Woman, musician, daredevil, the 99 years of Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh, would have been dramatically different if he had his way.
As it is, most people know very little about him, except that he was grand dad to Sir Harry whose wife is that Meghan creature.
And the only reason people know about that is because Harry is of England’s royal family, which means he has something to do with the Queen, whose husband is, yes, Prince Philip.
There he is in photos standing next to her, saying very little, dressed as often in a nicely styled suit as a military uniform. The inference is that a man supports her, probably more loyally than her Welsh corgi. Dry without the drool.
Although we know that he served in the navy – hence the uniform – earned a pilot’s license, and popularized polo, you won’t find him on Oprah, unlike Harry and Meghan. Maybe too dry.
In all his speeches and heading of various charitable campaigns, the prince has never opened up about his family. There must have been some opportunity there, but no, those relationships remain his own mystery.
Yet a large notebook discovered after his death, April 9, 2021, does open up about him.
It’s not a diary but a collection of random thoughts, ideas never seen to completion. They would have been seen as un-prince like. Being a prince may mean freedom to some but it was at times a trap to Philip. He didn’t want to appear as the Kook Of Edinburgh.
Or the Dude Of Edinburgh. He had a plan to slip away with Elizabeth to a dude ranch in Canada, but you just don’t slip away with the Queen. He also was frustrated when he tried to get a pizza – no pineapple – delivered to Buckingham Palace.
The book was found under a cushion, hidden in a chair next to the throne.
For a month he wanted to be Gina Lalabrigida.. Not just make a tryst with Gina, he wanted to be Gina. He wondered what it would be like to be her – dating European royalty, making bad Hollywood movies, having men throw themselves at your feet and dispensing beauty tips. It was a 1960s-type experiment. By the time David Bowie came along with his androgynous thoughts, Philip was past that. A raid on Queen Elizabeth’s closet told him he was too big to wear her clothes and those silly hats didn’t appeal to him.
As social mores loosened up. he realized he could have renamed himself The Queen Foemerly Known As Prince but he’d long settled into the role of Queen’s consort.
That still didn’t mean he didn’t want to be a regular guy. In his book he talks about doffing the suit, slipping into jeans and a tee shirt to wash the Bentley – one anyway.
He also talked about leaping off a roof tied to a bungee chord but Buckingham Palace isn’t high enough and other places – such as Big Ben – are too public.
As his health started to fail him, Philip figured it would be a good idea to work out at a gym. This was a problem. All the gyms wanted to include him as a member but no gym wanted him to die at the premise. The private trainers he could get seemed to come from the military and had a hard time telling a superior what to do.
“Twenty-five sit-ups, your highness, or less if your highness doesn’t feel like it.”
What he really wanted to do was play bass in a heavy metal trio.
“Like Venom,” he wrote. “I could play this black horrid goo and sing about the devil. Devil, devil devil; die, die, die. Change my name to Bastardus. Finally see the north of England.”
Philip died too old to be a member of Venom but he did scrawl in his book a possible gravestone marking. “Prince Philip, a nice bloke and a good bass player.”