Prince Philip: The Turbulent Early Life of the Man Who Married Queen Elizabeth II
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Prince Philip: The Turbulent Early Life of the Man Who Married Queen Elizabeth II

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  252 ratings  ·  50 reviews
"Rich in drama and tragedy" (The Guardian), here is a mesmerizing account of the extraordinary formative years of the man married to the most famous woman in the world

Before he met the young girl who became Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip had a tumultuous upbringing in Greece, France, Nazi Germany, and Britain. His mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, was born deaf; she...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Henry Holt and Co. (first published June 1st 2011)
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Dana
I like reading about royalty. I know that sounds bad. Why would anyone care about the British royal family? Especially an American. Didn’t we fight a war to get rid of them?
Well, I still find the family interesting. Especially the older generation. So when I stumbled across a book about Prince Philip, I thought I would give it a go. My own image of him is as a crusty old man, a crank who seem to love to tweek the press and say whatever is on his mind, no matter how racist or dated.
But, after r...more
Elizabeth Mary
A fascinating account of the early years in the life of Prince Philip from the the history of his Greek royal family till just after Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953. It includes the instability of Greece in the early 1900s, his birth on 10th June, 1921, the break up of his family due to the problems in Greece leading to his being shunted not only from country to country, but also from one member of the family to another. After spending time at a German boarding school just before the war, h...more
Tracy
I knew nothing about the Duke of Edinburgh before reading the book, well that's not totally true...I knew about his many moments of "open mouth, insert foot"...
I found the book fascinating and learned much about Philip. One being that he was an equal match in royal pedigree to his bride Elizabeth. I had no idea! It's a wonder that a man's man like Philip has been able to serve his Queen these many long years without exploding with frustration.
I do wish that the author had including a lineage ch...more
Jemidar

Enjoyable, highly readable and informative bio of Prince Philip's life up until his wife's coronation. Must admit, I didn't know much about Philip's background (other than he vaguely belonged to the royal family of Greece and that he & Elizabeth were distant cousins) and I found it much more interesting than I expected to. Interesting insight into the man who has been our Prince Consort for the last sixty years.
Baniza
He married for more than sixty years to the most enduringly famous woman in the world.
Rich in drama ...
SJ
I'm not normally one for biographies. Let's just say that clearly from the start. I'm more of a young adult /scifi/fantasy girl myself. But this one came up cheap in a Kindle sale at some point (probably in the midst of the Jubilee and Olympics festivities). I am an American who has lived in the UK for about 5 years at the time of writing this, and so I think it's important for me to soak in as much as I can about cultural and historical stuff to get the full experience of being a local. I have...more
Phoebe
A well written and easily flowing biography of Prince Philip's life up until around the age of 32 when he became, officially, Prince Consort to Queen Elizabeth. Readers who like all things royal will be fascinated by the twists and turns, the surprising connections between the royal houses of Europe. Confusing, so the two thoughtfully provided family trees are quite useful in figuring out the lineages. This biography was not authorized or approved by the Palace so there is more honesty and depth...more
Staci Zirkle
This is the first official book that has ever existed to tell the story of Prince Philip's childhood and how he grew up. Most books about him are showcasing him from his marriage to Queen Elizabeth II and on. I had always wondered about who he was as a person and what made him decide to give up such a promissing career with the Royal Navy to become the Prince Consort. He can be very blunt with who he is, but I liked this book because even though he is who he is, he wasn't afraid to be who he was...more
Margaret Sankey
Based on his habit of verbal gaffes and aloof reactions to the modern world, the Duke of Edinburgh is one of the least-beloved of the newly interesting British royal family. This is s realistic, but sympathetic biography recounting Philip's chaotic early life as an exile from a government coup in Greece and the disorder of WWI's aftermath, abandonment by a playboy father and mentally ill mother, shuttling around relatives with varying degrees of interest and Victorian disciplinary ideas (or Bohe...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Prince Philip is probably the member of the British royal family that I know the least about, which is why I picked up this book. The book only covers his childhood up until the point where he married Elizabeth, the woman who would become Queen. I felt really bad for him. He had a pretty terrible childhood with being exiled and then having parents that were sort of absent during his formative years.

The book mostly focuses on interviews with people who knew the Prince during those years. I liked...more
Hal
An enjoyable easy read biography of an interesting man. Eade seems to take a neutral view on his life with a fairly balanced account. I cannot imagine any of the royals are thrilled to be written about but being in the public domain as they are all is fair.

Focused primarily his early life up to the early married life to the Queen, Eade shows how this man of royal birth weathered a very turbulent upbringing being passed off from one relative to the other in the absence of his recovering mother an...more
Stacey
I read the biography of the Queen last year so I decided to read more about her husband. I found many of the details of his life fascinating. Who knew that he had so much early tragedy or that his mom became a nun? I definitely felt sorry for him as a child having no real roots or parental support. The book ends soon after Princess Elizabeth ascends to the throne. I would have liked to know more about his life as a parent and as the Queen's husband.

