Queen let Prince Philip ‘get away with murder’, says former butler Paul Burrell

‘He didn’t like the fuss and he didn’t like all the pomp and pageantry around the Queen – he put up with it,’ says Burrell

Ellie Abraham@ellieabraham
Tuesday 13 April 2021 07:46
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Prince Philip obituary: The Duke of Edinburgh dies aged 99

Since the announcement of the death of Prince Philip on 9 April, those who knew him have been paying tribute and sharing memories.

The Duke of Edinburgh died at Windsor Castle at the age of 99, and will be buried in a royal ceremonial funeral on Saturday 17 April.

Now Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell, who spent time around the duke while working as a footman of the Royal Household, has shared his thoughts on the duke’s relationship with the Queen.

Speaking on Lorraine with presenter Ranvir Singh on Monday morning, Burrell recalled the dynamics of the married couple.

He said: “Everything within the house of Windsor was run by Prince Philip and she let him do that. That was his job. And his job was also to be the warm-up man and to be the funny side of their double act.

“[And] wherever she went she remained calm and smooth and she was a monarch and she let him get away with murder really because he was the one that jollied things up and made people laugh.”

Burrell also described how formidable the Prince could be describing him as the “captain of her [the queen’s] ship” and the “CEO” of the house of Windsor.

Burrell described the duke as a “practical, no-nonsense man” who “didn’t suffer fools”. However, he was “always attentive” to the Queen.

He said: “He was a very practical, no-nonsense man and sometimes very gruff. And at times he frightened the living daylights out of me because he was very aggressive sometimes and very vocal.

“I’ve seen grown men come out of his room in tears because Prince Philip knew always the direction - he knew what he wanted to do and wanted to achieve.”

But, Burrell said that while Philip could be assertive when he wanted to be, he was always “always attentive of the Queen” and his duties.

He said: “He didn’t like the fuss and he didn’t like all the pomp and pageantry around the Queen – he put up with it because that’s what she did.”

Burrell also revealed that Prince Philip would mix the Queen’s favourite beverage for her while she was getting ready.

He continued: “Prince Philip was always attentive of the Queen, he was a gentleman with the Queen, he would mix her favourite martini in her sitting room at night and take her a glass through while she was dressing.”

Politicians, friends, sports stars and the general public have all offered their tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh, but none more poignant than that of the Queen, who in a statement called him her “strength and stay” in their 73-year marriage.

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