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Prince Philip: Duke of Edinburgh had this shocking item on Royal Yacht Britannia | Travel News | Travel

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Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth enjoyed use of the Royal Yacht Britannia from 1954. It was designed as a royal residence to entertain guests around the world – but it also contained one item that Philip particularly loved. It came from Philip’s uncle Lord Mountbatten – and is not something one would normally associate with the royal family having. The revelation was made in royal author Kitty Kelley’s book The Royals.

In the Queen’s passageway on the Royal Yacht Britannia, Philip kept a picture of Lord Mountbatten and actor Cary Grant in Las Vegas.

The two men had posed with two showgirls swathed in feather boas, Kelley explained.

“In the picture, the two men turned their backs to the camera and so did the showgirls, whose rhinestoned-thonged backsides were without feathers,” wrote Kelley.

“Mountbatten found the picture of the bare-bottomed showgirls so amusing he had it blown up and hung in the Queen’s passageway on the royal yacht.”

Philip was so delighted with the saucy snap he decided to keep it on the Britannia.

“Philip, who roared with laughter would not remove it, even for state guests,” said Kelley.

One of the Queen’s private secretaries had a dim view of the Duke’s penchant for the smutty things in life.

“The Duke of Edinburgh is very lewd, very Germanic,” Kelley quotes the secretary.

She adds: “The haughty courtier attributed ‘Philip’s vulgar preoccupation with nudity’ to his ‘Mountbatten origins.’”

The same secretary said of the painting of the showgirls: “That’s his Germanic idea of art and entertainment – naked buttocks.”

In 1956, Philip set out without the Queen on a forty-thousand-mile itinerary to the South Pacific on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

He and his companion – equerry Michael Parker – spent a lot of time on the deck of the ship “sunbathing, painting at their easels in the afternoon, and drinking gin and tonics in the evening,” according to Kelley.

The pair also had a “whisker-growing competition to see who could grow the longest beard.”

Queen Elizabeth, who had found out about her husband’s facial hair while away, used this to her advantage and played a practical joke on the Duke of Edinburgh when he eventually returned home in 1957. 

“It was a comedy moment when the Queen and Duke were finally reunited,” Robert Hardman wrote in his book Queen of the World.

“Knowing that he had grown a beard on his travels, the Queen had arranged for everyone in the royal entourage – herself included – to put on fake whiskers just before the Duke walked in.”

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