A gripping biography of the early life of Prince Philip, published to coincide with his 90th birthday.
Married for more than 60 years to the most famous woman in the world, Prince Philip is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. Yet while he is still one of the most recognisable figures in public life, his origins remain curiously shrouded in obscurity. In Young Prince Philip, the first book to focus exclusively on his life before the coronation, biographer Philip Eade recounts the Prince’s extraordinary upbringing in Greece, France, Nazi Germany and Britain, where he inhabited a notably colourful milieu yet was beset by continual turbulence and a succession of family tragedies.
This revealing book examines the formative psychological effects of having a mother who was born deaf and was committed to a psychiatric clinic when Philip was nine, and a father who was so traumatised by his treatment at the hands of Greek revolutionaries that he later left his young son to be brought up by his wife’s family, the Milford Havens and Mountbattens, just when Philip needed him most. Remarkably, there emerged from this unsettled background a character of singular vitality and dash – self-confident, capable, famously opinionated and devastatingly handsome. Girls fell at his feet, and the princess who would become his wife was smitten from the age of thirteen.
Yet alongside the considerable charm and intelligence, the young prince was also prone to volcanic outbursts and to putting his foot in it. Detractors perceived in his behaviour emotional shortcomings, a legacy of his traumatic childhood, which would have profound consequences for his family and the future of the monarchy.
Published to coincide with the Prince’s ninetieth birthday and containing new material from interviews, archives and film footage, Young Prince Philip is the most complete and compelling account yet of his storm-tossed early life.
"The narrative is as suspenseful as any thriller. Truly an excellent read" (Lynn Barber, Sunday Times)
"Highly readable…. This engaging book deserves to take its place among the first rank of modern royal biographies" (Daily Mail)
"Perhaps this should be regarded as a sighting shot, staking a claim for the official biography….on the basis of this excellent book one can say it would be a task that Eade was singularly well qualified to undertake" (Philip Ziegler, Spectator)
"Fascinating reading …this carefully researched, warm-hearted and unjudgmental account…is…rich in detail" (Evening Standard)
"Eade’s staunchly unhagiographic book is well spiced with….royal titbits, and enlivened by a lemony tartness in the author’s tone….Eade’s account is as thoughtful and unbiased an explanation as we are likely to get of the contentious, sensitive, grouchy old martinet" (Miranda Seymour, Guardian)
"You cannot judge a person's life until you have walked a mile in their shoes, and this brilliant new biography of [Prince] Philip's early life takes you inside that experience." (Irish Independent)
"Young Prince Philip is not a forelock-tugging royal biography... Philip Eade casts a clear eye over his subject’s first thirty years, fleshing out with intelligence and sympathy the man whose gaffes have entertained the nation." (Frances Wilson, Times Literary Supplement)
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