Letter: The truth about Prince Philip

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The Independent Online
I WORKED as Private Secretary for Prince Philip and the Queen for a long time and, as I told Fiammetta Rocco, it was a wonderful time for me. ('A Strange Life', Review, 13 December.) I was very happy. We got on well and there was a great sense of achievement. The Queen and Prince Philip made us feel as much members of the family as possible, and the atmosphere was magic.

Perhaps I failed in impressing Ms Rocco of his great qualities; outstandingly loyal, tenacious and durable. I mentioned his fairness, like light on the shade of his penetrating directness. He is able to apologise with charm and sincerity, and he never - never - went out of his way to hurt people.

His monumental memory was readily available to a hard- pressed secretary. If you did not know an answer you said so. There were no reprimands. He placed great value on honesty. The full truth, however difficult, is his basis of operating. He has great charm and ability to use it. When it is in full cry it's devastating and I have seen it, always sincere, going to work, and never manufactured.

I was never happier nor more secure in my work, which passed unnoticed as hard work, despite the hours and the intensity. The thrust of the article that he is inhuman, and perhaps responsible for the mistakes and problems of his family, was unjust.

We at least owe Prince Philip fairness and balance, for what he has done for the United Kingdom, and for us in distant lands, throughout his life.

Michael Parker

Melbourne, Australia