Cornwall, 1939. At Dartmouth Naval Academy, 18-year-old student officer Philip Mountbatten is tasked with escorting the daughters of King George, who is visiting the college. With one of these, the smallest, there is an almost instant understanding. “It’s Princess Elizabeth, she’s 13 years old,” his superiors told him, “You mustn’t lose sight of her.” He observes her, talks to us, even follows her out to sea with a small boat when the royal yacht leaves its mooring. And she, leaning over the parapet, greets him: she moves her hand, once, twice, three times. “Your Majesty, are you all right?”: Windsor, aprile 2021. Secretary Paul awakens the queen from her slumber. Pen in hand, he was thinking back to all the letters he wrote to his life partner, since that first meeting over eighty years ago, still teenagers. Words upon words, a sea of ink: when he was at war with the Navy, when she was traveling with her father. Now that Philip is gone, Elizabeth wants to dedicate a last letter to him, a last thought for the man who was – by her own admission – her strength and support. Thanking him for all the adventures together but already looking towards the future, just as he would have liked. Yes, because there is a kingdom to carry on. Signed, Lilibet.
His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died on April 9th. He was 99 years old. Some time earlier he had said to his confidants: “I can’t imagine anything worse than living up to 100 years.” One of his many jokes that have always made his wife laugh heartily, Elizabeth II. They were married for 73 years. A marriage of love, beyond any doubt. Already during the wedding dinner, in 1947, King George VI had said: “Our daughter has married the man she loves.” On April 9, 2021, Elizabeth II proclaimed eight days of national mourning and a private and intimate funeral, as her husband would have liked. Then he resumed his duties as head of state, first via zoom then in presence. “He feels a huge emptiness, but he has to go on,” the royal observers noted. After all, Prince Philip would never have wanted him to fail in one of his duties. The queen promised it to her subjects: “My whole life, be it short or long, will be at your service and that of our country.”
But how is the queen today? How has your private life changed after the farewell to Filippo? What about public commitments? Elizabeth II, 95, has an agenda full of official commitments this fall. But won’t there be too many? After the news of the recent hospitalization, initially hidden by Buckingham Palace, how is her majesty really? What will your agenda be for the next few months?
In fifteenth episode of “Royal Secrets”, the first Italian royal podcast dedicated to the Windsors, let’s try to answer all these questions, in the company of a special guest: the writer and journalist Antonio Caprarica, the greatest Italian expert on the events of the Windsors, who dedicated his latest book to Queen Elizabeth , Elizabeth, Forever queen. Life, the kingdom, the secrets (edito da Sperling & Kupfer).
The Vanity Fair “Real Secrets” podcast is available on iTunes, Spreaker and Spotify.