Penelope also represents a side of the late royal’s life which is often overshadowed by the House of Windsor — as her mother-in-law once poignantly recalled.
According to the book, ‘Prince Philip Revealed’, Patricia believed a decision from the Palace and the Government in 1952 over what official surname the Queen’s descendants with Philip would take devastated the Duke of Edinburgh.
He allegedly wanted the Royal Family to be known as the House of Mountbatten-Windsor, combining his mother’s maiden name — which he took when he became a naturalised British citizen — with the Queen’s family name.
But officials rejected the suggestion, meaning his children and his children’s children would be part of the House of Windsor instead.
Philip’s cousin Patricia claimed: “It hurt him, it really hurt him.
“He had given up everything — and now this, the final insult.
“It was a terrible blow.
“It upset him very deeply and left him feeling unsettled and unhappy for a long while. Of course, I don’t blame the Queen.”
Patricia Mountbatten claimed Palace landed ‘final insult’ on cousin Prince Philip
Prince Philip and his cousin Patricia, 2nd Countess of Mountbatten
Philip took the same surname as Patricia in 1947 because of the paternal influence her father — and his uncle — Lord Louis Mountbatten had on him when he was growing up.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and the Queen’s then private secretary Sir Alan Lascelles, are said to have decided against incorporating the name into the official royal title together.
According to royal biographer Ingrid Seward, the monarch was to be “too young and inexperienced to stand up for what she wanted for her husband”, the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, and so she agreed to omit his name.
Ms Seward described this as “a major blow to Philip”, who was “furious and deeply wounded” by such a decision.
He allegedly said: “I’m just a bloody amoeba. I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children.”
However, biographer Philip Eade has a slightly different explanation for what unfolded back in 1952.
Patricia and her sister Pamela (L) with Philip’s mother Princess Alice and their father Lord Mountbatten
Patricia Mountbatten was close to the Royal Family
Turning her frustrations to Philip, she muttered: “What the devil does that damned fool Edinburgh think that the family name has to do with him.”
However, Mr Eade claimed: “Philip, in fact, was not in favour of the name Mountbatten either and instead he proposed a compromise that his children should take the name of Edinburgh and that the royal house should be known as Windsor and Edinburgh.
“But Churchill was unsympathetic even to this proposal and gave a ‘firm, negative answer’.”
Future Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was one of the many voices who thought it was a “very good thing that the influence of the Consort and his family have had an early rebuff”.
Philip’s then private secretary Mike Parker said: “He was deeply wounded.”
However, by the time Philip and the Queen’s third child arrived in 1960, the monarch had decided to move away from the Palace’s former ruling.
The Royal Family has German connections through Philip’s family — and Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband
Philip took the surname Mountbatten when he became a naturalised British citizen in 1947
The Queen had “absolutely set her heart on a change” when Prince Andrew was born, and was determined to appease Philip and Lord Mountbatten by incorporating Philip’s name into the royal moniker.
The new ruling declared: “Those members of the Royal Family who would have to use a surname because they were no longer entitled to be called a prince or princess should use the name Mountbatten-Windsor.”
Since then, royals connected to Philip through the male line, such as his great-grandson Archie, have taken the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor.
Mountbatten is actually the anglicised version of the German name Battenberg.
The surname was changed by the family during World War 1 when there was an increase in anti-German sentiment.
Philip’s close friend and Patricia’s daughter-in-law, Penelope Knatchbull, will be attending the funeral
However, Philip spoke fluent German and his sisters’ descendants all grew up in Germany.
To honour this link, three of Philip’s German relatives will be attending his funeral in Windsor after isolating in Ascot over the last week.
Speaking to BBC News, Princess Xenia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg said it was an “honour” to see her family represented at the occasion.
She said that after Philip was considered the “glue” for the German relatives.
She continued: “To all of us, he was an idol, he was someone to look up to.”
‘Prince Philip Revealed: A Man of His Century’ by Ingrid Seward was published in 2020 by Simon & Schuster and is available here.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK