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Queen once chased Prince Philip with tennis racket during royal tour row

Gyles Brandreth says writing Prince Philip book was a 'nightmare'

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Senior members of the Royal Family are to gather at Westminster Abbey to celebrate the life of the Duke of Edinburgh. The memorial for Prince Philip, who sadly passed away last year aged 99, will celebrate his many years of public service and a “long life lived fully”. Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall are expected to attend, as are Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince Andrew is expected to make his first public appearance since the settlement of his civil sexual assault case, while Prince Harry has not travelled over from California.

The Queen will be in attendance in what will be her first public appearance this year outside of royal residences.

COVID-19 restrictions last year meant Philip’s funeral was restricted to just 30 attendees, leading to the heartbreaking image of Her Majesty sitting alone as she bade farewell to her husband of 73 years.

She paid a touching tribute to him in her Christmas message last year, speaking in unusually personal terms about her “beloved” Philip.

Yet unearthed accounts reveal it was not always plain sailing for the royal couple, none more so than during their 1954 tour of Australia.

Elena Mora, a royal expert, claimed in a 2020 interview that Her Majesty let her emotions get the better of her at the time.

Speaking to Tv2000’s show ‘Bel Tempo si Spera,’ Ms Mora said: “They were very young, they were in Australia, and they were in a bungalow.

“It was assumed that the Queen would do the traditional photoshoot with koalas and kangaroos.

“Cameras were not like today, so they had to be positioned in time, prepared.”

She continued: “The cameraman was preparing everything and, at one point, he saw Prince Philip running out of the bungalow chased by a pair of tennis shoes and a tennis racket.

“And a scream from the Queen could be heard saying, ‘Come back, come back.’ He diligently went back.”

Ms Mora went on to reveal the camera crew gathered outside the bungalow decided within seconds to get rid of the row that they had accidentally captured.

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She said: “The cameraman rightly took his film, took it out, put it to the light and said to the security man, ‘Take it to the Queen as my present.

“The Queen came out after a few minutes, thanked them with sandwiches and said, ‘well, what do you expect me to do now?’ It happens in all marriages, undaunted.”

Her Majesty and Philip are reported to have endured a rocky patch upon her accession to the throne, with both of their lives turned upside down by her newfound role.

Lady Pamela Hicks, Philip’s cousin, told National Geographic’s 2020 documentary ‘Being the Queen’ that Elizabeth becoming Queen “devastated” the royal couple.

She said: “This extremely active enthusiastic young man who suddenly finds his whole life is going to be taken away from him and probably thinking he will become a “yes man” for the rest of his life.

“This really devastated their lives as a married couple.”

This was echoed by Tom Jennings, the documentary’s executive producer. He told US Weekly at the time: “I’m sure it was very strained at first and for someone like Philip to acquiesce to the nation and basically give up his bride to the world and take a backseat to everything that’s going on.

“I think he managed to get through it, but I’m sure it was a very strained time for them.”

Despite the early difficulties, Philip and the Queen boast the longest marriage in British royal history.

He offered his secret to the happy marriage on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997, saying: “The main lesson that we have learned is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage.

“It may not be quite so important when things are going well, but it is absolutely vital when things get difficult — you can take it from me that the queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”

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