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An Ard Ri 08-17-2012 05:38 AM

"The Queen's Mother in Law" [Alice of Greece née Battenberg] (2012) - Channel 4 doco
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"The Queen's Mother in Law"
Channel 4, August 2012

Channel 4 will air an hour long documentary on Prince Philip's late mother,Princess Alice next Tuesday night.
As I'm almost finished reading a biography on Princess Alice,I'm looking forward to seeing this.

The Queen's Mother in Law - The Queen's Mother in Law - Channel 4

The late Queen Mother was one of Britain's most instantly recognisable figures, but few of us have even heard of the Queen's mother-in-law, Princess Alice. But her life story almost defies belief. A great granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Prince Philip's mother married into the Greek royal family, only to see the Greek monarchy overthrown by revolution. Fleeing into exile, she suffered a severe nervous breakdown. She was locked away in mental hospitals and subjected to experimental treatments by psychiatrists, including Sigmund Freud.

The trauma had a shattering effect on Princess Alice's marriage and led to a fractured childhood for her only son, Prince Philip.
Philip's mother eventually fought her way back from mental illness, and became an unlikely hero of World War II, risking her life to hide a Jewish family from the Nazis.

When her son married the future Queen Elizabeth in 1948, Alice turned down the option of a cosy royal life. Instead she chose to dedicate herself to working with the poor in Greece, gave away all her possessions and even founded her own religious order.

Featuring exclusive interviews with family members and previously unseen archive footage, this film sheds new light on one of the royal family's most remarkable, but least known, personalities.

EPHRAIM HARDCASTLE: A new documentary about his family won't cheer ailing Prince Philip | Mail Online

"Ailing Prince Philip won’t be amused by a Channel 4 documentary next week about his late mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, describing her ‘walking the corridors of Buckingham Palace dressed as a nun, sucking on a Woodbine’.

Entitled The Queen’s Mother in Law, it depicts her husband, Prince Andrew of Greece, as a cad. Alice’s niece Countess Mountbatten says: ‘He went and lived in the south of France and had mistresses. He was no support to anybody.’ She says Philip never had a proper home before his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, adding: ‘When he stayed in our little cottage he signed Philip and under address put “No fixed abode”, which really says it all.’ "

v Princess Alice
image reproduced for promotional purposes.

BeatrixFan 08-17-2012 06:38 AM

I'm looking forward to this but I'm hoping it won't the usual Channel 4 style documentary with 5 minutes of interesting information and 45 minutes of slow moving photographs and so-called experts.

Artemisia 08-17-2012 11:10 AM

I hope I'll be able to watch the documentary as well.
Prince Philip's family is surprisingly little-covered apart from few well-known facts (such as escape from Greece or his father's conduct).

An Ard Ri 08-17-2012 11:37 AM

I must say I am looking forward to watching this,I've always had an interest in the Battenbergs/Mountbattens.

Princess Alice seems to have lived a remarkable life.

Warren 08-19-2012 02:29 PM

The other Queen mother: She spent two years in an asylum, then became a nun. A new documentary explores the unconventional life of the Queen's mother-in-law, Princess Alice | Mail Online


She survived revolution and exile, mental breakdown and religious mania, evincing great personal courage to protect a Jewish family during the war – before turning her back on the trappings of royal life to become a nun.

Alice was a loving mother but enforced separation from her young son helped to forge Prince Philip’s self-reliant, sometimes cussedly independent spirit. Now, a Channel 4 documentary, The Queen’s Mother In Law, featuring previously unseen footage and interviews with Alice’s nieces – Prince Philip’s cousins – tells the forgotten story of the Queen’s most unconventional relative.

She was born Princess Alice of Battenberg in 1885 at Windsor Castle, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and raised as an English princess, although both her parents were German. Alice was congenitally deaf but she could speak clearly. Photographs show how beautiful she was, with her upswept hair and lace gowns.

Then in 1902, at the Coronation of King Edward VII, she fell head over heels in love with Prince Andrew, a younger son of the King of Greece. As her niece, Lady Pamela Hicks [Lord Mountbatten's younger daughter], explains, ‘She was absolutely dotty about him. Really, deeply in love.’ By 1914 Alice had four daughters. But in Greece, revolution was brewing, and shortly after Prince Philip was born in 1921, the Greek royal family were exiled. Aged 18 months, the future Duke of Edinburgh was bundled into a makeshift cot – an orange crate – as the family escaped on a British warship.

They arrived in Paris as refugees, living on handouts from relatives. The strain took its toll on Alice, and her impassioned religious beliefs became steadily more eccentric. By 1930 she was hearing voices and believed she was having physical relationships with Jesus and other religious figures. Although the couple never divorced, Alice was effectively abandoned by her playboy husband Prince Andrew, who went to live on the French Riviera with his mistress.

