‘Ghastly prospect’ Prince Philip ‘couldn’t imagine’ turning 100, says biographer

Prince Philip 'couldn't believe' antiquated palace says Brandreth

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The late Duke of Edinburgh – who died in April aged 99 and just weeks away from his 100th birthday – made the comments to Gyles Brandreth, who knew the royal for four decades. In Brandeth’s instant bestselling book titled ‘Philip: The Final Portrait’, which came out days after the Duke’s passing, he claims the prince said: “I certainly don’t want to hang on until I am a hundred like Queen Elizabeth [the Queen Mother].

“I can’t imagine anything worse. I’m already falling to pieces as it is. Bits keep dropping off. I have absolutely no desire to cling on to life unnecessarily. Ghastly prospect.”

The hilarious yet poignant comments are typical of the type of quips Prince Philip was known for.

The book is an updated biography of the Prince from Brandreth’s original printed in 2004, named ‘Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage’ which illustrated the Queen and the Duke’s 73-year love.

Despite the Prince being known for his wit – which bordered on blunderous at times – his loyal biographer insists the Duke was thoughtful and kind.

Brandeth writes in his introduction: “He was more thoughtful and much kinder than the common caricature of him would suggest.”

He said of the book in a statement: “It was a great privilege to know the Duke over so many years and remarkable to be given special access and help in writing his life story.

“It is an extraordinary story and unexpected in so many ways. He saw an early draft of my book and made some factual corrections, as well as a few caustic comments.

“He did not see the final version, but I hope it does him justice. I have not held anything back.”

In the book, he describes the joy of feeling close to the Prince as a friend and writes: “Sitting alone with him in his library at Buckingham Palace, sharing a drink, he was the best company: completely unstuffy, easy to talk to — and happy to talk about anything.”

Whilst musing over whether or not he should have served in the royal air force instead of the navy, Brandeth writes the Prince balked at the idea of regret.

He told Brandreth: “Regrets are a waste of energy. There’s no point in having regrets.”

Brandeth added he believes the Prince passed away happy, writing: “I think that when he died, he died happy.

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“In the last ten years of his life he seemed a more settled soul than once upon a time.”

Despite the Duke saying he would like ‘minimal fuss’ at his funeral, he was laid to rest in a ceremonial burying on the 17th April, attended by the closest members of the Royal family.

His death prompted hundreds of thousands of royal fans from all the world to travel to Windsor Castle and lay down flowers and wreaths – an act for which the Queen publicly stated had ‘touched’ her.

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