They were all denied a place at his wedding, thanks to post-war uneasiness at Buckingham Palace. However for the rest of his life, the Duke of Edinburgh was determined that bygones ought to be bygones.
That is why he made it clear that he wanted his ‘blood’ household– the network of German nieces, nephews and cousins to whom he was devoted– to be properly represented and included in his funeral arrangements. And so they shall be.
For I find out that 2 great-nephews and a cousin are currently locked in a Covid-compliant bubble at the Berkshire house of a shared buddy ahead of Saturday’s funeral.
They were silently invited to fly to the UK last weekend, in order to undergo quarantine procedures ahead of the service.
Like Prince Harry, they will– supplied last Covid tests permit– be eligible to join the Queen and other members of the instant household at St George’s Chapel on Saturday.
In the meantime, Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden; Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse; and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg are all behind closed doors in a home near Ascot.
With just 30 mourners permitted inside St George’s Chapel on Saturday afternoon, in line with Covid rules, it implies a tenth of the churchgoers paying tribute to the Duke will be from Germany.
‘ It truly is an extraordinary honour and we are all extremely touched and fortunate to be consisted of on behalf of the wider household,’ says Prince Philipp, 51, in a statement from the house where he and his cousins must stay isolated till the weekend.
His grandma, Princess Margarita, was the Duke’s older sis and the Duke paid lots of check outs to the household house, Langenburg Castle in southern Germany.
Prince Bernhard, 50, also a father of 3, is a grand son of the Duke’s second sis, Theodora (known as ‘Dolla’).
Prince Donatus, called ‘Don’, 54, is the head of the House of Hesse, into which the Duke’s 2 younger sis, Cecile and Sophie (called ‘Tiny’) wed.
Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, envisioned with Prince Charles, said: ‘It actually is an extraordinary honour and we are all incredibly touched and privileged to be consisted of on behalf of the wider family’
Prince Bernhard, imagined with his other half at the wedding of the Prince and Princess of Monaco in 2011, is the grandson of the late Duke’s sibling Theodora
Prince Donatus, head of the House of Hesse and pictured with the Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in 2019, is likewise associated with the emperor
Family seat: The Queen and the Duke were visitors at Langenburg Castle on a state see in 1965
Problems ahead: Philip, second from left, as a kid with his parents and four sisters, who loved him. They all married German aristocrats
Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg is one of a number of the Duke’s loved ones separating behind closed doors in a house near Ascot
Prince Charles satisfies members of his daddy’s extended family on a journey to Langenburg in Germany in May 2013
Princess Stefanie and Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden – a great-nephew of the Duke of Edinburgh at the wedding event of Count Bjorn and Countess Sandra Bernadotte in Germany in 2009
Queen Elizabeth II (accompanied by Donatus, Prince and Landgrave of Hesse) enjoys her horse ‘Barber’s Store’ compete in the Tattersalls and Ror Thoroughbred Ridden Program Class on day 3 of the Royal Windsor Horse Show in the house Park on Might 16, 2014 in Windsor
All these families enjoy so many precious recollections of the ‘Uncle Philip’, who downplayed popping over to Germany for a christening or a landmark birthday party for the offspring and relatives of his older sis.
They were the kind-hearted, attractive quartet of princesses who had actually doted on their lively little sibling through an often distressed youth.
The Duke always remembered that, as I learnt from Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg earlier this year when I was investigating the Duke’s European household.
‘ It was such a happiness having a conversation with him. His memory was extraordinary,’ he explained. ‘He might remember playing hide-and-seek in the castle when he was a kid, and he constantly delighted in speaking with the regional people.
‘ He might switch from German to English and back, whether he was talking about Winston Churchill or the regional wildlife.’
In recent days, rather properly, all the focus has been on the tremendous unhappiness felt by the Queen, the Royal Household and the Duke’s large network of pals and organisations.
However his death has actually also left a huge hole amongst the wider continental cousinhood, who all loved the energetic, unstuffy uncle, great-uncle and cousin who always made a beeline for his younger loved ones to hear their most current news.
For he was not just a passionate participant in household events. In reality, many describe him as ‘the glue’ or ‘the bridge’ who has kept the current British Royal Household closely linked to the European cousinhood.
They are the ‘other’ royal family, the relatives who might not be household names in Britain however who, for generations, have gladly slotted in at house parties or picnics at Balmoral, Sandringham and in other places.