When Alice was eventually released from the sanatorium in 1932, she became a lonely drifter, staying in modest German B&Bs. Almuth Reuter, whose mother ran a boarding house in Cologne, remembers their unusual guest. She used to sit on the terrace, staring up into the sky,’ Almuth recalls. ‘One day, I asked Alice, “What are you looking at?” and she said, “St Barbara.”

In 1941, Alice was stranded in Nazi-occupied Greece. Her brother, Lord Mountbatten, sent food parcels – which she gave to the needy. Then, for more than a year, she hid a Jewish family on the top floor of her house, only yards from Gestapo headquarters. When the Gestapo became suspicious, Alice made her deafness an excuse for not answering their questions. When she was posthumously honoured as Righteous Among The Nations – the highest Israeli honour to non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust – Prince Philip said, ‘She would have considered it a natural reaction to fellow beings in distress.’

The Queen later gave her mother-in-law a room in Buckingham Palace. Prince Philip’s biographer Gyles Brandreth says: ‘They say you could always tell when she was coming along the corridor because of the whiff of Woodbines in the air. The idea of the Duke of Edinburgh’s mum, dressed as a nun, sucking on her Woodbine… it’s wonderful!’

Mariel 08-19-2012 03:32 PM

An very worthwhile person! To think what she was subjected to by psychiatrists, including Freud. There are several noteworthy Alice's in the royal family. A good name for a princess.

BeatrixFan 08-22-2012 06:02 AM

A really informative programme by Channel 4, nothing new to anyone who has read Wikipedia really but the archive footage of Alice was lovely to see.

EIIR 08-22-2012 07:30 AM

I enjoyed the documentary last night. I don't feel it was a character assassination of anyone involved, and actually portrayed Alice as a very generous and compassionate person, despite the wrongs that were done to her by some of her close family members.

I had worried that it would turn out to be another of those Channel 4 documentaries about the cold, un-feeling royal family who banish anyone in any way different to keep up appearances. I think they did a documentary on Prince John in the same vein. Fortunately that wasn't the case on this occasion.

BeatrixFan 08-22-2012 07:58 AM

The highlight for me was seeing Lady Pamela Hicks and Countess Mountbatten. They're so entertaining and really bring stories to life. I'd like to hear them talk about the family more.

Ally Priest 08-22-2012 10:12 AM

Does anyone know where a link can be found to watch it? I want to see it so bad!

BeatrixFan 08-22-2012 10:15 AM

You might be able to see it on the 4oD website :)

Ally Priest 08-22-2012 10:16 AM


Originally Posted by BeatrixFan
You might be able to see it on the 4oD website :)

Thanks! I'm going to try it later!

An Ard Ri 08-22-2012 12:00 PM

I must saw I really enjoyed the documentary on Princess Alice last night.The old black and white footage was a highpoint as were the 2 Mountbatten sisters,I could listen to Patricia Knatchbull speak for hours!

Artemisia 08-22-2012 01:46 PM

By the looks of it, you were not the only one. :smile:

Queen's Mother-in-Law documentary gets right royal reception

A Channel 4 documentary about Prince Philip's mother – a great granddaughter of Queen Victoria – proved a ratings hit for Channel 4 on Tuesday night with 4 million viewers. The Queen's Mother-in-Law, about Princess Alice of Battenberg, attracted 3.5 million viewers on Channel 4 with another 500,000 on Channel 4+1, a 17% share of the audience.
I wish I were able to watch it.
@ Ally Priest - unfortunately, it's not available on 4oD. :sad:

MarkUK 08-22-2012 02:16 PM

I thought it was very good overall. They dwelt a little too much on her spell in a mental institution perhaps, but her true character shone out in the end. We can see where Prince Philip gets his looks from, his mother was a beauty well into middle age and his father had a definate that rakish appeal.

An Ard Ri 08-23-2012 07:48 AM


Originally Posted by Artemisia (Post 1453945)
By the looks of it, you were not the only one. :smile:

Queen's Mother-in-Law documentary gets right royal reception
I wish I were able to watch it.
@ Ally Priest - unfortunately, it's not available on 4oD. :sad:

Wow that's a very good reception for Channel 4!

I wonder if any of the royals tuned in.

Tsar bobo Iv 08-27-2012 06:39 PM

does any 1 know if it airs in the usa

MarNoe 08-27-2012 06:50 PM

I very much enjoyed it. I was lucky enough to be visiting friends in East Sussex so was able to see it. It will probably never be shown here in the States.

Osipi 08-27-2012 07:14 PM


Originally Posted by Tsar bobo Iv (Post 1455649)
does any 1 know if it airs in the usa

My guess is that it may be aired on TLC sometime in future. That channel runs documentaries about the British Royal Family from time to time. Gotta love it.

Tsar bobo Iv 08-27-2012 07:22 PM

they aired alot during the royal wedding
pbs had alot of good specials on the queen
over the summer

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