The Queen mother’s difficult relationship with her son-in-law, Prince Philip, was encapsulated in a nickname that she used to refer to him before he was married to her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.  

Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Mother and Prince Philip.
Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Mother and Prince Philip.

The Queen Mother's scathing term to refer to Prince Philip was "not altogether joking", according to a royal historian. The Duke of Edinburgh's tension with his mother-in-law, especially in the early days of Queen Elizabeth II's reign, was famously known. 

Experts spoke to the Channel 4 documentary, 'Queen Elizabeth: Love, Honour and Crown', about why the monarchy was so against the consort. Majesty Magazine Editor Ingrid Seward told viewers: "Philip had no money, he had no lands.

"He had nothing really other than his charm and his wit and the clothes he stood up in and, of course, he was very royal. But the household didn't like him - they thought he was too German." Although he had fought with distinction during the war, two of Prince Philip's sisters had been married to Nazi officers. 

Author Sarah Gristwood added: "It's said that the Queen Mother used to refer to Prince Philip as 'the Hun'. "Not altogether jokingly either." The nickname was because the Duke was a member of the German house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

The Queen Mother was very strongly anti-German, and 'the Hun' was how the Allies referred to the forces of Germany and Austro-Hungary in World War One in order to conjure up images of a bestial foe.

Author Clive Irving gave further insight: "The fact that some of Philip's sisters married Nazis might have been a bit bothersome, but it didn't mean that Philip was a Nazi. "In many ways, Philip would have seemed very eligible. "He was a 'good start', and the Royal Family tends to look at marriages in terms of thoroughbreds and horse breeding."

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