14,635 book reviews and counting...

Philip: The Final Portrait Reviews

Philip: The Final Portrait by Gyles Brandreth

Philip: The Final Portrait

Gyles Brandreth

4.00 out of 5

3 reviews

Imprint: Coronet Books
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication date: 27 Apr 2021
ISBN: 9781444769579

Elizabeth, their marriage and their dynasty.

4 stars out of 5
Roger Lewis
8 May 2021

"Brandreth explores a temperament on the brink of anger and agitation with immense tact, even affection."

Impressive as the statistics are, is not the real reason he was so hard, distant, ‘forbidding, even frightening’ to be found here? I’ve done my own bit of research. In 1966, Philip came to Hastings and a picture in the local paper was captioned: ‘His Royal Highness displays keen interest as Mrs Hollier grades her apples.’ Decade upon decade trapped watching professionals doing their jobs would daze most people. Brandreth explores a temperament on the brink of anger and agitation with immense tact, even affection.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Patrick Kidd
23 Apr 2021

"an intimate and affectionate read."

At times, though, Philip must have wondered what gibberish his jester was on about. The author bragged at one meeting in the 1980s that he had come from breakfast with Blake Carrington from Dynasty. “I haven’t the first idea what you’re talking about,” Philip replied. “I had breakfast with the Queen.” The inclusion of this may tell you more about author than subject and yet it is tales like this that make the book such an intimate and affectionate read.

Indeed, Brandreth acknowledges, perhaps relishes, his reputation as a bit of a toady. He includes in a footnote part of a Craig Brown parody that involves Brandreth fawning as the prince “raises a good-natured fist” and thumps him in the mouth. “‘Marvellous, sir!’ I enthuse, picking up my front teeth from the beautifully polished floor.”

4 stars out of 5
Jake Kerridge
17 Apr 2021

"this intimate biography is a sparkling celebration"

He certainly brings Prince Philip vividly to life. But I wonder whether his book will quite satisfy the many people who have been surprised by what they have read in the obituaries over the past few days, and want to know more about his Christianity, or his achievements as a writer and thinker. There seems to be a widespread dawning that there is a real gap between the Duke we thought we knew and the reality (which was not the case when, say, Princess Margaret or the Queen Mother died)...

As a sparkling celebration of Prince Philip, the book will be hard to beat, but there is room for a biography that gets further to the heart of him.