Royals

What we learned about Prince Philip from new documentary

He's been married to Her Majesty for almost 70 years. But how much do we really know about the queen's husband?

Prince Philip
Prince Philip has been married to Her Majesty for over 69 years.
And despite decades in the spotlight, there's only so much we know about the man behind one of the world's most powerful women.
Earlier this week, Prince Philip was the subject of a new TV documentary broadcast in the UK, entitled: When Philip Met Prince Philip: 60 Years of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
The documentary, broadcast by ITV, marks the 60th anniversary of the Duke of Edinburgh Award, which honours adventurous endeavors taken on by young people.
The royal spoke of the inspiration behind the award, saying, "Children come into the world completely ignorant with no experience. At least this gives them some idea of what life is like."
But it is what viewers got to learn about the man behind the award, that had royal fans really buzzing.
Excitement around the royal couple peaked recently, after Netflix released their series The Crown, which follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II.
Inviting cameras into his life is unprecedented for the Duke, but British TV personality Phillip Schofield managed to interview the royal for the series.
Philip wasn't the only royal to partake in the documentary, with many members of his family including Duchess Catherine and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, having time on screen.
Here are our top four most exciting discoveries from the ITV special.
1. You can call him 007...
A former naval officer, a budding sporting superstar, he paints, rides a horse, is a royal and a Duke... There's really not much the man can't do.
In fact, British actress Joanna Lumley has the Queen's husband all figured out - she describes his as the "original James Bond".
“I think he’s just an extraordinary character," the 70-year-old mused.
"He rides, sails, drives horses, fishes, swims. He really could have been Bond and he was a naval commander as well like Commander Bond.”
But the Absolutely Fabulous star, who has known Philip for years, thinks there's so much more to the Prince.
“He’s incredibly good fun to be with, but he is quite shy, and I think sometimes some huge events I’ve see him go, ‘Oh God, I’ve got to do that’ and I’ve actually heard him saying that but then he pulls himself together head up, chin out and off he goes.”
2. He's a family man
The funny comedienne also revealed what Prince Philip is like as a dad, saying he is “extremely affectionate, a go-to Dad”.
While watching rare and never-seen-before footage of the royal as a young father, host Phillip Schofield said, “What’s lovely here is that you get the impression of a really fun, warm loving father. So often, we’ve been told, he’s stern and very severe."
“It’s great to see him as a fun, active young dad.”
Meanwhile, Prince Philip's daughter-in-law, Sophie, wife of Prince Edward, commented on the Duke's inspiring partnership with his wife.
“He has been a fantastic life partner for her,” Sophie remarked in the documentary.
"For her to have found somebody like him, I don't think she could have chosen better."
“I think it must be a fairly lonely place being Queen. As a female in the top job, it’s important to have somebody you can lean on, that you can discuss things with, that she can be open and honest with," the mum-of-two mused.
Adding, "And they make each other laugh - which is, you know, it's half the battle, isn't it?"
3. Prince Philip has quite the sense of humour
We all know Prince Philip is especially dry and quick-witted, but the public rarely gets to see that side in action.
Thankfully, the documentary captured his light-hearted nature.
During an official event, the 95-year-old quipped, "You're going to see the world's most experienced plaque unveiler at work."
But it was his banter with the documentary's host, Phillip Schofield that had viewers in stitches.
At one point, the journalist spoke of how he'd be standing on a wing of a flying plane to which the Prince pipped, "Who's trying to get rid of you?"
Trying to explain his decision, Phillip told the royal, "I agreed to do a challenge Sir... I'm going to wing walk... For you, Sir."
Prince Philip responded, "Are you going stand there on the wing saying 'hello folks'? I wouldn't open your mouth if I were you, in case it ends up like a balloon."
4. Duchess Catherine had a royal connection well before Prince William
A teenage Kate Middleton braved nature's worst to receive The Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award.
The 34-year-old recalled she was in high school at the time, and she was attempting to prepare a meal, all whilst it was pouring with rain.
"I can remember trying to cook bacon in the soaking wet," she shared.
"Everything was just sopping and I was trying and trying to cook bacon."
Laughing she continued, "I remember saying you know what, 'I think we're just going to have plain sandwiches. Bread, basic bread and butter.'"
For more on the special, head to ITV.com.