she just put her head down and waited for them to go away.

  14. HamsterJam says:

    Was TQ at all distressed that Philip cheated on her before and after the wedding?

    Their men are not expected to remain faithful to their wives – there is no shame in that, the only shame is in divorce?

    They agnowlege that they are incapable of keeping it in their pants so where does their moral superriority come from? What gives them the right to comment on any sort of human relationship?

    The Church thinks divorce is wrong and does not allow remarriage after divorce, but the Church is OK if the future head of the church has done both?

    It is preferred to overlook infidelity in marriage rather than get a divorce?

    I have so many questions.

    • detritus says:

      So upset about divorce but traffic underage women, cheat, steal from their lessers, public racism, refuse to make amends for actual literal profits made on slavery, petition for legal changes that benefit them and only them, maintain a toxic atmosphere, etc, that stuff is ok?

      Oh noooooo not the divorces so horrid.

  15. Cerys says:

    It’s only natural for a mother to be upset when her adult childrens marriages break up. As others have mentioned, she was probably also upset that everything was made public. In aristocratic circles, many couples live apart and lead separate lives while keeping up a public facade. They have the houses and land to do this. The Queen and Prince Philip are a prime example of this.

  16. Tessa says:

    I think Fergie had hopes of marrying someone else after the divorce but none of the relationships panned out. She had money troubles and had to move back in with Andrew, who co-parented the children with her, but I don’t think they were exactly “faithful” to each other all those years. If Fergie had not gone around with financial advisers, she and Andrew might not ever divorced. But the icing on the cake was when those embarrassing photos of her with a financial adviser became headline news while Fergie was at Balmoral. The Queen had words with her and Fergie quickly left. Fergie really had made some disastrous decisions And so has Andrew.

  17. Brassy Rebel says:

    When the kids were growing up would have been a good time to parent them, to love them, and to instill actual values. But that didn’t happen because the Queen’s first and only priority was preserving the monarchy come what may. That was the only thing that mattered. And that was drummed into her from her own childhood. The old newsreel footage of the Queen returning to London after many months away and ignoring a three year old Charles who was waiting there tells the whole story. The Queen and Philip have never had anyone to blame but themselves for their dysfunctional family. That it’s all a mystery to her how they all turned out (and especially the sweaty nonce) says a lot about what an empty vessel she has always been.

    • Tessa says:

      It all cannot be blamed on the parents. Charles could have made up his mind then and there to have a different family life when he married. Only Charles had his own issues, and saw marriage in a “philosophical way” and relied on mentors like Van Der Post. He did not consider what his first wife wanted out of the marriage, just how it “should” be run. He is no better a parent than his parents if anything worse. The way he treated Harry was just so very dysfunctional, not helping him or supporting him. and not Telling the media to back off and stop making trouble for Harry and Meghan. He thought Protocol should overrule being a loving father. Anne did not complain about her upbringing, neither did Andrew or Edward. Charles also was praised to the skies and favored by the Queen Mother who did enable his self centeredness by making him feel the center of the universe. Andrew also made his choices, his own disposition and behavior re: Epstein and Ghislaine is all on him. IMO

      • kelleybelle says:

        Queen Mother encouraged his affair with Camilla too. Horrid people, all of them.

    • Chrissy says:

      I remember seeing footage of the Queen returning from some tour and all she did when young Charles approached her for a hug, was to shake his hand! So cold! And so different from Diana’s approach to parenting.

  18. Tessa says:

    THe Queen ostriched about all the marital breakups, she sat back and did nothing until things went into crisis mode.. She was told about Charles relationship with Camilla about a year or two before the wedding. She just probably thought “it would all work out” and ignored the problems in the marriage, When Diana went to talk to her the Queen said “oh charles is impossible.” Diana said “that was it, that was help.”

  19. Tessa says:

    Peter Phillips supposedly is her favorite grandchild. so she apparently did not bat an eye when he brought his girlfriend who had not yet been divorced from her husband, out in public and to several Jubilee events. I guess it was more ostriching or she just did not care. Anne’s divorce and remarriage was kept relatively quiet also.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Tessa, I find that really interesting, too. It seems that TQ has accepted that she’s no longer living in the 90’s. Divorces will happen in the family. I suspect that the fact that Peter’s divorce was quiet also helped.

      People who think that W&K won’t divorce because of the Monarchy are looking at that relationship through the strictures of the past. I think what is much more to the point is how messy it will be. I have a feeling that there’s plenty of information that could be publicized about the Mids–and KHate–that it won’t come to that. Unless they want to burn their own bridges, too.

  20. Aitana says:

    Fergie was kicked out quickly bcz she was not very discreet. She was photographed having her toes sucked/kissed by some rando banking/financial dude while still married to Andrew. She was also a bad embarrassment bcz she went thru a shit-ton of $$$ & was always on the take & always claiming she was broke. She was, & still is messy.

    • Tessa says:

      In a way, Andrew was a rebound for Fergie. She was living with an older man who did not want to marry her. She did not want to wait and went on a date (set up by Diana) with Andrew. They had a quick courtship and got married. He also had been interested in Koo Stark.

    • WallOfFire says:

      Fergie is such a messy messy bitch. Andrew and Fergie are soulmates, nothing will change my mind about that. They absolutely belong together.

