Queen Elizabeth: Prince Philip upset monarch with harsh criticism on Malta royal tour

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Queen Elizabeth, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, are nearly always the picture of calm amicability during their rare public appearances these days. However, there have been times in the past when the Duke of Edinburgh has upset his wife. One of these occasions was during a royal visit to Malta.

It was during an “upsetting” period for the monarch.

The pair travelled to Malta in 1950 where Prince Philip was in command of his own frigate.

According to author Kitty Kelley, in her book The Royals, the young Queen proved popular with the Maltese.

“She was hailed as ‘the best-loved, the most notable naval wife ever to visit these islands,” wrote Kelley.

However, the UK press did not treat Elizabeth so well in their coverage.

British journalists were more critical of her appearance during the visit and commented on both her wardrobe choice and her weight.

Unfortunately, Philip was not particularly supportive, the author claimed.

“Newspapers took her to task for looking like ‘an Edwardian vaudeville queen’,” wrote Kelley.

“Carpings out her weight and wardrobe disturbed her more than criticism about her children, especially coming from her husband.”

Kelley recalled one episode in particular when the Duke upset his wife.

“‘You’re not going to wear that thing,’ he said when Elizabeth walked into this room to show him a new dress. ‘Take it off at once.’”

Kelley’s book also claimed the Queen went to drastic lengths to shed the pounds as a result.

She quoted Geoffrey Bocca’s early biography: “It was all very upsetting.

“The Empire had on its hands a Princess it adored passionately, but a Princess that was overstuffed and overdressed.

“As a non-smoker, she did not have the assistance of nicotine to hold down the poundage.

“So she went off starchy food and she took appetite-reducing pills – a blue pill for breakfast, a green pill at lunch, and a chocolate pill at dinner.”

Interestingly, three years later when Elizabeth and Philip went on a royal tour to twelve countries after her coronation in 1953, reporters were censored in order to protect her.

Journalists were not allowed to report on whether the Queen was looking tired or not as Buckingham Palace did not want the more human side of the tour revealed, a royal reporter present said.

“[I couldn’t report any] personal details,” Kelley quotes royal reporter Gwen Robyns saying.

“When I noticed that the Queen always took her shoes off which seemed endearing and human, I noted in one of my dispatches: ‘The weary Queen slipped out of her shoes.’

“I got a rocket from my editor saying, ‘Lay off the Queen, Buckingham Palace is furious with you.’”

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