Prince Philip’s Mother

I had known that his mother was among the Righteous at Yad Vashem, but I am surprised – maybe I shouldn’t be – that it got little media attention during his life. I was also surprised that it was not written into The Crown. Again, perhaps I shouldn’t be. The Crown, while entertaining, is fictionalized history, and as such relies on caricatures: Prince Charles is a spoiled pill; the Queen is duty-obsessive; Prince Margaret an embittered tippler, and all the rest. When the Duke of Edinburgh died, a lot of column space was devoted to his colourful comments over the years, and I suppose that is justified. But there was clearly so much more to him than that. His sisters married Nazis and yet he fought against the Nazis. His mother rescued Jews, at very real risk to her own life. His great mentor during his teen years was a Jewish refugee who founded the Gordonstoun School which Philip and Charles attended (poor Charles did not enjoy it, I gather). For all the bluster about what an old curmudgeon he was, he spent his adult life walking three steps behind his wife. I read that he was the last person in the Queen’s life to call her “Lillibet,” her childhood nickname. I can only imagine Her Majesty’s grief.