Two separate British republican movements REPUBLIC (www.republic.org.uk) and
Throne Out (www.throneout.com) have called for the DNA testing of all
members of the royal family who receive money from the British taxpayer.
Here is the background to that call for DNA testing. Times have changed.
There was a time when the royal family was looked upon with respect. They
are now figures of ridicule. The royal family has fallen from its pedestal.
Not only has the family fallen in public esteem but the dark secrets which
only a few have known about and which have been talked about behind closed
doors for many years are now surfacing. The revelation of these secrets
could have historic repercussions.
In 1956 the Queen discovered that Prince Philip was having an affair with
Princess Alexandra. She banned him from her bed and the marriage ended in
the conventional sense. In his book 'Queen Elizabeth II, a woman who is not
amused' Nicholas Davies writes at page 169: It is extraordinary that an
affair involving two members of the royal family, one of them married to the
Queen, has remained a secret for so many years. To the nation and their
beloved Commonwealth, the royals have purported to set an example for all
their subjects. Yet, the Queen's consort, the man married to the Head of the
Church of England whose views on adultery were unwaveringly strict, has been
living an adulterous life for most of the 45 years he has been married to
the Queen. Alexandra's daughter, Marina, almost revealed the secret in 1989
when she became pregnant. Her parents urged her to have an abortion and
Marina was so angry that she decided to tell all to a newspaper. Fortunately
for her parents and Elizabeth and Philip caution prevailed and the affair
remained a closely guarded royal confidence known only to a very few.
When it became finally known that Alex and Philip were lovers the revelation
caused a major crisis in the family. Absolutely furious when he heard about
the affair Lord Mountbatten confronted his nephew and ordered Philip to end
the affair. Philip refused and told Mountbatten to "mind his own bloody
The affair became known throughout the royal family including the household
of the Queen Mother and eventually of Prince Charles. Elizabeth had known
that Philip chased other women. Dickie Mountbatten explained to Elizabeth
'Philip knows what side his bread is buttered. Don't worry. He'll be back.'
In 'The Royal Marriages' Campbell writes (page 97): For Lillibet the pain of
discovering that her marriage possessed dimensions of which she had known
nothing was only part of the picture. When most couples reach a point of no
return they part. This, however, was never an option for Lillibet. No matter
what happened between Philip and her, they could never take the paths of
either separation or divorce. They were tied together for the remainder of
their natural lives and irrespective of how they might feel about one
another or what form their lives might take in the future they could never
present anything but a united front to the world at large.
By 1956 Philip and Lillibet were leading separate lives. Philip went on to
have many affairs. In the five books the names mentioned are: the late
Helene Cordet, TV star Katie Boyle, actresses Anna Massey, Jane Russell, Zsa
Zsa Gabor, Shirely Maclaine, Merle Oberon; the Duchess of Abercorn, the
Countess of Westmoreland, the late Susie Barrantes (Fergie's mother), Patti
Kluge, Christina Ford and many polo wives.
THE PORCHESTER AFFAIR
In 'Queen Elizabeth II, a woman who is not amused' Nicholas Davies writes
(p.186): Elizabeth became romantically involved with another man, Henry
George Reginald Molyneux Herbert, Earl of Carnarvon also known as Lord
Porchester. Throughout the '50s and '60s Porchester and Elizabeth spent
many, many hours together discussing racing. But there was more to the
relationship than racing.
The Cabinet papers of 1959
On January 1,1990 the Cabinet papers of the Macmillan government released
for the year 1959 (the year that Prince Andrew was conceived) confirmed that
the royal family was discussed in Cabinet on three occasions that year but
the subject matter was sufficiently sensitive for the government to order
that it be kept secret for a much longer period than normal. One of the
items was stamped with a 50 year embargo - as opposed to the normal 30
years - and two items were locked away for 100 years not to be revealed
until 2059. What could possibly be serious enough to warrant this kind of
secrecy? It was virtually without precedent in times of normality. From
recent times only the Cabinet documents relating to the Abdication remain
precluded. In 1959 there were no wars, political upsets or constitutional
crises. 'Prince Philip- a critical biography' by John Parker (p.200).