Besides, they are all themselves associated to Queen Victoria anyway. And it was always at this time of year, typically, that the Duke would invite a lot of his family members for among the highlights of the royal calendar– the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Prince Charles, Prince Philip, Prince Harry And Prince William stroll behind the casket of the Queen Mom as it comes to Westminster Abbey
Photo by Horace W Nicholls of the funeral of King Edward VII at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. Officers salute as the casket is carried to a weapon carriage pulled by sailors
15th February 1952: The casket including the body of King George VI is filled onto a train at Paddington Station, London, to take it to Windsor
The British Royal family watch as the casket of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mom is prepared to be carried from Westminster Abbey at the end of her funeral service on April 9, 2002
Queen Victoria’s funeral procession going through London. She was the longest-ruling British emperor, reigning from 1837-1901
The Queen Mother’s coffin, curtained in her individual standard, turns off The Long Walk in front of Windsor Castle
The Royal Family including the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, the Duke of York and Prince Harry follow the Queen Mom’s casket at her funeral service at Westminster Abbey, London in April 2002
The body of Queen Victoria (1819-1901), the longest-ruling British monarch, depends on state at one of her royal homes, Osborne Home on the Isle of Wight
The Queen Mother’s funeral cortege drives along The Long Walk at Windsor Castle. The coffin was being moved from the Royal Chapel in Windsor to the Queen’s Chapel at St. James’s Palace in London
Sailors pulling the gun carriage bring the coffin of Queen Victoria, Windsor, Berkshire, following her death in 1901
The funeral procession of King George VI comes to Windsor Castle, Berkshire in 1952, just before Queen Elizabeth took the throne
King George V at the funeral of his daddy King Edward VII, London, 20 Might 1910. The funeral service was participated in by huge crowds, and was the largest ever gathering of European royalty
Pall bearers carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mom, leave Westminster Abbey in London following the funeral ceremony
15th February 1952: Members of the British Royal household entering St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle in the company of the King’s Business Grenadier Guards who are carrying King George VI’s casket at his funeral
The Royal Household Gather At Westminster Abbey For The Funeral Of The Queen Mom Who Had Actually Lived To The Age Of 101
Queen Elizabeth, Queen Mary and the Queen Mom enjoy the body of the King being put in Westminster Abbey
King Edward VIII and his three siblings follow the weapon carriage’ at the Funeral of King George V in London in 1936
The Queen Mom’s casket comes to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service in London, which was the culmination of more than a week of grieving for the royal matriarch
1936: Funeral procession of King George V in London. The weapon carriage bearing the coffin is drawn by sailors
15th February 1952: The funeral cortege of King George VI makes its method through Parliament Square, London
The Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, the Duke of York and Prince Harry at the Queen Mother’s funeral service at Westminster Abbey, London in April 2002
First Might 1910: The draped casket of King Edward VII, (1841 – 1910), who ascended the British throne in 1901, lies in state in Buckingham Palace, London
Huge crowds participated in the funeral of the King Edward VII (1841-1910), in London in Might 1910
If Ascot Week was when the Queen filled the castle with her good friends from the world of racing, then the horse program was ‘the Duke’s week’ each spring, with a lot of Langenburgs, Badens, Hesses and Hanovers inhabiting the Windsor visitor spaces.
At huge household events, whether in the UK or in Germany, there would constantly be a huge crossover. At the celebrations for the golden or diamond wedding event anniversaries of the Queen and the Duke, for instance, the German relations were totally included. Likewise, numerous a German christening has actually included a Home of Windsor godparent at the font style.
Prince Philip and his 4 sis had actually matured in the unusual, unclear world of peripatetic refugee royalty in between the wars. They were all born into the Greek royal family, itself came down from the ruling home of Denmark, however had been driven into exile in 1922 after a military coup.
Prince Philip was still a baby, required to security aboard a British destroyer by his huge sibling, Margarita, who famously brought him in an orange box.
He was simply a school child when all four of his sisters wed within a year of each other, all to German aristocrats.
One of the best catastrophes in his long life was when his sis Cecile was killed in a 1937 airplane crash with her partner, George Donatus of Hesse, and two young children, en path to a family wedding event in London.
Come the break out of war, all three enduring siblings would discover themselves on the other side as Prince Philip served gallantly in the Royal Navy.
One aspect of a few of this week’s protection of the Duke’s long life which has actually upset much of his German relations is the oft-repeated myth that ‘all his sis wed Nazis’.
Though all the enduring brothers-in-law would be forced into uniform throughout the war, they were definitely not all active members of the Nazi party.
For instance, Theodora wed Prince Berthold of Baden and it was the Badens who encouraged the pioneering Jewish educationalist, Kurt Hahn, to establish his original school at their family seat, Salem Castle.
Prince Philip was a student there himself till Hahn was eliminated by the Nazis. He got away to Scotland, where he established Gordonstoun.
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, imagined as child in 1922. His extended family are now in the UK ahead of his funeral on Saturday
An unusual photo of the Duke of Edinburgh, likewise called Prince Philip of Greece, at the public school of Gordonstoun, Elgin, Scotland
Prince Philip of Greece, later to become the Duke of Edinburgh, being held by Princess Alice of Greece after he was born in 1921
July 1922: From right to left, the Princess Theodora, Princess Cecilia, Princess Margarita and Sophia of Greece at the wedding event of Edwina Ashley and Louis Mountbatten. They are the four daughters of Prince Andrew and Princess Alice of Greece
December 1922: Prince Andrew of Greece (1882 – 1944) with his partner Princess Alice (1885 – 1969) and their children, Princess Theodora (1906 – 1960) and Princess Margarita (1905 – 1981).
