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  #1  
Old 04-28-2006, 08:08 PM
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Post Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage by Gyles Brandreth 2004

I am currently reading Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Royal Marriage. I came across this book on Amazon while searching for Royals and the Reich (which I still haven't read). Anyway, Philip and Elizabeth proves to be a pretty good read so far. There are qoutes throughout from Prince Philip as well as other family and friends.
Is there anyone out there that has read the book? If so, what is your take on it? I've learned few interesting facts. I've often wondered why Prince Philip was born on a dining table. Well, now I know that Princess Alice's physician thought that it would be more convenient than her bed. I know little bit more about QEII's character also from this book.

I'm truly pleased with my purchase and highly recommend it.:)
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2006, 01:25 AM
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I Love that book got it for Christmas
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:23 AM
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I picked this up while I was in Glasgow this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to reading it.
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Old 05-08-2006, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by norwegianne
I picked this up while I was in Glasgow this weekend, and I'm really looking forward to reading it.
It really is a good book; I couldn't put it down. Happy reading!
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Old 05-09-2006, 01:33 AM
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I enjoyed the book. He was writing a sympathetic portrait but it wasn't sycophantic. I hope he's done as balanced a job with the Charles-Camilla book.
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Old 07-05-2006, 07:45 PM
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I really enjoyed it Definitely worth a read. The story about the forgotten necklace at the wedding, and Colville so intent on getting it, that he nearly hijacked a car with King Haakon in it, was pretty amusing. (pp. 232-233)

And I also liked the fact that Queen Margrethe had been interviewed, and quoted on Prince Philip's role as a prince consort, and compared him her own husband. (p. 309).

All in all, I thought it was a very good read.
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Old 07-06-2006, 10:48 AM
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I loved this book and the audio version is nice background noise on a long journey. Brandreth seems to really have a way with words because I loved Charles and Camilla : Portrait of a Love Affair too. I think that because Gyles has access to certain Royal personages and they trust him, you can take what he says as fact and that's very rare in books about the RF.
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Old 08-24-2008, 08:43 PM
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I think a major adjustment of anyone who marries into the Royal Family is the attitude of some of the staff that the ones who marry into the family are less important and less worthy of devotion and service than the ones who are born into the family. I'm not sure of Prince Philip's early experiences but this was a common theme that Anthony Armstrong-Jones, Mark Phillips, Diana, and Sarah experienced. For example I have read that Margaret and Charles both had a very close group of retainers serving them when they married and the retainers had a comfortable routine of serving just one master (or mistress) and they quite resented having to take the wants and needs of a second person into consideration. It can make the newcomer seem like the odd man out of a very close unit.

I sincerely hope that this attitude has changed because it causes undue hardship for someone trying to fit into a new family (and a public one at that) for the first time. I haven't heard that Sophie or Camilla has experienced this so let's hope this old outdated custom has been put to pasture for good.
Very true Ysbel. I have read that Prince Philip had a terrible time with courtiers at the beginning of his marriage:

"'And life at court was very, very frustrating for him at first,' according to Patricia's [Mountbatten] husband, Lord Brabourne. 'It was very stuffy. Lascelles [Private Secretary to King George VI] was impossible. They were absolutely bloody to him. They patronised him. They treated him as an outsider. It wasn't much fun. He laughed it off, of course, but it must have hurt... In a way, marriage hardly changed her [Princess Elizabeth's] life at all. She was able to carry on much as before. In getting married, she didn't sacrifice anything. His life changed completely. He gave up everything.'"

Gyles Brandreth, Philip and Elizabeth Portrait of a Royal Marriage (2004).

