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Prince Philip has been lucky enough to visit all four corners of the globe thanks to his status in the Royal Family. However, the Duke of Edinburgh doesn’t always like to play by the rules on trips abroad. In fact, on one occasion, he “sneaked” away from his wife Queen Elizabeth so he could do what he wanted.
The incident occurred during a royal tour to Australia in 1954.
Author Robert Hardman shared his insight in his book, Queen of the World.
The biographer explained that during the state visit, Elizabeth went to watch the racing at Randwick Racecourse near Sydney.
The equestrian sport is one of her favourite hobbies.
However, Prince Philip had other ideas about he was going to spend the day.
Rather than be at his wife’s side, the Duke decided to scarper.
The royal went off to watch cricket instead.
He “sneaked off to watch a match at Sydney Cricket Ground,” said Hardman.
Philip “spurned a royal box in favour of the pavilion,” the author added.
Despite this streak of rebelliousness, the Prince proved very popular during his time in the Australian city.
When the Queen and Philip arrived in Sydney they made their through the metropolis on a twenty-three-mile State procession.
Sarah Bradford, in her book Queen Elizabeth II: Her Life in our Times, explained that some Australians were so excited to spot the dashing Duke of Edinburgh, they could hardly contain themselves.
“Some of the crowd of 1,200,000 burst through… barriers, halting the royal car on eight separate occasions,” said Bradford.
The attendees were particularly keen to get their hands on Philip, literally.
Ben Pimlott detailed in his book The Queen: “Men and women clutched Philip’s arm, tried to shake his hand, patted the royal shoulder and tossed confetti and flags int the car.”
In fact, Philip was treated like a Hollywood movie star, with his handsome looks praised.
Bradford wrote: “Later even Prince Philip was flustered by a crowd of teenagers wolf-whistling and screaming: ‘Isn’t he nice?… He’s beautiful.’”
Despite this celebrity status, Philip later shared his thought on the high levels of interest in the monarchy during the trip.
The Duke explained he didn’t try to curry favour with subjects.
“It would have been very easy to play to the gallery but I took a conscious decision not to,” he said.
“Safer not to be too popular. You can’t fall too far.”
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