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Pictured: Prince Philip joking with crew of Royal Yacht Britannia on Christmas Day 1956

Pictured: Prince Philip joking with crew of Royal Yacht Britannia on Christmas Day 1956 (the final time the Queen spent December 25 alone)

  • Never-before-seen {photograph} of Prince Philip was taken on Christmas Day 1956
  • Taken 1000’s of miles away because the Queen ready for her festive broadcast 
  • Image is a poignant throwback to the final time the Queen spent Christmas alone








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Smiling broadly, his pose relaxed, the Duke of Edinburgh jokes with the crew of the Royal Yacht Britannia. 

This never-before-seen {photograph} was taken on Christmas Day 1956, 1000’s of miles from residence within the southern seas because the Queen ready to make her annual festive broadcast to the nation again at Sandringham.

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The casual camaraderie of the Duke’s ship is obvious to see. Decks are strewn with vibrant streamers and a balloon is adorned with the message ‘A Happy Christmas, “Dukie” ’.

This never-before-seen photograph was taken on Christmas Day 1956, thousands of miles from home in the southern seas as the Queen prepared to make her annual festive broadcast to the nation back at Sandringham

This never-before-seen {photograph} was taken on Christmas Day 1956, 1000’s of miles from residence within the southern seas because the Queen ready to make her annual festive broadcast to the nation again at Sandringham

And the picture, which options in a brand new ITV documentary in regards to the late Duke, is a poignant throwback to the final time the Queen spent Christmas alone. 

The Duke had known as the Queen by radio from Britannia, and in her speech she stated: ‘Of all the voices we have heard this afternoon none has given my children and myself greater joy than that of my husband.’

Sixty-five years later, because the Queen prepares for her first Christmas since his dying, she’s going to little doubt miss that voice much more.

Sixty-five years later, as the Queen (pictured at Sandringham during Christmas 1956) prepares for her first Christmas since his death, she will no doubt miss that voice even more

Sixty-five years later, because the Queen (pictured at Sandringham throughout Christmas 1956) prepares for her first Christmas since his dying, she’s going to little doubt miss that voice much more

Speaking to ITV, the Duke’s good friend Martin Palmer, who co-founded the charity Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC) with him, stated: ‘When they heard the news in 1952 that the King had died, I think his world collapsed. His natural place of service, the Navy, was no longer possible. 

‘It was a huge shock; he was a bit lost. In 1956 when he was asked – and joyfully accepted the invitation – to travel… that’s when he discovered himself once more.’

The ITV documentary is described as a bid to place the Duke’s voice and ideas entrance and centre, utilizing 80 years of uncommon footage and materials.

Philip: Prince, Husband, Father is on ITV at 9pm on December 21.

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