Prince Philip's ferocious Downing Street rant revealed: 'He bellowed expletives!'
Prince Philip has joined the Queen at Balmoral this week on Her Majesty’s summer break at her Scottish estate of Balmoral. The Queen’s yearly retreat was delayed somewhat by Downing Street as the monarch remained in London to oversee the transition of power from outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May to Boris Johnson. The Queen may find herself in an “impossible situation” in the coming weeks, as the delicate balance of power in Westminster could mean a vote of confidence in Mr Johnson may be called – calling her position of neutrality into question.
However, during the difficult days following the untimely death of Princess Diana on August 31, 1997, the Queen “relished” her husband’s direct and furious words to government ministers.
The Princess of Wales was honoured with a public funeral that remains one of the most watched events in history, as an estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide viewed or listened to the service, while another three million crowded the streets of London to follow the procession.
While many well-known figures attended, including Elton John, Tom Hanks and Hilary Clinton, Diana’s funeral was originally intended to be a private affair.
The Queen had reportedly insisted Diana’s ceremony should be intimate, but Prince Charles and Prime Minister Tony Blair had agreed that Diana should be laid out at St. James’s Palace with a public funeral held at Westminster Abbey.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip
The Duke of Edinburgh talks to the crowds the day before Diana’s funeral
Reports claim that after an intervention from Mr Blair, the Queen eventually relented.
However, according to 2008 book “Tony’s Ten Years: Memoirs of the Blair Administration” by Sky’s political editor Adam Boulton, tensions between Downing Street and the Royal Family arose once again over the funeral arrangements.
Mr Bolton writes: “The events of that week in September 1997 were very sad, but as the spinners from Downing Street came to Buckingham Palace and started to kick around what roles Harry and William should play in the funeral, the Queen had relished the moment when Philip had bellowed over the speakerphone from Balmoral: ‘F*** off!’
“‘We are talking about two boys who have lost their mother.'”
READ MORE: The heartbreaking thing Versace said about Diana weeks before tragic car crash
Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother at Westminster Abbey
He continued: ”Once the arrangements had been sorted out, Blair read the lesson very melodramatically that day in the Abbey.
“Blair had been helpful reading the public mood when Diana had died but he was also presumptuous.”
Paul Scott, in his 2006 biography “Tony & Cherie” writes that there was “barely concealed suspicion of the Blairs from senior royals and their courtiers” during Mr Blair’s tenure.
He adds: “Not only were they by nature predisposed to be wary of any Labour government.
Royal feud: How Diana left Queen ‘crestfallen’ with Balmoral snub [EXPERT]
William and Harry’s heartbreaking Balmoral memory [REVEALED]
Prince Philip’s ‘outrageous reaction when Fergie told of Andrew split’ [ROYAL EXPERT]’
Prince Philip walked behind Diana’s gun carriage with the young princes
The Duke of Edinburgh was a “pillarof strength” for the young WIlliam and Harry
“There was also deep hostility among senior members of the royal family about how, as they saw it, the Queen had been railroaded into giving way in the days after Diana’s death by Blair and his ‘henchmen.'”
Prince Philip’s furious call was reportedly witnessed by Anji Hunter, who worked for Mr Blair.
In 2017 Channel 5 documentary on Diana’s funeral, “7 Days”, Ms Hunter said how surprised she was to hear Prince Philip’s emotion.
She said: “I can remember – it sends a tingle up my back.
“We were all talking about how William and Harry should be involved and suddenly came Prince Philip’s voice.
“We hadn’t heard from him before, but he was really anguished.”
Prince William told the same documentary that walking behind his mother’s coffin was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done”.
The Duke of Cambridge, who was 15 at the time, recalled using his fringe as a “safety blanket” during the “very long, lonely walk”.
Tony and Cherie Blair at the princess’ funeral
Royal biographer Katie Nicholl also described how prince Philip played an essential role of support for the young princes, and encouraged them to walk behind their mother’s gun carriage at the funeral.
Katie Nicholl writes how William initially did not want to walk behind Diana’s gun carriage at his mother’s funeral alongside his younger brother.
The Queen organised a dinner at Buckingham Palace in a “final attempt to persuade the reluctant William”.
Ms Nicholl writes: “The 15-year-old was resolute he could not face the walk from Kensington Palace to Westminster Abbey.
“He was not strong enough; there were too many people; he feared he would break down and embarrass his grandmother.”
However, the Duke of Edinburgh stepped in to counsel the young prince.
Courtier Lady Elizabeth Anson told Ms Nicholl: “It was the Duke who persuaded William to walk at the very last minute.
“Philip knew that if William didn’t walk he would regret it for the rest of his life.
“He said to William, ‘If I walk, will you walk?’
“I think William was overcome with gratitude. He would have done anything for his grandfather, who had been a pillar of strength for him.”