Dust off yr TV. Prince Philip: The Plot To Make A King, Thursday, 9pm, C4

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Wed Jul 29 10:27:45 BST 2015

“Queen Elizabeth II the largest landowner on Earth.”
Queen Elizabeth II, head of state of the United 
Kingdom and of 31 other states and territories, 
is the legal owner of about 6,600 million acres 
of land, one sixth of the earth’s non ocean surface.
She is the only person on earth who owns whole 
countries, and who owns countries that are not 
her own domestic territory. This land ownership 
is separate from her role as head of state and is 
different from other monarchies where no such 
claim is made – Norway, Belgium, Denmark etc. The 
value of her land holding. £17,600,000,000,000 (approx).
This makes her the richest individual on earth. 
However, there is no way easily to value her real 
estate. There is no current market in the land of 
entire countries. At a rough estimate of $5,000 
an acre, and based on the sale of Alaska to the 
USA by the Tsar, and of Louisiana to the USA by 
France, the Queen’s land holding is worth a 
notional $33,000,000,000,000 (Thirty three 
trillion dollars or about £17,600,000,000,000). 
Her holding is based on the laws of the countries 
she owns and her land title is valid in all the 
countries she owns. Her main holdings are Canada, 
the 2nd largest country on earth, with 2,467 
million acres, Australia, the 7th largest country 
on earth with 1,900 million acres, the Papua New 
Guinea with114 million acres, New Zealand with 66 
million acres and the UK with 60 million acres.

Philip and the palace plot: An explosive new 
documentary claims the Queen's choice of husband 
set off bitter power struggles in government and the royal marriage
A documentary reveals that it wasn't all rosy for the Queen and Philip
The pair argued about their marital name among other things
Prince Philip: The Plot To Make A King, Thursday, 9pm, Channel 4

PUBLISHED: 23:31, 24 July 2015 | UPDATED: 23:31, 24 July 2015

The Queen was close to tears. She’d fallen out 
with Prince Philip and the cause of their rift had blown up again.

It was the 1950s and the pair were in dispute, 
once more, over the surname of their children – 
which for most of their subjects would hardly be an issue.

The battle over whether the royal offspring 
should be called Windsor or Mountbatten – Prince 
Philip’s adopted name – lies at the heart of 
Channel 4’s fascinating documentary about the Duke of Edinburgh.

Prince Philip: The Plot To Make A King, narrated 
by actress Tamsin Greig, is a tale of snobbery, 
scheming, tantrums and even near-treason. It 
suggests the Queen’s husband was partly 
manoeuvred into his exalted position by his 
ambitious uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, and 
paints a vivid picture of Establishment animosity 
towards Philip, because his family were part-German.

‘I’m the only man in the country not allowed to 
give his children his name,’ Philip is famously 
said to have complained. ‘I’m just a bloody amoeba.’

The documentary also boasts a genuine exclusive. 
Prince Rainer von Hessen reads from the private 
memoirs of his mother Sophie, Philip’s sister, 
who was married to a Nazi SS officer, revealing 
the couple’s friendship with Adolf Hitler.

Royal historian Christopher Wilson says, ‘Philip 
was seen as an outsider and a threat. The 
Establishment thought he was too good-looking and 
“not one of us”. They were beastly to him.’

Key to the story is Louis Mountbatten – his 
British-based ancestors had changed their name 
from the German Battenberg during World War I – 
who took the penniless Philip under his wing 
after his mother Alice, Louis’s sister, was 
confined to a mental institution and his father abandoned him.

When the young future Queen and teenage Philip 
struck up a friendship, Mountbatten is said to 
have seen this as a potential route to power. But 
the courtship wasn’t plain sailing for young 
midshipman Philip. The Queen Mother, whose 
brother Fergus was killed at 26 during World War 
I, referred to Philip as ‘The Hun, because of his 
German connections,’ says Philip Eade, author of the book Young Prince Philip.

Even the nuptials themselves, on 20 November, 
1947, didn’t put an end to the plotting, and 
Christopher Wilson claims Mountbatten’s ambitions 
were exposed a few days after Elizabeth became 
Queen following the sudden death of her father 
King George VI in 1952. ‘He held a dinner party 
and announced, “The House of Mountbatten now 
reigns,” which was almost treasonable in a way.’ 
News of his remark reached a furious Winston 
Churchill – then Prime Minister – who regarded 
Philip as ‘brash and arrogant’. Within weeks a 
public announcement decreed the family name would remain Windsor.

Even so, the issue never went away. Rab Butler, 
who became deputy to later Prime Minister Harold 
Macmillan, is quoted as saying the Queen was 
‘close to tears while discussing the issue’. In 
his diaries, Macmillan spoke of ‘the prince’s 
almost brutal attitude to the Queen over this 
matter’, while Lord Mountbatten’s daughter 
Patricia tells the documentary, ‘It caused hurt 
between them for quite a long time.’

However, in 1960 the Queen proposed that minor 
royals would in future be officially called 
Mountbatten-Windsor – although the joint surname 
was in fact first used by Princess Anne when she 
signed the marriage register at her wedding to 
Captain Mark Phillips in 1973. As narrator Tamsin 
Greig notes, ‘Lord Mountbatten, at last, had his own, small victory.’

Prince Philip: The Plot To Make A King, Thursday, 9pm, Channel 4.
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