cover image Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Royal Marriage

Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Royal Marriage

Gyles Daubeney Brandreth, . . Norton, $27.95 (413pp) ISBN 978-0-393-06113-0

Princess Elizabeth fell for Prince Philip in 1939, when she was 13 and he, 18. But though Philip was a direct descendent of Queen Victoria, some at court thought him an unsuitable match. But as longtime royal acquaintance Brandreth shows, Philip has been the perfect mate: dutiful, loyal, hard-working and deeply respectful. As Brandreth makes clear, the marriage has succeeded not only because Philip loves his wife, but because he understands the nature of royal life. Social and outgoing, Philip balances the queen's reserve. He's also likely the only person who has ever threatened her and gotten away with it: Brandreth relates how Philip grew so fed up with his wife's wordless but potent backseat driving that he told her to stop or he'd put her out of the car. She stopped. Brandreth goes to great and mostly convincing lengths to disprove rumors of the Prince's extramarital affairs and the queen's tendency to lavish more affection on her corgis and horses than on her family. But the biggest surprise here is the portrayal of the royal couple as typical married folks: the prince thinks the queen spends too much time on the telephone, and she has no qualms about telling him to shut up. 40 pages of illus. Agent, Ed Victor (U.K.) . (Nov.)