Saturday 10 December 2016

Queen was in tears after row with 'brutal' duke over royal family name

Gordon Rayner n London

Published 03/12/2011 | 05:00

QUEEN Elizabeth was reduced to tears by the Duke of Edinburgh's "brutal" behaviour towards her when she refused to take his surname of Mountbatten, according to a new biography.

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Author Sally Bedell Smith even suggests that the 10-year age gap between Princess Anne and Prince Andrew was the result of "Philip's anger over the queen's rejection of his family name".

Her book, 'Elizabeth The Queen', to be published in January, details the duke's irritation over the monarch's decision to accept the advice of the then prime minister, Winston Churchill, by keeping the family name of Windsor.

The duke had wanted the royal family to be known as the House of Mountbatten when the queen ascended the throne in 1952 and complained to friends that: "I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children. I'm nothing but a bloody amoeba."

Earl Mountbatten, the duke's uncle, believed the 10-year "delay" in the couple having any more children after the princess royal was a result of the duke's anger.

Even in 1960, when the queen was heavily pregnant with Andrew, she told the prime minister Harold Macmillan that she needed to "revisit" the issue of the family name, which "had been irritating her husband since 1952".

In an article for the current issue of 'Vanity Fair' magazine, the author cites an entry in Mr Macmillan's diary, in which he wrote: "The queen only wishes (properly enough) to do something to please her husband -- with whom she is desperately in love. What upsets me is the prince's almost brutal attitude to the queen over all this."

He added: "I shall never forget what she said to me at Sandringham."

Mr Macmillan passed the problem to his deputy, Rab Butler. Miss Bedell Smith writes: "By one account, Butler confided to a friend that Elizabeth had been 'in tears'."

A compromise was reached in which any descendants not entitled to the designation of "royal highness" would be called Mountbatten-Windsor.

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