Alan Titchmarsh who spent a year filming a documentary with Prince Philip explains he disliked interviews because ‘he never wanted to put himself in front of the Queen’

  • Alan Titchmarsh interviewed Duke Of Edinburgh ahead of 90th birthday in 2011
  • Titchmarsh admitted the interview with the late royal was ‘challenging’    
  • Explained Prince Philip never wanted to put himself ahead of the Queen 

Alan Titchmarsh explained the Duke of Edinburgh shied away from interviews because he didn’t like to ‘put himself before the Queen.

The TV gardener, who is a friend of the royal family and filmed a documentary about Prince Philip for his 90th birthday, told how the late Duke was reluctant to discuss his own life despite his considerable personal achievements.   

Appearing on Good Morning Britain today to remember the duke, Titchmarsh, 71, said: ‘The thing about him was, what you had to realise while interviewing He hated talking about himself. He would never put himself in front of the Queen. 

Alan Titchmarsh revealed that the Duke Of Edinburgh sent him a letter admitting that interviews weren’t his ‘favourite occupation’ after a difficult chat to mark his 90th birthday. The pair are pictured during an ITV programme in 2017 

The gardener, who is a longtime friend of the Royal Family, took part in a special programme celebrating Prince Philip’s many years of service in 2011. Philip is pictured in Windsor in June 2011

Appearing on Good Morning Britain today to remember the duke, the 71-year-old said the late royal ‘hated talking about himself’ and would ‘never put himself in front of the Queen’

‘When you talk about his wartime experiences, he would say “there were other people involved it wasn’t just me”.

‘Once the Princess Royal said to me, “It’s not just you he won’t talk about his wartime service to, he won’t talk to his children about it.

‘When you talk about his wartime experiences, he says there were other people involved it wasn’t just me. He said on more than one occasion it’s the role that is important and not me, I think it’s very wise.’

Alan told how he once received a letter from the Duke of Edinburgh following a reluctant 2011 interview that said: ‘I appreciate your kind comments about interviews, but as I’m sure you realise they they are not my favourite occupation. I hope you have a very successful year in 2012’.  

He said Philip believed it was the ‘role’ that was important, rather than himself as an individual, and even when recalling his wartime service would attribute his success to his fellow soldiers

But the awkward encounter with the duke didn’t deter Alan from continuing their friendship, and in 2017 he spoke with Philip for an ITV documentary ahead of stepping down from public duties. 

Titchmarsh has interviewed Prince Philip on several occasions and was granted one of his last formal interviews, gaining a rare insight into the mind of the man who is known as a moderniser of the Royal family. 

While there were touching anecdotes from Princess Anne and rare footage of the Queen declaring her love for her husband, the questions and answer session between Prince Philip and Titchmarsh didn’t always run smoothly. 

But the awkward encounter with the duke didn’t deter Alan from continuing their friendship, and in 2017 he spoke with Philip for an ITV documentary ahead of stepping down from public duties (pictured) 

When asked whether he enjoyed his time in the Navy, Philip looked visibly exasperated at the question before saying: ‘It’s not about enjoying your naval time. I lived through it, I just accepted it’ 

When asked whether he enjoyed his time in the Navy, Philip looked visibly exasperated at the question before saying: ‘It’s not about enjoying your naval time. I lived through it, I just accepted it. Well, it wasn’t acceptable.’

While Titchmarsh admitted himself that it wasn’t ‘an easy interview’, Prince Philip did concede once again, via a letter to the presenter, that he wasn’t the biggest fan of being interviewed. 

And when the Princess Royal declared that her father had been the ‘best reader of bedtime stories’, the Prince looked befuddled, answering: ‘what?’ before adding ‘I don’t remember it, well, I suppose I do.’

Cantankerous answers aside, the 90-minute programme shone a light on the relationship between the Prince and the Queen.  

Prince Harry and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend the 2015 Rugby World Cup Final match between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on October 31, 2015 in London. Harry is back in London ahead of his grandfather’s funeral this Saturday

Alan also spoke today of the rift between the Royal Family and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, after it was revealed yesterday Prince Harry has arrived in the UK without his heavily-pregnant wife Meghan Markle ahead of Prince Philip’s funeral. 

‘I think everybody will go along with Sir John Major’s thoughts that this would be a good time to heal friction, said Alan. 

‘We are all human, we are all family. This is one family which we all look for guidance and examples, it would be lovely if that were sorted this week for the greater good and their good as well’.  

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