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The Duke and du Maurier - Philip sent platonic letters
In 1977, Prince Philip wrote to Daphne du Maurier, author of the 1936 novel Jamaica Inn and widow of his friend, commander Frederick ‘Boy’ Browning
14th April 2021
By Ollie Young
Following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, letters from the royal to legendary author Daphne du Maurier will remain on display at the Jamaica Inn.
The Duke, whose death was confirmed by Buckingham Palace last Friday, served his country for over 60 years as the Queen’s husband.
He visited Bodmin in 2000 to take in what was on offer at Bodmin and Wenford Railway but perhaps the town’s closest link to Prince Phillip is through his letters to du Maurier.
The letters are on show at the exhibition, in honour of the novelist at the world famous Jamaica Inn pub.
In the personal letters, dated May 26, 1977, the Duke is reassuring du Maurier that the depiction of her husband, Sir Frederick Browning, in the film A Bridge Too Far, was not a true measure of the man.
‘Boy’, as Sir Browning was known, was commander of the 1st Airborne in the Battle for Arnhem about which the film was made.
The letter reads:
Jim has just written to me about Boy’s shabby treatment in the film ‘A Bridge Too Far’!
It’s really monstrous the way filmmakers re-write history just for the sake of entertainment.
I think you can be certain that the many people who know the facts will come to Boy’s defence one way or another, not least of whom will be Dickie.
Armed with this forewarning, it should also be possible to see that the film is properly ‘reviewed’ when the time comes.
I am sorry that something like this should come to worry you especially as it is your 70th year.
With belated congratulations for your birthday.
Sir Browning enjoyed a close relationship with Prince Philip and had worked for Princess Elizabeth before she became the Queen.
On her ascension to the thrown, Browning became treasurer in the office of the Duke of Edinburgh.
Browning married author du Maurier in 1932 and they remained together until his death in 1965, however accounts of infidelities on both sides of the marriage became very prominent.
Du Maurier, herself, spent much of her life in Cornwall and is said to have socialised with the Queen and Prince Philip on numerous occasions before her death in 1989.