Does Prince Philip Have Any Close Friends?

Prince Philip

Prince Philip | Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Many of us have at least one person in our lives who we’ve developed a friendship with and can always count on, but when you’re the patriarch of the royal family selecting trustworthy people to surround yourself with isn’t an easy task. For that reason, many have questioned if Prince Philip has any friends at all?

The Duke of Edinburgh is mostly just photographed alongside other members of “The Firm.” Is that because they are the only people who can relate to what royal life is like?

Turns out, Prince Philip does have a few people outside of his family who he has been close with over the years. Here’s more on the duke’s friendships including the one that has sparked wild rumors of just how close he is with that person.

Michael Parker

Commander Michael Parker

Commander Michael Parker, former secretary of Prince Philip | Ron Case/Keystone/Getty Images

Fans of The Crown will know the name Michael Parker. He passed away in 2001 but was one of Prince Philip’s closest friends for many years.

The two met in the Royal Navy in 1942 and when the war ended Philip asked the Lieutenant Commander if he would join the royal household as an equerry. Parker later became the duke’s private secretary but in 1957, after the news of his divorce to his first wife broke, he was forced to resign. However, he kept in contact with the prince until his death.

Prince Hassan of Jordan

Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan

Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan | ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images

Prince Philip and the queen have both become very friendly with another royal couple — Prince Hassan bin Talal and his wife, Princess Sarvath. In fact, Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh spent a weekend with them in Wimbledon, where Prince Hassan has a home, in 2016. The pair’s trip to the estate was described as a “dine and stay” in which they had supper and stayed overnight before departing for Windsor.

Their friendship actually makes perfect sense as the royals have likely bonded over their unique experiences in life.

Penelope Brabourne

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh and Lady Penny

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, and Penny Brabourne | Julian Finney/Getty Images

The duke’s relationship with his riding carriage driving companion Penny Brabourne (now Countess Mountbatten) has been the subject of tabloid rumors and salacious claims for years.

In the 2018 book The Queen’s Marriage by Lady Colin Campbell, she examined their relationship and said she did not want to be sensational, but news of such a book did not do much to stop the rumors. The idea that Philip was unfaithful to his wife was also brought up in The Crown. However, author Sammy Bedell Smith told NBC News that there was no truth to the prince’s affairs as depicted on the series.

“This innuendo that he was running off and having assignations with showgirls is flatly false,” he said.

Penny is not only good friends with Philip but also Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the family. In fact, the late Princess Diana was her daughter’s godmother.

Read more: Does Queen Elizabeth II Have Any Close Friends?

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