Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh speaking at the opening of a new Greek themed hypermarket, caused much amusement yesterday, when he pulled out what appeared to be a crumpled script from his pocket and read out the following list, apparently not realising it was a shopping list written by wife, Liz.
20 kgs of tea,
5 dozen unsmashable austerity proof paper plates,
2 packs of "Greek Fire" lighters,
8 packs of Ultra-Zorba The Greek kitchen rolls.
Thinking that the Battenberg item was an amusing reference to his Greek ancestry, his mother having been Princess Alice of Battenberg, Philip carried on reading out the list and then pulled a rope to unveil a statue of himself at the entrance. Characteristically quipping that "This Greek economic mess is all Greek to me, but it seems that if the Greeks didn't smash the crockery up in plate smashing rituals after every meal, the economy might improve". The statement by the Duke caused howls of what was thought at first to be laughter, but turned out to be derision.
His mother was the eldest child of Prince Louis of Battenberg and sister of Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Prince Louis became a naturalised British subject in 1868, joined the Royal Navy and through dogged determination and merit, amazingly rose to become an Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord in three days.
During the First World War Prince Louis, sick of the nickname given to him by naval ratings, "Old Cakehole" changed the family name to Mountbatten and was created Marquess of Milford Haven. Immigrant, Prince Philip adopted the family name of Mountbatten when he became a naturalised British subject and renounced his Royal title in 1947. He consequently became eligible for family allowance and general welfare allowances for Princes.
Prince Louis married one of Queen Victoria's granddaughters. Thus, The Queen and Prince Philip both have Queen Victoria as a great-great-grandmother. They are also related through his father's side. His paternal grandfather, King George I of Greece, was Queen Alexandra's brother.