Prince Philip: Duke of Edinburgh’s apology to Richard Nixon for ‘lame’ dinner toast published in never-before-seen letter


A handwritten notice from Prince Philip by which he apologised to the then US president Richard Nixon for a “lame” toast by which he forgot to suggest his host’s well being has been made public for the primary time.

The Duke of Edinburgh wrote to the 37th American chief that he’d woken “in a chilly sweat” when he launched his breach of etiquette at a White Space dinner held in his honour all over a solo seek advice from to america in 1969.

All the way through such occasions, the invited visitor typically gives a toast to the president’s well being and good fortune.

Prince Philip and Richard Nixon in 1959. Pic: AP
The Duke of Edinburgh and Richard Nixon met on a variety of events. %: AP

The letter used to be exposed via archivists on the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California.

Writing from Greenland following his shuttle on 7 November, Philip wrote: “After the brilliance of the opposite audio system and your self, I’m afraid my contribution used to be very lame.”

He added: “That night time I aroused from sleep in a chilly sweat once I realised I had forgotten to suggest your well being!”

Jim Byron, govt vice chairman of the Nixon Basis, mentioned: “I believe the letter itself displays the nature of Prince Philip that such a lot of the general public in the United Kingdom and around the Commonwealth, and truly internationally, have come to appreciate.”

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He mentioned the letter used to be found out earlier than the coronavirus pandemic – however most effective made public this week, as some way of marking the duke’s demise.

“It expresses some personal emotions of a second in time that the general public truly does not all the time get an opportunity to look,” Mr Byron added.

Watch and follow live coverage of Prince Philip's funeral service on Sky News from 12.30pm on Saturday.

The duke additionally discussed travelling to New York, the place he used to be interviewed via Barbara Walters for NBC’s Nowadays display.

Philip wrote: “The elements in New York used to be terrible however differently all went neatly, and I discovered Omit Walters in particular fascinating and clever. I’m hoping we did a just right piece.”

The all-male visitor listing for the “stag” dinner integrated vice chairman Spiro Agnew, many of the participants of Mr Nixon’s cupboard, and non-governmental notables akin to trade wealthy person Ross Perot and British-born comic Bob Hope.

Mr Byron mentioned Mr Nixon virtually surely responded to Philip’s letter, however, with the library archives closing closed as a result of COVID-19, what he may have written is unknown – as are the duke’s remarks, rather than failing to pray Mr Nixon just right well being.

The dinner got here an afternoon after Mr Nixon delivered his well-known “silent majority” speech by which he suggested america to unite at the back of the ongoing warfare in Vietnam till his management may succeed in “peace with honour”.

Mr Byron mentioned best aide HR Haldeman, who later went to jail for his involvement within the Watergate scandal, famous in his diary how glad the president were that night time, for the reason that his cope with were definitely won.

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Philip had met Mr Nixon on a variety of events previous to the dinner.

As vice chairman, Mr Nixon and his spouse had met the Queen and duke in London.

The Nixons additionally gave the royal couple a excursion of Washington‘s websites once they made a state seek advice from to america in 1959.

“Philip, via all measures, he used to be being type,” Mr Byron mentioned of the letter. “And truly expressing such a lot of his personality.”


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