I gave the book only 3 stars because though th...more
Linda
This was an interesting, easy to read book with a lot of history of Europe that I had not known, especially how much of the royalty were
related in many countries. Philip is an intriguing character and I
really thought he came across as a man who overcame adversity as a
child to live a life of quiet duty. He had his (small) faults but I admire his loyalty.
Joy
Not a great deal to say about this one. I've always found the royal family entertaining, and Philip is one of its most interesting members. This book gives the reader a fine overview of his family life before his marriage to the future queen. I've read several biographies of Elizabeth, so I knew the basic details of Philip's life, but I didn't really know what a scattered and insecure life the young prince led. After reading Eade's book, I think I have a much deeper understanding of how Philip's...more
Alexandra
I read this as a companion to Pamela (Mountbatten) Hicks's memoir, Daughter of Empire, a really fascinating look at life in the British upper class and royal circles in the early 20th century. Pamela's cousin, Philip, now the Duke of Edinburgh, popped in and out of that book, piquing my interest. This biography is a thorough exploration of his family's background, his unusual childhood and family life after post-exile from Greece, and his courtship and early years of marriage to the future Queen...more
Kath
Very interesting. The Duke has not had an easy life in terms of a disrupted childhood and a life where he has been unable to use his strengths and talents to the full. He has however been extremely supportive to the Queen and helped her perform her duties to the utmost.
Ellen
I really liked this book. I didn't know much about Prince Philip's upbringing and had no idea that he had been abandoned for all intents and purposes by his father and due to his mother's mental illness hadn't been raised with her either. I also had no idea how handsome he'd been and how attractive the Queen had been as a young woman. Too bad that Charles didn't have parents who doted on him but that wasn't in the cards for Philip to be a better father to his son than his father had been to him....more
Meghan
In general I enjoyed this book. It covers Philip's family extensively as well as his life leading up to his marriage to Elizabeth and a few chapters on his life after marriage until she was crowned queen. It talks A LOT about his military service, but then I guess that is to be expected since that was a big part of his life before Elizabeth. His life really was filled with a lot of tragedy when he was a young child, it gives some insight to the person and character he comes across as today. Over...more
Michele
I learned SO MUCH about the history of Europe and Greece and Russia from reading this book. I had forgotten that Elizabeth and Philip were both descendants of Queen Victoria. This book was full of information but did not read like a text book in anyway. However, with all of the Alices, Alexanders, Nicholas, Georges and Victorias, it did get a little confusing (thankfully there were some new names introduced....like Charles, Anne and Edward, however, Andrew was the anglicized version of Philip's...more
Rebecca Huston
A very good biography of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh through his birth to the coronation of Elizabeth II. Plenty of insights and a brisk pace makes this one very accessable and worth reading. Five stars overall, and a hearty recommendation for those who enjoy reading about the royals.

For the longer review, please go here:
http://www.epinions.com/review/Philip...
Amy
I knew Philip's family was exiled and that he was raised in Britain, but hadn't known how hand-to-mouth an existence it was, nor that his family suffered so much tragedy. It was interesting to read how unliked Uncle Dickie Mountbatten was by palace insiders and that Philip's relations on the continent were equally suspect. Lillibet's stability probably appealed to him every bit as much as his dash appealed to her. It's been a rather amazing partnership.
Emily
Not a quick, easy, or light read, but very informative. I learned a ton about the ancestry of much of the royal families in Europe. Also learned about why Prince Philip may have had such a hard time being a father himself. Also didn't know that Prince Philip gave up his opportunity to one day rule Greece. Had only heard his Greek family was exiled, but at the time he decided to marry Elizabeth that was not the case. Good Read.
Avis Gill
Very interesting insight on Prince Phillip from childhood to marrying Elizabeth.
Found him to have a sense of humor, a temper, loves children and sometimes an introvert,
depending on the situation. Somewhat strict with Prince Charles when he was growing up.
Phillip wanted to continue his Naval career, but that all changed when he married.
I recommend this book to is interested in Royalty and historical facts.
Amy
Very interesting!

Thank Goodness Eade included two family trees! There are lots of [family] players in this biography and its easy to confuse siblings, uncles, aunts, etc.

The jacket says the book is about Philip's early years through Elizabeth's coronation. Well, it is, and while there is probably no good way to end this period of his life, Eade does it horribly -- you're reading along and then nothing.
Fiona Ottley
Reasonably interesting. I was keen as Dad always referred to him as "Phil the Greek".
Jennifer Rosa
This book was very intriguing and very imformative. I reads like fiction about a young prince's turbulent life. I did not expect to find the troubling information regarding his family history. That said, Prince Philip has served his people in valiant manner and his life story is the stuff of fiction but is actually true.
Socraticgadfly
Solid review of the early years of Prince Philip's life, and largely "sympathetic" while not fawning. Per the book, one does wonder indeed how he would have adapted better, possibly, to the role of Consort had George VI lived another half-dozen years or so, giving Philip and Elizabeth more pre-rule time to grow together.
Mary
I knew a lot of the facts of his early life, but not really how complicated and tragic it was. Brilliantly written. Prince Philip makes a great subject, his life overall is one of the most interesting in the Royal family. Fascinating and fantastic.
Sarah
Feb 18, 2012 Sarah added it
Fascinating story and a very entertaining read. I definitely have new respect for Prince Philip and may have to pick up the recent biography of Queen Elizabeth! Highly recommend for anyone who is interested in the royals.
Paul Jeffrey
An interesting look into Prince Phillips life as a child and during the war up to the time he married Queen Elizabeth II. It offers a whole different story than most biographies based on after they became famous.
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