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Prince Philip heartbreak: The moment his ‘world collapsed’ as Elizabeth became Queen




PRINCE PHILIP’s “world collapsed” after the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s father King George VI, as the young royal was propelled to the top of the monarchy unexpectedly. ITV showed a remarkable documentary last night exploring the life of Prince Philip, spanning his eight decades in the Royal Family. With the use of archive footage, some of which shown in colour for the first time ever, some famous moments of Philip and the Queen’s time together were brought to life.



In the film titled ‘Philip: Prince, Husband, Father’, moments from the Queen and Philip’s engagement announcement and later their honeymoon appeared in full colour for the first time. One video shows Her Majesty, then 21, and the Duke of Edinburgh, aged 26, on a balcony in Buckingham Palace on July 9, 1947, after announcing their engagement.



In another colourised clip, the monarch and her husband are seen walking in the grounds of Broadlands in Hampshire during their honeymoon on November 24, 1947. Through interviews with various royal experts, some of the tougher moments in Philip’s life were also looked at.



This includes the aftermath of King George VI’s death, and how this moment saw Philip’s “world collapse”. At the time, Philip’s career in the Royal Navy was his biggest passion, and was also going from strength to strength.



Martin Palmer, a former religious adviser to Philip, told the documentary: “When they heard the news in 1952 that the King had died, I think his world collapsed. “His natural place of service in the Navy was no longer possible, and I think it was a huge shock.”


Her Majesty and Prince Philip
Former Conservative MP and author Gyles Brandreth added: “It happened sooner than anyone might have hoped, because the old King, George VI, died at a much earlier age than anyone would have wished for. The film then showed an archive interview of Philip discussing how the death of George VI changed his own life.



Philip said: “The thing is, both the Queen and I got pitchforked into a situation well before our time, well before our age group. “And, at 30, that was obviously a pretty intense experience.” Once Elizabeth had become Queen, her job took priority, meaning Philip had to sacrifice much of his time and career.



Indeed, he had to quit his Navy career to become the monarch’s consort full time. During the Queen’s Coronation at Westminster Abbey on June 2, 1953, Philip knelt before his wife, clutched her hands and pledged unswerving loyalty.



He said: “I, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, do become your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship. And faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all ­manner of folks. So help me God.” While Philip was taken away from his military life, he immediately looked to reinvent the monarchy by introducing various changes.



For example, according to reports, he brought in modern filing systems and ­pioneered the use of a helicopter for work. Equerry and best friend Mike Parker claimed the changes went down badly in certain quarters of the Palace.

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