Delegated right; Princess Cecilia, Princess Margaret, Princess Sophia, Princess Theodora – the Duke of Edinburgh’s four sis.
The young Philip followed him there soon afterwards, after persistently getting into difficulty for mocking the Nazi salute. ‘Dolla’ Baden realised that this was plainly no location for her little bro.
Come his wedding event to Princess Elizabeth in 1947, nevertheless, the bridegroom was told that none of his sisters could participate in. It was described to the Duke that this was to spare him criticism from journalism and public– however it harmed, however.
He had actually constantly loved them all dearly. Only his mom, who had ended up being a nun, was welcomed to Westminster Abbey for the event.
Nevertheless, the siblings were all exceptionally touched and moved when they learnt how he had cheekily included them in the service. They had actually provided him a joint wedding present– a gold fountain pen– and he insisted on using that (instead of the Abbey nib) to sign the wedding event register.
After his wedding, he made a point of including them in family events.
A favourite character at Royal Family bashes was constantly Princess Margaret of Hesse– ‘Auntie Peg’, as Prince Charles and others called her. She had been the Hon Margaret Geddes, the British bride whose wedding event to Prince Ludwig of Hesse had actually been the reason why poor Cecile and her household were heading for London on that fateful flight in 1937. All through her life, she would advise the younger generations that Prince Philip was ‘one of the best dancers in Europe’.
When the Queen paid her first state check out to Germany in 1965, it was again chosen that the Duke’s siblings and their spouses should be omitted from the official events. Undeterred, the Queen and the Duke merely went to stay with them independently in between state occasions.
‘ It was terrific when they arrived on the train at Langenburg– it was the last time a proper train stopped there since the station closed after that!’ recalls Princess Charlotte Croy, who was then wed to Prince Kraft of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. She is the mother of Prince Philipp, who is now ensconced because Ascot bubble.
She has fond memories of the Duke of Edinburgh subsequently going to the family similar to any other home guest, typically bringing one of his own kids, so the British junior royals have all grown to understand their cousins.
‘ I keep in mind once that I had to finish packing all these felt toy animals for a charity,’ says Princess Charlotte. ‘I was very late with them so the Duke just joined in. There he was, packing toys as we talked!’.
Delegated right, back: Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Princess Margarita von Hohenlohe-Langenburg (sister of Prince Philip), Andrew Elphinstone (Cousin of the Queen); front, delegated right: Princess Alice Countess of Athlone, the Queen with Princess Anne and the Queen Mom.
Circa 1930: Princess Margarita of Greece (1905 – 1981), the sister of Prince Philip, shortly before her marital relationship to Prince Gottfried of Hohenlohe-Langenburg.
July 1922: Princess Sophie of Greece, sis of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the wedding of Lord Louis Mountabatten to the Countess of Ashley. She married Prince Christopher of Hesse, and in 1946 married Prince George William of Hanover.
Circa 1930: Cecilia, Grand Duchess of Hesse (1911 – 1937). She is the child of Princess Alice and Prince Andrew of Greece, (sister of the Duke of Edinburgh).
July 1922: At simply one years of age, the Duke of Edinburgh, also called Prince Philip of Greece reveals an interest crazes flower.
Prince Philip and his sibling, Princess Sophie of Hanover when they attended the funeral of the Dowager Girl Brabourne and Nicholas Knatchbull at the Church of St John the Baptist at Mersham, near Ashford, Kent.
Lady Louise Mountbatten with Princess Theodora of Greece (left) and Princess Margarita of Greece (ideal), children of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, and siblings of the Duke of Edinburgh.
When Prince Kraft died in 2004, Prince Philip dropped whatever. ‘He was the very first individual we contacted us to share the sad news with and he certainly ensured he would exist by our side,’ states Kraft’s daughter, Princess Xenia zu Hohenlohe, a great-niece of the Duke.
‘ During the funeral service, after I had actually withstood do my reading and took a seat again, he put his arm around me quickly and whispered: ‘Well done’. It was one of the greatest compliments paid to me in my life. If you got that kind of a remark from somebody as practiced in public looks, you knew you ‘d got something right!’.
Now an international professional in sustainability in the hospitality industry, Princess Xenia says that the Duke was always a driving force in encouraging more youthful members of his broader family to greater things.
‘ His unofficial motto was constantly: ‘Just get on with it!’,’ she informs me from her house in Munich. ‘Over the days given that his death, I have personally realised that his inner voice, his discipline, his enthusiasm for ecological issues, his distinct sense of humour and lack of ego are something for us always to desire. He definitely inspired me to be bold and to extend my horizons. I am forever grateful for this impact of his.’.
Like all the other members of this large European diaspora of really unfortunate, extremely proud royal cousins, Xenia wishes she might be there to pay her aspects this weekend.
However they are all really happy and deeply touched that when it concerned surrounding himself with his closest and dearest at the end, dear ‘Uncle Philip’ had definitely not forgotten the family into which he was born.