Prince Philip’s scathing letter to Alan Titchmarsh over blunder: ‘I do more than play polo

Prince Philip: Alan Titchmarsh recalls receiving letter

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While speaking about the Duke of Edinburgh following his death on Friday, Alan explained he had received a long letter from the prince after he published incorrect details on his gardening habits. Speaking on ITV’s Prince Philip, Fondly Remembered, he laughed about the blunder as he recalled the moment.

He described a book he had written about royal gardeners, but failed to mention the work Prince Philip had done.

His work documented royal gardens and maintenance of them, but Alan had assumed Prince Philip wasn’t very green-fingered.

Alan soon realised his mistake though, as the Duke decided to send him a long letter to remind him of his contributions to gardening.

The broadcaster still has the letter, and will no doubt treasure it following Friday’s sad news.

Alan said: “I wrote a book about royal gardeners once and sent the queen a copy, and it listed the monarchs through the ages who are the great patrons of horticulture and gardening.

“And I got to Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke and I said that the Duke was more into his polo and this, that and the other.

“I had back a letter – three closely-typed sides, from the Duke, explaining to me exactly what he had done at Windsor, Sandringham, Balmoral, that I’d missed out in the book.

“So I now have this historic document.”

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Prince Philip, Fondly Remembered, aired on ITV and was hosted by Phillip Schofield and Julie Etchingham.

It detailed moments of Prince Philip’s life as well as his impact across the world.

This Morning host Phillip explored the Duke’s contributions with the Duke of Edinburgh award, as well as peoples’ memories of him.

It came as Buckingham Palace announced at around 12pm on Friday, April 9, that the Prince had died.


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The statement read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Since noon, normal TV scheduling across a range of channels has been changed in order to dedicate coverage to the breaking royal news.

BBC One and BBC Two, as well as ITV, have cancelled usual Friday shows for the remainder of the night.

Alan has been working as a professional gardener and a gardening journalist since the 1970s, but the Duke of Edinburgh was happy to correct him when he was misrepresented.

Alan became a media personality through appearances on gardening programmes such as Chelsea Flower Show and Love Your Garden.

He has since hosted several more shows and written many books on the subject.

In his long career of sharing his gardening tips, the letter from Prince Philip is bound to remain a significant memory.

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