When he died just weeks before his 100th birthday, the country celebrated Prince Philip's devotion to duty and to the Queen as friends and family paid tribute to his many accomplishments.
But, as the Queen also said, Prince Philip didn’t “take easily to compliments.’ This film, as far as possible, lets Prince Philip speak for himself, by drawing on rare archive and audio recordings of the Duke talking about his own life and work. The archive spans over 80 years and has been sourced from across the world; we hear Prince Philip talk about his family, the monarchy, the environment, media intrusion, Prince Charles’ future…. topics that are hugely relevant today.
The film begins with Prince Philip’s turbulent childhood and we discover how he refused to be scarred by his past and instead focused on the future; we hear how he felt ‘pitchforked’ into the role of consort after his father-in-law’s unexpected early death and how he found a role for himself representing the Queen across the Commonwealth, leaving her free to focus on affairs of state at home.
In private, he was a hands-on father who oversaw his children’s schooling and tried to prepare them for a life in the public eye.
As Philip grows into his role of consort, the archive reveals how the Duke’s relationship with the media changed; at first he embraced it - he was the first Royal to present a television programme in 1957 and the first Royal to give a television interview in 1961. We rediscover footage from his youth and see the energy and charisma that surrounded his appearances: he was even voted the most fascinating and exciting man of the 20th century, ahead of Sean Connery and President Kennedy! But we also hear him talk about his feelings on press intrusion.
Augmented by interviews with biographers, friends and colleagues, (including the late Ellis Norrell, a naval rating who accompanied the prince on his famous 1956 tour) we create a portrait of the Prince that puts his own words front and centre, even giving him the last word on how he would like to be remembered after his death.