Monday, 27 August 2012

Royal secrets

 

Has anyone watched the documentary recently shown on Channel 4, The Queen's Mother-in-law ?

I have a vague recollection of years ago seeing photos of the elderly Princess Alice, dressed in nun's habit, on the arm of her son Prince Philip, but don't remember ever reading much about her.

It seems to have been one of the better kept secrets of the royal family, and it's a fascinating story.  I've never been particularly fond of Prince Philip, but the story of his mother and the effect it must have had on his childhood, has left me feeling quite sympathetic towards him.

A quite remarkable woman, whose family were embarrassed  because of  her mental illness, and who spent time being hidden away in institutions, but who showed  incredible bravery in helping others.

And thank goodness the treatment of mental illness has come an awful long way since those days!

You can see it on Channel 4 catch-up or HERE.  It's well worth watching.

16 comments:

  1. Now I am intrigued! I am going to have to do some research. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You're welcome Kelleyn. It's interesting and quite sad. You can watch from whichever country you live on the link in my last para (click on the word "HERE")

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  2. I think that all families hid this kind of thing from the public eye.
    Thank Goodness that we live in our present age.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  3. I'm a fan of Prince Philip. He is always such fun compared to our rather dour queen. To see him now, still straight and without a stick at 91 is quite moving.

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    1. He's certainly pretty good for his age BtoB. After watching this programme, I am warming to him.

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  4. I rather like Phil the Greek as well....Mr. Fly had a gardener who used to work at the Palace who recounted how HRH's lady friends used to be smuggled in at night by a side gate....how they smuggled in Lord Porchester for the Queen is another question...!

    The royal family is used to hiding the unmentionable...like Prince John, son of George V, who was tucked away all his short life.

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    1. Well we've all heard the rumours over the years Fly. My father used to tell me about Philip meeting his lady friends in our hometown, Maidenhead, at the Guards Club (I think that's where it was).

      They are only human after all, although I kind of dislike the holier than thou attitude they often adopt, and the outrage at an invasion of their privacy...particularly when they are behaving stupidly like Harry recently.

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  5. I thought it was a fantastic documentary, I learnt so much and yes, it made me think about things a bit too.

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    1. Yes me too KV. I think if she had lived in today's society, rather than being hidden away for fear of embarrassing the family, she would probably have been applauded for her generosity and good work! And she'd have had far better treatment for her problems.

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  6. On the subject of the Royals and the concealment of mental illness have a little read around the history of Nerissa and Katherine Bowes-Lyon, cousins of the present Queen.
    Despite Nerissa not dying until the 1980's and Katherine still living they were both listed as deceased in Burkes Peerage from the 1960's.

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    1. Hi Maud. Now that does ring a bell with me. I'm sure I've read something about that somewhere. Thanks for mentioning it because I'll go and do a bit of research. Hmmm...so many secrets!

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    2. If I recall correctly there were other female cousins also incarcerated in asylums. Does make one wonder if there was perhaps a 'bad' gene? Considering the amount of inbreeding that went on in the higher echelons of society once upon a time I guess it's hardly surprising...

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    3. You're probably right Maud. It makes you wonder if there may well be others we don't know about.

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  7. Love this post...anything to do with the Royal Family I love to read or watch. I'll have to download Channel 4 because I can't get it on my internet.

    Thanks for sharing Ayak.

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