The Queen Mother didn’t want her daughter to marry Prince Philip because she ‘disliked Germans’ and thought the young Princess Elizabeth would be more suited to a grenadier guard or English aristocrat, a new documentary has claimed.
The Queen Mother: War & Widowhood, which airs tomorrow on Channel 5, claims Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon thought the Mountbatten family weren’t suited to royal life because two of Prince Philip’s sisters married members of the Nazi Party and his uncle Lord Mountbatten was a ‘social climber’.
Speaking in the programme, Dr Chandrika Kaul, Historian at St Andrews said: ‘Part of the Queen’s reservations about Prince Philip was the family baggage that came with him, and particular the Mountbattens.
Prince Philip, who died last month aged 99, was born into the Greek and Danish royal families but had German blood through his mother’s side, who was born a Princess of Battenberg.
The Queen Mother didn’t want her daughter to marry Prince Philip because she ‘disliked Germans’ and thought the young Princess Elizabeth would be more suited to a grenadier guard or English aristocrat, a new documentary has claimed. The Queen (left) and Prince Philip (second left) are pictured in their wedding photo with The Queen Mother (centre), King George Vi (second right) and Princess Margaret (right)
Louis Mountbatten, Earl of Burma, was the brother of Philip’s mother Princess Alice and a close confidante of Prince Philip. He was also the second cousin of the Queen’s father George VI.
Dr Kaul added: ‘Elizabeth [Bowes-Lyon] didn’t like Louis Mountbatten who was of course a cousin of the king, and the uncle of Philip.
‘She thought him to be a social climber and very pushy.
‘Elizabeth was determined that Philip’s family members were not welcomed because all four of Philip’s sister had married into the Germany royal family and two of his brother’s in law were members of the Nazi party.
Queen , Prince Philip, Queen Mother are pictured attending a Thanksgiving Service At St. Paul’s Cathedral for the 100th Birthday Of The Queen Mother in 2001. She died a ear later in 2002
‘Philip was very angry that his family was being sidelined in this very public way.’
Royal author Hugo Vickers added that the Queen mother regarded as ‘a foreigner’ and didn’t think he should be part of the British royal family.
‘What her mother wanted was a grenadier guard, and Elizabeth [Bowes-Lyon] put a number of grenadier guard officers in her path.’
The then Princess Elizabeth was made honorary colonel of the Grenadier Guards in 1942, when she was 16-years-old, and as one of the most senior regiments in the British Army, it’s no wonder her mother set her hopes on an aristocratic officer for her daughter.
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyons’ brother Patrick served in the regiment, recognisable by the scarlet tunic and bearskin uniforms guardsmen wear while on ceremonial duty at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
The Queen, Prince Philip and The Queen Mother are pictured on the balcony at Buckingham Palace
The Queen’s Company of The Grenadier Guards are all over six foot, and traditionally provides the pallbearers for all deceased monarchs, including for Prince Philip’s funeral last month.
Additionally, the Queen Mother ‘had a natural distrust and dislike of foreigners, particularly Germans’.
‘She didn’t like Germans because he brother Fergus had been killed in the First World War. And Prince Philip had a lot of German blood,’ Hugo Vickers added.
Fergus Bowes-Lyon, the Queen mother’s brother, died during the Battle of Loos in 1915, aged 26.
Fergus Bowes-Lyon, the Queen mother’s brother, died during the Battle of Loos in 1915, aged 26
In 1932, then Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the future Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, laid her bouquet on the grave of The Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey in memory of her brother Fergus, starting a tradition for royal brides
Many Royal brides since have sent their bouquets to the grave at Westminster Abbey, including most recently Princess Beatrice in 2020, Princess Eugenie in 2018 and The Duchess of Sussex in 2017.
Before her death in 2002, The Queen Mother also requested her funeral wreath be placed on the grave of the Unknown Warrior – a wish honoured at the Abbey the day after her funeral.
Royal biographer Lady Colin Campbell also added to the documentary that Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon was insecure about not being from royal blood and didn’t want a son-in-law to look down on her.
Members of the British royal family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten (later Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh), London, 20th November 1947
‘Lilibet [a nickname for The Queen] fell in love with Philip when she was very young, she was determined to marry Philip, her mother was equally determined she would not.
‘She had a big chip on her should about not having been born royal and princess Margaret even use to throw that back in her face whenever they had rows and point out to her for all her heirs and graces she was not royal and would never be, which was really rather mean.
‘But that’s why Elizabeth didn’t want Lilibet to marry Philip, because she didn’t want a son in law who she felt was royal by blood looking down upon her.
‘Lilibet was more determined than her mother and when she got the bit between her teeth there was no way she was letting go, ultimately Elizabeth had to allow the marriage.’
Royal writer Sarah Gristwood added: ‘There was concern that Philip was perhaps too raffish and outspoken, a little bit outside the royal club.
‘Also the Queen Elizabeth wanted her daughter to meet far more young men. She would have been happier if Princess Elizabeth had set her eyes on a young English aristocratic, of the kind Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon grew up with’.
The Queen Mother: War & Widowhood (Channel 5) Saturday 29th May, 9:30pm