Prince Philip Hated His Royal Duties So Much He Got Physically Sick and Was Bedridden for Three Weeks

When Queen Elizabeth took the throne, Prince Philip struggled to adjust to royal duties and actually became physically sick and was bedridden for three weeks.

  • When he first became the consort to the Queen, Prince Philip struggled with life as a working royal and finding purpose in his royal duties.
  • In his new book, Long Live the Queen! 13 Rules for Living from Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch, royal author Bryan Kozlowski explains that Philip was so unhappy during the first year of Elizabeth's reign that he became physically ill and was bedridden for three weeks.
  • "He came down with a severe case of jaundice—a condition often linked with stress and depression—and spent three agonizing weeks in a dark room trying to recover," Kozlowski writes.

Being a member of the royal family requires a lot of work—and a lot of personal sacrifice. Pretty much everyone who marries into the royal family and the life of a working royal learns this lesson the hard way and fast. This doesn't just go for modern Windsors-by-marriage like Meghan Markle and Princess DianaQueen Elizabeth's husbandPrince Philip, also reportedly struggled to adjust to life as a working royal.

Philip's less-than-enthusiastic attitude about giving up his life in the Royal Navy for the job of Consort to the Queen was well-documented in the early seasons of Netflix's royal drama The Crown, of course, but according to royal author Bryan Kozlowski, adjusting to his royal duties actually made Philip physically ill.

In his new book Long Live the Queen! 13 Rules for Living from Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch, Kozlowski describes Philip's early struggles after Elizabeth took the throne, writing:

"Beginning royal life with energetic purpose, enjoying a fulfilling and quickly advancing career in the Royal Navy, the King's untimely death drastically rerouted those plans. Putting his naval life on permanent hold, he became the Queen's consort, a vacuously vague position Philip once described as making him feel more like 'a bloody amoeba' than a man. Without a definable role (or one he regarded as terribly important), Philip became decidedly mopey, quick-tempered and eventually seriously unwell. In his first year as consort, he came down with a severe case of jaundice—a condition often linked with stress and depression—and spent three agonizing weeks in a dark room trying to recover."

Oof. Thankfully, Philip did eventually seem to find his groove in his new role as a full-time working royal, carrying out royal duties until he retired from public duties in August 2017 at the ripe old age of 96.

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Kayleigh Roberts
Kayleigh Roberts

Kayleigh Roberts is the weekend editor at Marie Claire, covering celebrity and entertainment news, from actual royals like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle to Hollywood royalty, like Katie Holmes and Chrissy Teigen. She’s a Ravenclaw who would do great things in Slytherin. To learn more about her, google “Leslie Knope eating salad GIF.