Prince Philip’s friend Gyles Brandreth says he was ‘heartbroken’ family became soap opera

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Gyles Brandreth, 73, has claimed the late Prince Philip was left “heartbroken that the Royal Family has turned into a soap opera”. The royal author and Gogglebox star appeared on Good Morning Britain today to discuss headlines with Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid.

He regretted that very much indeed

Gyles Brandreth

Today would have been the Duke Of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday and the Queen marked the occasion by planting a rose at Windsor Castle.

Prince Philip, who died in April, also reportedly regretted that members of his family had given personal interviews.

Gyles was asked about the controversy surrounding Meghan Meghan and Prince Harry naming their daughter Lilibet Diana Mountbatten Windsor after the Queen.

Ben queried: “You know him and you were close to the Duke of Edinburgh. What do you think he would have made of all of this?”

Gyles replied: “I know exactly what he would have made of all of this. 

“He was heartbroken, as he said to me, that the Royal Family has been turned into a soap opera and he regretted that very much indeed.

“He also regretted members of the Royal Family giving personal interviews.

“He felt [that] no good ever comes of it. I said to him, ‘But you were the first member of the Royal Family to give an interview on television in the 1950s for the BBC and later to things like Wogan’.

“But he said, ‘That was about what I did, my work, never about me as a person’.”

The broadcaster and writer continued: “He reminded me and said, ‘You know, in 1953, you won’t remember this, but after the Coronation, the Queen and I went to Australia on a tour. Millions of people came out and cheered the Queen, millions. 

“‘And if the Queen had thought it was about her, it would have been corrosive.

“But the Queen is the same with one person or a million people. Once you begin to think it’s about you, you are in trouble. Don’t give interviews about yourself. It’s about other people’.

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“And that was his philosophy,” Gyles finished.

Ben asked: “Do you think he would have been upset about Meghan [Markle] and [Prince] Harry using the word Lilibet?”

Gyles responded: “I know what he would have said, ‘I try to keep out of these things’. He wouldn’t have commented, he wouldn’t have known what he’d thought!”

The Sussex couple issued a gushing statement on Sunday, announcing that they had welcomed their second child and named her Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor.

Lilibet is believed to be the name coined by the Queen when she was too young to pronounce Elizabeth. 

The 7lbs 11oz baby, whose late grandmother Diana’s 60th birthday would have been next month, was born on Friday evening UK time.

Although the Queen has reportedly given her blessing to Meghan and Prince Harry to use the name, some have taken issue with it, including former GMB host Piers Morgan who appeared on Australia’s Today programme on Channel 9, and was asked by host Karl Stefanovic what he thought of the name. 

He replied: “It’s quite ironic, isn’t it? You have this couple who have been trashing the Royal Family and the monarchy for the last few weeks and they have named the baby after the Queen.”

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