Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine and royal biographer, recalled the first time she ever met the Duke of Edinburgh in a recent interview. He stood in a defensive stance with his arms folded as the pair met backstage at a theatre, while she was collecting money for charity. Ms Seward explained that he was always defensive because he was wary that people might make remarks if he seemed too engaged in a photograph.
Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Ann Gripper and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.
Last week, Mirror Online lifestyle editor Zoey Forsey took the reins and interviewed Ms Seward about her new biography of the Duke entitled ‘Prince Philip Revealed: A Man of His Century’.
In the interview, she recalled their very first meeting in 1970, when she was collecting money for a charity.
She said: “I was doing something at the theatre, a charity thing, and I and a group of girls were collecting money for this charity.
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Prince Philip sits with his arms folded during a royal visit to Singapore in 1989
“And either he was patron of the theatre or it was one of his charities, so he came backstage to meet us all and was extremely charming.
“But there is a great photo of me talking to him and he’s got his arms folded right in front of his chest.
“So I suppose he does look quite defensive, because of course he was always being defensive when being photographed with women, because people might make remarks about his attraction to pretty women.”
Ms Seward also described the second time she met Prince Philip, which did not go too well.
Royal expert Ingrid Seward
It was her first ever royal tour and she was in Amman in Jordan for the state visit by the Queen and Prince Philip to the Hashemite Kingdom.
The Duke heard that she worked for Hanover Magazines, which published Majesty at the time, and that piqued his interest.
Thinking she might be German, he wanted to speak to her but, on finding out she wasn’t, was far less interested.
She said: “In those days, all the press team met the royals who were doing the tour ‒ it doesn’t happen anymore.
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King Hussein, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen Noor and Prince Philip in Amman, Jordan in 1984
“We had a cocktail party at the British Embassy in Amman and they announced our names as we walked in.
“And they said: ‘Ingrid Seward, Hanover Magazines’ because Hanover Magazines published Majesty in those days.
“After we all walked in, we all got in little circles and Prince Philip’s Equerry came up to me and said, ‘His Royal Highness would like to meet you’ and I thought, ‘Hey, that’s really cool, me out of everybody, and I’m the most junior journalist here’.
“And he walked up to me and said, ‘You German?’ and I said ‘no’.
“I was so taken aback I don’t think I even said ‘no, sir’, I just said ‘no’ and he walked away, which was very disconcerting.”
Ms Seward went on to meet the Duke many times again after that.
She said that sometimes he was “very nice” and sometimes he was “very similar” to the time he simply walked away.
The royal expert explained that Philip is always very much himself and that is “part of his charm”.
She said: “If someone interests him, he’s extremely chatty and nice to them and if someone bores him he walks away.
“He doesn’t suffer fools and he’s never made any pretence.
“I think probably in the very early years of his marriage he was a little easier, but he’s never made a pretence of what he finds stultifyingly boring.”
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