For decades, the Duke of Edinburgh’s wandering eye was well known and discussed in not-so-discreet circles. Prince Philip always cheated on the Queen, and they were always in it for the long haul. Divorce was not an option, and they are in it until the bitter end. But yes, Philip always had an assortment of lovers and mistresses going back to even the early days of his marriage. Various biographers have skirted around the issue and some have even addressed it outright. Pre-pandemic, Philip “retired” to Wood Farm in Sandringham where he is constantly “cared for” by Countess Mountbatten, believed to be one of his “favorites.” Well, now Ingrid Seward (c-word, more like) has a new biography of Philip and wouldn’t you know, she addresses some of the “rumors” too. In her research, she doesn’t believe ANY of the cheating rumors. LMAO. You can read the whole book excerpt here at Daily Mail. Some highlights:
No evidence of affairs? Over the years, countless stories of relationships with other women have circulated. Aristocrats, actresses and even distant family members have all been linked with his name. Not one iota of hard evidence of his supposed affairs has ever emerged. But the stories get repeated so much that people are inclined to think they are true.
Philip and the Profumo scandal: The Crown also seeks to link Philip with the wild parties thrown by Stephen Ward, a key figure in the Profumo sex scandal of 1963. After Ward’s suicide, a series of drawings he had made were found to include portraits of several well-known people, including Philip, none of whom had actually sat for him. In reality, there was nothing to connect the duke with Ward or to suggest he attended any of his parties.
The official story: This is not to say that Philip has led a life of monastic quiet. All his biographers are agreed that whatever the truth or otherwise of the various rumours, he certainly enjoys the company of beautiful women. The girls in his office have always been attractive, with good figures. If Philip enters a room, he will make a beeline for the most attractive woman there and engage her in conversation. He is an excellent dancer and thinks nothing of dancing with other men’s wives all evening at a party. ‘He has got terrific rhythm,’ said one of his close female friends. ‘He can dance close or apart – he can even do a bit of rock. When you dance with someone attractive, you get quite close to them, and Philip certainly gives you a lot of attention. He’s accused of having had all these affairs, but based on my experience, I believe him when he tells me he hasn’t.’
His current “playmate”: Philip’s more recent playmate has been the former Penny Romsey, now Countess Mountbatten of Burma. Blonde, slim and still strikingly beautiful, Penny, who is 32 years younger than Philip, has known the Duke for decades and been his partner in carriage-driving competitions since 1994. More recently, she spends time with Philip at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate where he now mostly lives, and is credited with persuading him to give up his driving licence after his 2019 accident. Despite his great age, she still acts as a confidante and they share a boisterous sense of humour. When I saw Philip and Penny gliding around the dance floor at the Royal Yacht Squadron Ball during Cowes Week one year, neither of them gave a damn who saw them or what anyone might say. I noticed that Philip was completely in rhythm with the beautiful Penny. He’s undoubtedly close to her and is a supportive friend and mentor.
Diana believed he had other children: When Princess Diana was at the height of her hatred of Prince Philip, shortly before her death, she claimed that he had several illegitimate children and was determined to find out who they were.
[From The Daily Mail]
Seward lists other women widely rumored to have had affairs with Philip, including: Pat Kirkwood (a “showgirl” huh), Princess Alexandra (they often “went sailing” together), Duchess of Abercorn (said to have had a “passionate friendship”), “Sally Ann Howes, who is nine years younger than Philip, rumoured to have been among his conquests, as well as fellow actresses Merle Oberon and Anna Massey and, even before his marriage, the author Daphne du Maurier.” Seward lists all of these women because she’s denying anything untoward happened, of course. It’s the classic British tabloid thing: strenuously deny something while giving excessive details about the thing that’s being denied. Of course Philip cheats. Of course he’s always cheated. I don’t know about the other children, but nothing would surprise me, honestly. And I honestly loved the part in The Crown about Philip and the Profumo Affair. Those are legitimately the people Philip hung out with in those days!
Photos courtesy of WENN.