Published On: Sun, Jun 9th, 2019

Prince Philip: Why the Duke of Edinburgh often ‘gives a wink’ to these waitresses

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Prince Philip and the Queen have many people working for them. Some female members of the Royal Family staff can sometimes find themselves being winked at by the Duke of Edinburgh, an author has claimed. Why is this? According to Brian Hoey’s book Not in Front of the Corgis the move is to let them know he’s in on the secret. 

Hoey explained that working for the royals has an intriguing perk. Some domestic staff are allowed to have other jobs on the side. “A year-round benefit is the ‘moonlighting’ that goes on,” said Hoey.

“For many years domestic staff had run a tiny but profitable sideline in working for outside parties, serving drinks and canapés, waiting at dinner tables or just opening doors.

“They do not wear their official uniform but each one has something to the untrained eye passes for the next best thing.

“There is a ‘fixer’ in every department of the Palace who will arrange for a couple, or however many are required to serve at these functions, and the Master of the Household and the Royal Family turn a blind eye. They all know what’s going on.

“Both The Queen and Prince Philip have found themselves being served cocktails by their own staff from time to time.

“Prince Philip in particular will often give a wink to a young housemaid ‘moonlighting’ as a waitress, just to let her know he is on the secret.”

Prince Philip will be celebrating his 98th birthday tomorrow – he was born on 10 June 1921. Gun salutes will mark his birthday in London.

Married to the Queen for more than 71 years, the Duke of Edinburgh is the longest-serving consort in history. Philip is also the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch.

He did not attend Trooping the Colour yesterday. The Duke of Edinburgh is only seen occasionally at royal events after retiring from public life in 2017 due to his increasing age and frailty.

According to a report from The Telegraph, Prince Philip now operates on a ‘wake up and see how I feel’ basis for royal occasions.

The Duke is believed to spend much of his time at home in Sandringham since his retirement, enjoying casual pursuits such as painting and reading.

Guests who join Philip for dinner, however, need to come well prepared, according to Hoey. 

“When Prince Philip gives a private dinner, he likes to decide the subject for conversation,” the author wrote.

One lady was dismayed to find she was expected to contribute on the subject of ‘deciduous trees,’ about which she knew absolutely nothing.”

To make matters tricky for guests there’s a fine line when it comes to knowing too much or not enough.

“If guests are not quite as knowledgeable as they should be, the Prince can become very touchy – but if someone is more expert than him it can just as easily ruin the occasion,” said Hoey.

“Apparently the secret is to contact his office beforehand and find out his pet topics of the moment and learn just enough to be able to contribute intelligently, but not to upstage the host,” explained Hoey. “Otherwise he can become ‘less than pleasant.’”

The Royal Family also dislike it when guests outstay their welcome and have a code for when they want visitors to depart.

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