Duke at Queen’s side has made for a successful reign

Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter
·2-min read

The Queen would not have been able to achieve everything she has without the Duke of Edinburgh at her side throughout the decades, a royal commentator has said.

Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty magazine, said Philip’s support had been invaluable to the monarch.

The couple, who wed in 1947 two years after the end of the Second World War, celebrated their 73rd wedding in November last year.

The Queen and Philip
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh (Tony Melvillle/PA)

“The Queen and many people close to her who would know the situation have said many a time that she couldn’t have done what she has done and achieved what she has achieved without the Duke of Edinburgh at her side for so long,” Mr Little told the PA news agency.

“On a personal level, he sacrificed his naval career to be with the Queen, before and after she came to the throne, in a supporting role.”

Mr Little added: “The duke was a very dominant character. But the Queen was head of state and he was head of the family and that was the dynamic that helped to achieve such a long and successful marriage.”

Philip had an element of “mischief” about him, but his “gaffes” on royal engagements were intended to get people to relax, the royal commentator suggested.

The Duke of Edinburgh laughs as he chats to people on a floristry course display during his visit to Richmond Adult Community College in 2015 (Matt Dunham/PA)

Mr Little said: “For a long time, he was regarded as gaffe-prone, but I always regarded that as an unkind moniker.

“A lot of things he would say when he was on engagements with the Queen were done to lighten a rather tense atmosphere, to loosen people up a bit.

“There was always an element of mischief about him. He became fully aware that what he said and the way he said would very often be picked up in the media.

“The gaffes – he was just trying to help in his own way.”

Mr Little described the duke as a moderniser of the monarchy, who overhauled the workings of The Firm.

“There are all these things that we either weren’t aware of or which we’ve forgotten about, and he’s been there in the background,” he said.

“On an environmental level, Charles gets all the attention for trying to save the planet but his father was there before him so there’s that we need to acknowledge and be grateful for as well.”

Philip drove around London in an electric car in an attempt to fight pollution long before electric cars were popular, and long held a keen interest in conservation and the environment.