Philip Eade was born in Shropshire and educated at Marlborough College and Bristol University where be read History. He has written for a variety of publications and for several years worked on the obituaries desk of The Daily Telegraph. He lives in London and the Welsh marches. His first book, Sylvia, Queen of the Headhunters, was published in 2007 to widespread critical acclaim.
For more information on this author, please visit his website.
YOUNG PRINCE PHILIP, HarperCollins, 09 June 2011
Married for more than sixty years to the most famous woman in the world, Prince Philip is the longest serving consort in British history. Yet while he is still one of the most recognisable figures in public life, his origins remain curiously shrouded in obscurity. In Young Prince Philip, the first book to focus exclusively on his life before the Coronation, acclaimed biographer Philip Eade recounts the Prince’s extraordinary upbringing in Greece, France, Nazi Germany and Britain, where he inhabited a notably colourful milieu yet was beset by continual turbulence and a succession of family tragedies.
This revealing book examines the formative psychological effects of having a mother who was born stone-deaf and was committed to a psychiatric clinic when Philip was nine, and a father who was so traumatised by his treatment at the hands of Greek revolutionaries that he later left his young son to be brought up by his wife’s family, the Milford Havens and Mountbattens, just when Philip needed him most. Remarkably, there emerged from this unsettled background a character of singular vitality and dash – self-confi dent, capable, famously opinionated and devastatingly handsome. Girls fell at his feet, and the Princess who would become his wife was smitten from the age of thirteen. Yet alongside the considerable charm and intelligence, the Prince was also prone to volcanic outbursts and to putting his foot in it. Detractors perceived in his behaviour emotional shortcomings, a legacy of his traumatic childhood, which would have profound consequences for his family and the future of the monarchy.
Published to coincide with the Prince’s ninetieth birthday and containing new material from interviews, archives and film footage, Young Prince Philip is the most complete and compelling account yet of his storm-tossed early life.
Reviews for Young Prince Philip:
‘Given what a rackety childhood Prince Philip had, it’s astonishing that he hasn’t spent half his life in therapy . . . by concentrating on the extreme oddity of his childhood, [Eade] makes the prince’s character more explicable and therefore more sympathetic . . . the narrative is as suspenseful as any thriller. Truly, an excellent read’ Lynn Barber, Sunday Times
‘Eade's staunchly unhagiographic book is well spiced with royal titbits, and enlivened by a lemony tartness in the author's tone.... Rich in drama and tragedy.... As thoughtful and unbiased an explanation as we are likely to get’ Miranda Seymour, Guardian
‘Staking a claim for the official biography . . . On the basis of this excellent book one can say that it would be a task that Eade was singularly well qualified to undertake’ Philip Ziegler, Spectator
‘As Philip Eade demonstrates in this highly readable biography of Prince Philip’s first 30 years, this extraordinary man endured a childhood of such turmoil that nowadays the social services would have placed him in care…. This balanced, sympathetic, engaging book deserves to take its place among the first rank of modern royal biographies’ Christopher Hudson, Daily Mail
‘An amazing story of an incredible life. I learned a lot from reading it and literally couldn’t put it down’ Victoria Hislop, Easy Living
‘Sympathetic and tartly funny’ Sunday Times Books of the Year
‘Eade is a good writer [but] I wouldn’t want to be around when Prince Philip reads it....Prince Philip has learnt to play a convincing version of himself: quizzical, tetchy, no-nonsense, shipshape. Yet his was the least shipshape of all backgrounds. Ninety years ago, he was born into a family so nutty that they could have eaten ten fruitcakes each for breakfast, and still had room for more at lunch.....[it] was like something from a film by David Lynch’ Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday, Book of the Week
‘A great read’ Huffington Post
‘Sure footed and sparkling....I finished [this biography] with an admiration I had not expected for this brave, brusque, imaginative oddball. Mr. Eade tells us that he was first attracted to his subject when he heard of Prince Philip's interest in Unidentified Flying Objects. One could forgive the prince for imagining that he himself was one of them’ Ferdinand Mount, Wall Street Journal
‘The Duke of Edinburgh loathes journalists, resents personal questions and guards his private life like a corgi with a bone. As Philip Eade shows in this excellent study of his early life, his defensiveness stems from a truly dreadful upbringing.....Eade’s unofficial biography will be deemed too critical by royalists and too sympathetic by republicans. As this suggests, it is finely balanced. It is also lucidly written and based on solid research’ Piers Brendon, Oldie
‘Young Prince Philip is not a forelock-tugging royal biography . . . Philip Eade casts a clear eye over his subject’s first thirty years, fleshing out with intelligence and sympathy the man whose gaffes have entertained the nation’ Frances Wilson, Times Literary Supplement
‘No wonder he was cranky . . . . Eade shows what a frustrating struggle it has been for a smart, robust, take-charge alpha male to tamp down his natural instincts and personality [and] does an admirable job of explaining the maddening entanglements of Philip's extended European family and his ethnic and royal connections’ USA Today
‘Absorbing and informative’ Publisher’s Weekly
‘This unusual book [describing] his transition from bumptious baby to universally trusted head boy at Gordonstoun, from plucky seaman to breezy Royal escort, home maker and instinctive moderniser makes fascinating reading . . . carefully researched, warm-hearted and unjudgmental’ Andrew Barrow, Evening Standard
‘“May you live in interesting times,” goes the ancient curse. The modern equivalent might be: “May you make an interesting subject for a biography.” In this book, Philip Eade certainly proves that the Duke of Edinburgh fulfils this description…. Under Mr. Eade’s pen, the story races along, without sycophancy. In the course of it, we meet SS brothers-in-law and showgirls, Lord Louis (Dickie) Mountbatten and Gloria Vanderbilt’ Clive Aslet, Country Life
‘Philip Eade is an amused and amusing biographer…. It’s good to know that Philip once subscribed to Flying Saucer Review, that he and Mountbatten were regarded as “pinkoes” by the stuffier courtiers…and that Kim Philby once attended a gathering of the Thursday Club’ Jeremy Lewis, Literary Review
‘You cannot judge a person's life until you have walked a mile in their shoes, and this brilliant new biography of Philip's early life takes you inside that experience’ Irish Independent