Prince Philip fury: Duke forced to stand down after opposing tricky burial plans
PRINCE PHILIP faced “trouble” from a family member after the Duke of Edinburgh expressed his opposition to their burial plans, the Duke’s cousin and her daughter revealed.
Prince Philip had to give up attempts to convince his mother, Princess Alice of Denmark and Greece, her chosen resting place would be inconvenient for relatives who wanted to visit her. Princess Alice was a deeply religious woman and she had wanted to be buried in Jerusalem close to her aunt, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna. Asked about Alice’s decision in the India Hicks Podcast, Prince Philip’s cousin Lady Pamela Hicks said: “Oh, the trouble Philip had.”
Presenter India Hicks, daughter to Lady Pamela, explained: “Not long before she dies, Princess Alice had given verbal instructions that she wished to be buried near Aunt Ella in Jerusalem.
“When the family protested this was a long way away, and that it would be hard to visit her, she retorted, Nonsense. There is a perfectly good bus service.
“Is that what you mean by Philip having trouble.”
Lady Pamela said: “No, but to be buried in Jerusalem…its rather full.”
Princess Alice had suffered a mental breakdown after she and her family were exiled from Greece in the early 1920s.
The grand-daughter of Queen Victoria spent several years in a sanatorium and, after being discharged, she did not have much communication with her daughters and son but was in attendance at the Queen’s coronation in 1953.
During her stay in Greece, Princess Alice played an active role in hiding Jewish families during the Italian and German occupation of Greece throughout World War II.
For the role she played during the war, Alice was later recognised as a “Righteous Among the Nations” by the Israeli Holocaust memorial organisation Yad Vashem
She also founded the Greek Orthodox nursing order of the Christian Sisterhood of Mary and Martha.
In 1966, Prince Philip invited his ageing mother to stay with him and the Queen at Buckingham Palace where she remained until her death in 1969.
Lady Pamela said: “The Queen was always marvellous with her. Because she was staying at Windsor and the Queen felt responsible.
“The Queen is the kind of person who where everybody else finds someone tricky, will be very calm and get the best out of them always.”
Because of early opposition from the Duke of Edinburgh and his sister, Princess George of Hanover, Princess Alice’s remains were originally placed in the crypt of St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.
In 1988, Princess Alice was finally laid to rest at the Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene in Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Prince Philip and Princess George later returned to Jerusalem to attend a ceremony honouring all “Righteous Among the Nations” which also paid tribute to Princess Alice for her help in sheltering Jewish families during WWII.
The Duke of Edinburgh would later suggest Princess Alice had not been aware of how “special” her actions had been.
He said: “I suspect that it never occurred to her that her action was in any way special.
“She was a person with a deep religious faith, and she would have considered it to be a perfectly natural human reaction to fellow beings in distress.”