‘I suppose I won’t be having fun any more,’ Prince Philip told his friend Larry Adler as the implications of marrying the heir to the throne began to sink in. He was then twenty-six; the war had ended two years earlier, but he was still in the Navy, and enjoying life despite being – according to his uncle ‘Dickie’ Mountbatten – ‘almost entirely dependent on his Naval pay which is slightly under £1 a day’. ‘He was beginning to realise what he had let himself in for,’ Adler recalled; devoted as he was to Princess Elizabeth, he was ‘scared’ by what lay before him.
Philip was a royal himself, but the Windsors were rather more daunting than the Glücksburgs, an impoverished line of jolly but uncultivated north German princelings who tended to ‘yell and make funny noises if they saw anyone trying to write a letter’. His great-grandfather was the King of