  21. usavgjoe says:


  22. TEALIEF says:

    She heads of the Church of England that was founded so the King – its founding Head – could divorce. Marriage, mistresses, lovers, and affairs are not as deeply upsetting as divorce? This, as an organising principle, is wrong. When an institution’s organising systems and principles fail the people within it, it will eventually fail and fall. And it is definitely going to fall if it is organised, centred, and defined by one person, not principles. Elizabeth Windsor has perfected stillness, and does not know how to pivot, just plough. This is particularly surprising given a pivotal family change of name in order to ensure survival.

  23. jferber says:

    Tieleaf, yes, I agree. Whatever happens within the marriage is never as bad as ending the marriage, in her opinion. I guess that’s why her husband had mistresses for years and she took a lover (Lord Porchester) and had a child by him. I will always believe that. I’m not even sure if Edward is Phillip’s child, since he seems to have gone off Liz after Anne was born and was distracted by mistresses (primarily Penny?) for years.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Do not forget the late Sacha Phillips Hamilton, Duchess of Abercorn who was Prince Philip’s mistress before Penny came on the scene. Also, really weird, I read somewhere not reliable that Penny may not have been Phillip’s mistress but an illegitimate daughter.

      • candy says:

        They each had their dalliances, not just Phillip. Andrew looks an awful lot like Lord “Porchie,” and so does Eugenie.

      • TEALIEF says:

        When the business is the family, and the family is failing, the family business will eventually fail. If there is no actual course correction, reboot or upgrade, and if the clients’ loyalty are not to the products, services or personnel- who quite frankly are out of touch and stuck in a loop – but hitched to a person of longstanding, it will fail and fall.

  24. Lizzie says:

    Man, talk about people in glass houses throwing stones. Does anyone think E&P had a marriage that was any better? They endured, often separately, because they chose to. If social media had been a thing 75 years ago we would know a LOT more about PP’s flings.

  25. og bella says:

    for the love of god, are those her boobs at her waist?

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      I’m not nearly as old as the Queen, but it’s probably safe to say that I’m older than most folks who comment here. So I would say that when you reach 96 you’re just grateful if you have both boobs, even if gravity has relocated them to your waist.

      • Christine says:

        LOL, Brassy Rebel!

        I am 47, and after breastfeeding only one child, my boobs need major help getting to where they should be. I don’t even want to know what gravity has in store for me.

    • Totorochan says:

      Oo, are we going all Dani Mathers and bodyshaming 96 year old women now?

  26. tuille says:

    The “stillness” is actually inertia. She tolerated Philip’s flings and and hoped the Margaret – Townsend affair would fizzle because Peter was divorced. After a few years of postponing – denying them permission to marry, Pete gave up and married someone else. Margaret rebounded to Tony A-J.

  27. candy says:

    God, Diana was so angelic. I cannot wait for the next season of the crown with the annus horribilis.

  28. Ihatepeople says:

    Amen! You nailed it. They royally screwed up as parents and the generational trauma continues to this day. Why a sad family.

  29. Robin Samuels says:

    Another book!
    The author’s embellishments read like a Cinderella tale. The Queen is exasperated because three of her four children are divorced. She and Philip orchestrated one to acquire an heir and a spare. The daughter’s long-term infidelity causes me to assume marriage was an arrangement. I can’t comment on the 3rd marriage; it was just an accident waiting to happen. As for the fourth child, in my opinion, the marriage is a facade, and divorce would blow his cover.
    The Queen’s default mode in the face of crisis is shutdown. Philip was a busy lover boy, and she chose blindness over divorce.
    Someone said Philip was discreet; I can’t entirely agree. The invisible contract covered his extracurricular activities. I also believe Penny is his daughter and not his lover. The secret is in the will.

    • Julia K says:

      Penelope Knatchbull was born April of 1953, meaning she was conceived in July of 1952, while Prince Philip was consoling his wife at the 1952 death of her father which made Elizabeth queen. Highly unlikely that he would have had an affair which led to a conception during this sad and stressful time. Not his daughter, in my opinion.

      • Bisynaptic says:

        That would be exactly the time that a man like Phil, so sensitive to rank and status and his manly prerogatives, would cheat on his wife, who was just elevated above him.

      • Muisje says:

        Never ever would PP have set eye or put hand on Penelopes mother. NEVER.
        And even if… Do you really think Dickie had set up his own grandson with his grandniece?

  30. kirk says:

    Another book!
    The excerpt focused on the 75% divorce rate in Queen’s immediate family without touching on something that truly distressed QEII, and what I think is the most “horribilis” part of her 1992 “annus” – the Windsor castle fire that the government offered to pay for, but the British taxpaying public refused to countenance. Ever since the 1992 Windsor fire, QEII started paying some income and capital gains taxes, though Duchy of Lancaster finances are still opaque. But at least taxpayers were becoming cognizant of the BRF back-end funding with the fire. “The State provides for the monarchy in two ways: first through explicit finance (currently votes and the Civil List) and secondly by foregoing tax on the Sovereign’s private wealth” (https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/money-and-power/a34242784/queen-elizabeth-royal-family-tax-breaks/).