I don't know the reputation of this Brandreth fellow, but I understand his book was written from first-hand interviews with and permission from Prince Philip himself, a personal friend of Brandreth's, and from scores of interviews with other personal acquaintances who know Pr. Philip and the Queen personally.
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:15 PM
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I don't know the reputation of this Brandreth fellow, but I understand his book was written from first-hand interviews with and permission from Prince Philip himself, a personal friend of Brandreth's, and from scores of interviews with other personal acquaintances who know Pr. Philip and the Queen personally.
To say that Gyles Brandreth was a personal friend of Prince Philip's is stretching it a bit, although this was intimated in the PR for his book. Brandreth was a former member of parliament and he also sat for years on the British Playing Fields Committee whose president was ( still is) Prince Philip. So Brandreth does know Philip on a professional level but not on a personal level.
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Old 08-24-2008, 10:26 PM
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I think Brandeth's biography of Philip is really credible.

I'd like to think that Charles could clean up this particular system when he's King but I'm afraid he's too much a part of the system now.

It seems that the common response to the harsh treatment by the Palace officials was to get a group of retainers who are fanatically loyal to you. Sometime in the 70s I read that the Royal Family was occupied by divas each rivals with each other and each with their own group of loyal retainers. Margaret had her group of fanatically loyal retainers, Anne had hers, Charles had his. Later Diana complained about Charles' syncophants but then she turned around and did the same thing and gathered her own group of fanatically devoted retainers (ie Burrell et al.) The only one who didn't was Sarah and she got the worst end of the lot so that's hardly an encouraging sign for anyone in the Royal Family who wants to break the cycle of gathering your own fanatically devoted household.

One good thing though is that it seems that relations between members of the Royal Family are better now so they may not see the need still to have their fanatical group protect their interests within the Firm. Sophie and Edward's marriage so far is very encouraging and Sophie comes from a very middle class background.
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Old 08-25-2008, 08:14 AM
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To say that Gyles Brandreth was a personal friend of Prince Philip's is stretching it a bit, although this was intimated in the PR for his book. Brandreth was a former member of parliament and he also sat for years on the British Playing Fields Committee whose president was ( still is) Prince Philip. So Brandreth does know Philip on a professional level but not on a personal level.
Perhaps, but his book is incredibly researched and the author himself says his conversations are from first-hand accounts, interviews with principals, and interviews/conversations and even suggestions from Prince Philip. It reads like a legal brief there are so many citations sourcing his information, which makes his account credible. Not once does he refer to an anonymous source. Now he does I think spin some more salacious gossip about Philip, but that's about as far away from facts as he goes. Whether or not he is personal friends with Prince Philip is debatable and in the end it really doesn't matter because friend or no, he sat down with Prince Philip and used the information with his permission in this book.
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:29 AM
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I especially like the part when he visited Sarah Bradford (who wrote an biography about the queen) and asked her about if Philip had committed adultery and if yes, with whom she was absolutely sure. She said of course he did and named Alexandra Hamilton, the Duchess of Abercorn. So Brandreth faithfully went to visit the duchess and asked her directly about Bradford's claim which she refuted on explaining that one can have a deep friendship with somebody, even be photographed holding hands without having to hop into bed with him. I really liked that, that was cute. Anyone can make up his or her own mind about the question if the duchess lied or not but at least we're talking first-hand quotes here.

I read a bit on the net about Philip's and George Mountbatten's cousin Georgina Lady Kennard, née Wernher (whose mother was a descendant of Russian Czar Nicholas I. and whose aunt, sister of her mother, was Marchioness of Milford Haven and thus aunt-in-law to Philip) and her five children, an only son who allegedly committed suicide, and two duchesses (Abercorn and Westminster), a Scottish Laird's Lady (Burnett of Leys) and Mrs. Andrew Knight, wife of the media baron while her nieces include the Countess of Dalhousie, Princess Alexander Galizine and the Countess Peter of Pejacsevich. I really agreed with Brandreth after reading of his talks with Lady Kennard - she must be fun to meet and one wished she would write her autobiography like her late husband did. That is, i hope she is still as alive as she appeared from the pages of the book which was published in 2004. A great read, IMHO.
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:05 PM
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I like this whole book. It's brilliant. As far as biographies of HM & HRH go, for me, it is second only to Pimlott. Brandreth also has many fascinating footnotes throughout the book. Hey, it's just good stuff. It's of the highest quality of biography.
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