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Besotted Elizabeth ‘danced round the room’ when sent a photo from ‘her boy’ Philip

Prince Philip: Expert discusses ‘significant impact’

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The Windsor Diaries, written by Alathea Fitzlan Howard, is a book containing the never-before-published diary entries of Ms Howard who grew up with the future monarch and Princess Margaret. Isabella Naylor-Leyland, Ms Howard’s niece, adapted the book after Ms Howard passed away in 2001.

Ms Howard’s writing in the diary fondly refers to the Queen and Margaret by their nicknames, Lilibet (L) and M respectively.

In an excerpt from the book, detailing a diary entry from Thursday, February 15, 1945, Ms Howard wrote of a conversation between herself and Princess Margaret regarding the Queen’s early love for Prince Philip.

She wrote: “P.M [Princess Margaret] told me Prince Philip sent P.E [Princess Elizabeth] a photograph of himself for Christmas and she danced round the room with it for joy!

“She then said: ‘I wonder who Lilibet will marry?’ Prince Philip certainly seems to consider the possibility and P.E would welcome it, I am sure.”

Just over two years later, the official engagement between Elizabeth and Philip was announced in July 1947 and they had married by November the same year.

Ms Howard met the Queen and her sister when she moved to Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park to live with her grandfather during the war years.

Ms Howard was the eldest of the three girls and had a very close “sisterly” relationship with a young Elizabeth and Margaret.

Speaking to Town&Country, Ms Naylor-Taylor said her aunt had a “typical teenage friendship” with the Queen as they would laugh and giggle and wouldn’t “discuss anything too serious.”

She also added that Princess Margaret was “naughty” but Ms Howard “admired her spirit”.

In an earlier diary entry, Ms Howard wrote of the first time the Queen and Princess Margaret mentioned Prince Philip.

According to Ms Howard’s wartime diary, the Queen and her sister both erupted into laughter when bringing up Prince Philip.

In an April 3 entry from 1941, she wrote: “They said something about Philip, so I said: ‘Who’s Philip?’

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“Lilibet said: ‘He’s called Prince of Greece’ and then they both burst out laughing.

“I asked why, knowing quite well! Margaret said ‘We can’t tell you’ but L said: ‘Yes we can. Can you keep a secret?’ Then she said that P was her ‘boy’.”

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