In 'The Royal Marriages' Campbell writes (p.105): Andrew bears an uncanny
resemblance to Lord Carnarvon/Porchester and that similarity goes beyond the
facial. Unlike the other males in the royal family who are slender like
Philip, Andrew is chunky like Lord Carnarvon/Porchester and the two sons
born to his marriage.
In 'The Royals' Kitty Kelley writes (p.421): Prince Philip had agreed in
1993 to be profiled by journaliist Fiammenta Rocco in 'The Independent on
Sunday.' The reporter referred to the allegation that Prince Andrew is not
really Prince Philip's son, that he is the son of Lord Porchester, the Queen
's racing manager. Philip did not flinch. Knowing that any reaction would be
front-page news, he said nothing. He sat as impassive as stone. "Like a
child with porridge in his mouth" the reporter later told a colleague. She
had addressed the issue of his son's paternity because it had been raised
weeks before by Nigel Dempster in 'The New York Times Magazine.' "Get hold
of a picture of Prince Andrew and then one of Lord Porchester at the same
age" Dempster was quoted as telling writer Christopher Hitchens. "You'll see
that Prince Philip could never have been Andy's father." The Palace did not
challenge the published statement.
Secrecy surrounding birth
In 'The Royal Marriages' Campbell writes (p.105): Baby Andrew was kept under
wraps as no other royal baby has been before or since. The world received no
glimpse of him, not even when he was christened, for there were no official
photographers present to record what is normally a happy semi-official
occasion shared by the royal family and the public alike. In public
relations terms such secrecy was a disaster which would have long-term
Coming on top of society's knowledge that Philip and Lilibet's marriage had
been nothing more than a viable but unromantic partnership and that he had
been absent during much of the period when she might have been impregnated,
it only fed the fires of lurid speculation as to whether Philip was actually
In 'The Royal Marriages' Campbell writes (p.106): I had no idea how
widespread the rumours about Andrew's paternity were until I visited Ireland
for the launch of 'Diana in private.' I had always assumed that what I had
heard was confined to the narrow circle surrounding the Queen, her court and
her cousins, but, to my consternation, Terry Keane of the prestigious Sunday
Independent asked me if I could confirm whether it was true that Prince
Andrew was Lord Porchester's and not Prince Philip's son. I mumbled
something diplomatic and unquotable, hoping to sidestep the issue as gently
as possible. I was therefore astonished to pick up the paper the following
day and read a graphic description of the whole encounter which left no
doubt in the readers' minds regarding Ms. Keane's views on the subject. In
her book 'Elizabeth' Sarah Bradford also mentions the rumours about the
paternity of Andrew (p. 284).
THE PLUNKET AFFAIR
Elizabeth's only other emotional involvement was with Baron Patrick Plunket,
Deputy Master of the Royal Household, probably her favourite courtier.
Prince Edward's' coincidental resemblance' to the Plunket family is a taboo
topic of conversation in royal circles - 'The Royal Marriages' by Lady Colin
Campbell, page 122.
If DNA tests were to prove that Lord Porchester is Prince Andrew's
biological father and that the late Baron Patrick Plunket was Prince Edward'
s biological father then the Queen would be in deep trouble and the United
Kingdom could have a constitutional crisis. If it was proved scientifically
that the Queen had had four children to three different fathers then the
scandal would have international ramifications, the Abdication Crisis would
pale into insignificance and the monarchy would fall in a great heap.
These rumours have surrounded the Queen for many years but until recently
there has been no method of either proving or disproving them. DNA tests can
now prove paternity.
In all other respects the Queen has been an exemplary monarch and it is
unfair that these stories about her alleged affairs and the paternity of two
of her children should persist into her old age. Until such time as the
British government does this then the rumours will circulate and the
institution of monarchy and the edifice of the British state will be
tainted. If there is nothing to fear, members of the royal family should
welcome a simple DNA test involving a swab taken from inside the cheek or a
blood sample. If they refuse to take such a test the inevitable conclusions
will be drawn by the British people.