Buckingham Palace has angrily rejected claims by Prince Harry that the Queen ‘needs Prince Philip at her side’ in order to carry out her duties, by insisting that what she actually needs is ‘a stiff drink’.
In an affection interview to mark the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee year, the Queen’s grandson had claimed that the 90-year-old Duke’s love and loyalty had sustained the Queen, now 86, during their sixty-five years of marriage. ‘My grandfather has been at her side for her entire reign,’ Prince Harry claimed, ‘and she often says she can only do all that she does with his love and loyalty.’
But in a rare move, the Palace publicly disagreed with Harry’s claims. ‘Her Majesty is pleased to make it known that what actually gets her through the day is not The Duke of Edinburgh but in fact the Royal supply of gin and Dubonnet,’ read a statement. ‘It’s hard enough having one’s phones tapped and coping with this succession of morons they keep sending over as prime minister, without a loose-tongued Greek racist threatening to sink the lot of us.’
BBC Royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the statement was ‘unusually frank’, but probably an accurate reflection of the Queen’s sentiments. ‘The Queen normally allows her equerries to draft these statements, but this one is written in her own hand,’ he said, ‘the spidery but still legible hand of an old woman still in full command of her formidable faculties, if slightly tipsy and smelling of Bombay Sapphire.’
‘Of course Her Majesty’s husband is devoted to one,’ the statement went on. ‘But if any member of the Family ought to know that the only thing that gets one through is a quick snifter of juice every half hour, it’s Harry. Now, where did one put one’s glass?’