‘Never complain, never explain, and rarely heard in public,’ was the Queen Mother’s simple, legendary template for royal popularity.
It served her well throughout her 101-year life.
Most Britons would have had no idea what Queen Elizabeth thought of something, or even what she sounded like.
Still, she died a hugely popular and beloved public figure.
In many ways she was very much like Prince Philip: harsh, uncompromising, stoic, and resolutely quiet in public about the countless scandals that have engulfed the royal family.
They both had very strong opinions, they just preferred not to share them outside of family and close, trusted friends.
But many of the younger royals who followed them have behaved very differently – emotion on television, playing the victim, wallowing in self-pity, lamenting their royal gilded lives, and burying themselves in all kinds of lurid scars that have the family’s reputation harmed.
As his grieving family prepares to gather this Saturday to say goodbye to one of the greatest figures at his funeral, they would all do well to heed Prince Philip’s advice.
In the past three days, an incredible amount has been said and written about Prince Philip, the kind of man he was and the legacy he could bequeath.
And there have been recurring themes about his attitude to royal life, public duty, and the art of preserving the mystique and magic of the monarchy – an institution he sacrificed so wonderfully to support so magnificently.
As his grieving family prepares to gather on Saturday to say goodbye to one of the greatest figures at his funeral, they would all do well to heed his advice.
I will not name persons for specifically relevant points, but they will know who they are …
Here’s Prince Philip’s 10-point guide to surviving and thriving like a monarch.
1) PARK THE EGO. Philip’s biographer and longtime friend, Gyles Brandreth, revealed: “He said to me more than once,“ It’s a big mistake to think about yourself. Nobody is interested in you in the long run. Don’t go for popularity. It won’t be long. Remember that the attention comes because of the position you are allowed to hold, not because of who you are. If you think it’s all about you, you will never be happy. ‘
Most Britons would have had no idea what Queen Elizabeth thought of something, or even what she sounded like. Still, she died a hugely popular and beloved public figure. In many ways she was very similar to Prince Philip (shown together)
2) DOES NOT SMELL. Philip could be extremely brusque and curmudge in private, as many who knew him well have stated, but always behind closed doors.
He understood that the British public would never dare to hear the richest and most privileged people in the country complain about how horrible their lives were.
So when he was on royal duty, he kept his moaning mouth and his cramps to himself, shaking hands, smiling, and talking to complete strangers day after day, week after week, year after year.
3) WORK HARD. The duke took his royal duty very seriously and carried it out very diligently – he performed as many as 22,191 solo assignments in seven decades of public service, delivered 5,493 speeches, was patron, president or member of 837 organizations, and officially traveled to 143 Nations. company. And he went on until he was 96!
Living your life in the royal goldfish bowl is a stressful experience. To deal with it, Philip (pictured with the Queen) ate a healthy diet on a low-carbohydrate diet, drank little (he enjoyed a pint of bitter), quit smoking just before his wedding, and put in the 5BX (five basic exercises). formula for daily military exercises
4) READ. Philip was an avid reader, with a personal library in Buckingham Palace containing more than 11,000 books, most of them on religion, conservation and wildlife, sports, poetry and the arts.
He didn’t bother with novels because he preferred reality over fiction (this is also why he despised the media that he believed were leading soap operas about his family, not the truth).
But he strongly believed that through reading comes knowledge, and through knowledge wisdom.
5) AVOID SCANDAL. There were a few shameful rumors about Philip’s alleged misconduct over the years, but that’s how they stayed: shameful rumors he vehemently denied privately.
In more than 70 years of public service, he behaved with tremendous personal honesty, honesty and discretion, barely taking a foot wrong except uttering the odd verbal gaffe – most of which were funny, harmless jokes made with good banter by the recipients, as they have confirmed since he died.
Philip and the Queen at the Braemar Highland Games in Scotland in 2008
6) STAY OUT OF OPRAH. “At least give TV interviews,” Philip said. “But don’t talk about yourself.”
Gyles Brandreth said the Duke thought Meghan and Harry’s decision to give their girlfriend Mrs. Winfrey a long-term prime-time TV audience was “madness” and that “nothing good would come of it.”
He apparently thought the same about all the other big royal TV confessions – from Diana and Charles giving their thoughts on their broken marriage in the 1990s to Andrew’s teen-curling BBC Newsnight interview about his friendship with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. And he wasn’t wrong, was he?
7) STAY FIT AND DO EVERYTHING IN MIND. Living your life in the royal goldfish bowl is a stressful experience.
To deal with it, Philip ate a healthy diet on a low-carbohydrate diet, drank little (he enjoyed a pint of bitter), quit smoking just before his wedding, and used the 5BX (Five Basic Exercises) daily military exercise formula of stretching, sit-ups. , back extensions, push-ups and running / jumping on the spot, all without equipment in a small space.
He also found plenty of time for his sporting hobbies such as carriage rides, cricket, polo and sailing.
As a result, he had a fantastic immune system that, as he revealed in 2016, helped him stay free from the flu for over 40 years.
Gyles Brandreth said the Duke thought Meghan and Harry’s decision to give their friend Mrs. Winfrey a long-term primetime American TV audience (pictured) was “ madness. ”
8) STAY EARTHED. I read a wonderful anecdote over the weekend that was met by Lynton Westray, an African American man who worked as a butler in the White House for 32 years. He told NPR about the time Prince Philip and the Queen were visiting in the 1970s. After dinner, Philip went alone to the Red Room, next to the state dining room, where Westray and another waiter served spirits.
He recalled, “I asked him,” Your Majesty, would you care about a hearty one? ‘He says,’ I’ll have one if you let me serve it. If you let me pour it, I’ll have one with you. ‘
So he poured it and we took the same as him. And we drank together there and had a chat.
He told us that if we were ever in London we should stop at Buckingham Palace to see him. Can you imagine the prince serving you? I liked it.
The duke took his royal duty very seriously and carried it out very diligently. Pictured: The Queen and Philip at the Trooping the Color in 2016
‘You know, we’re not allowed to drink at that point and keep going. We are not guests. There were three of us in the room, so no one knew what had happened. And I drank my little one heartily, we all drank, and had a little talk.
“But that was one thing I’ll never forget, having been served by royalty.”
We’ve heard a lot about Philips’ alleged racism and snobbery. This fantastic, untold story is a nice counterbalance to that story.
9) JUST GET ON IT. Philip came from a generation that believed in the power of resilience and the stiff upper lip. Speaking of his World War II experience, he said, “We didn’t have counselors running around every time someone let go of a gun and asking, ‘Are you okay? Are you sure you don’t have a horrible problem? ‘You just got on with it. ‘
10) DO YOUR BEST. In the end, no one is perfect, not even the royal family. Philip certainly wasn’t – he said he could be a short-tempered, difficult, demanding, and at times downright rude man.
But his intentions were always honorable, and he always tried to do the right thing for his queen and country, regardless of the criticism that came his way. “I just did what I think is my best,” he said.
‘Some people think it’s okay. Some don’t. What can you do? I can’t change the way I act. It’s part of my style. It’s just a shame, they’ll have to lump it together. ‘
It was that authenticity that was its most appealing quality. Most of all, Prince Philip was true to himself, and that’s something we should all strive for, royal or ordinary.