A letter in which Prince Philip criticised Australia for feeling aggrieved at Britain for failing to ‘protect them from the Japs’ during the war’ has gone up for sale.
Prince Philip, 99, penned the note about Australia to Sir Howard Hartley, who was chairman of the British Overseas Airways Corporation, in 1965.
In the letter, the forthright royal wrote that Australians were unfairly hostile towards Britain yet showed ‘almost excessive gratitude’ towards the US which he theorised was because America had come to Australia’s aid in World War Two, sending its military might to defend them from Japan.
The six page handwritten letter is being sold by a private collector with International Autograph Auction, of Malaga, Spain, and is expected to fetch £150.
MailOnline has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment.
A hand-written letter by Prince Philip, 99, from 1965 in which he criticises Australia is set to go on sale (pictured, the first page of the note)
Philip had just spent a week in Australia, performing a series of tasks including presenting the Dunrossil Lecture to the Institute of Royal Engineers in Canberra.
In the letter Prince Philip said Australians felt they were overlooking the fact that Britain was in no position to do so as it was ‘fighting for its life in Europe’.
He stated that if Australia did things half as well as Britain or Canada they could ‘be pleased with themselves’.
He wrote: ‘Australia is a fascinating place. They’re absolutely mesmerised by the Americans and yet they take it as a personal insult that Britain should be in such a muddle at the moment.
In the letter, Prince Philip criticises Australia for feeling aggrieved at Britain for failing to ‘protect them from the Japs’ (pictured, the Duke of Edinburgh with the Queen at Windsor Castle)
‘Australian nationalism is growing rapidly and naturally it is directed almost entirely at Britain.
‘They still haven’t got over the fact that Britain was not able to protect them from the Japs, in spite of the fact that she was fighting for her life in Europe.Therefore their gratitude to the US is almost excessive.’
In the letter, the Duke of Edinburgh unflatteringly described the Australian public servant Sir Henry Bland, who he met during the trip, as a ‘small, dark balding man with large eyes and a rubbery face’.
He explained how he ‘buttered up’ the Secretary of the Department of Labour and National Service who was ‘soon purring’.
Prince Philip had recently returned home from a trip to Australia when he penned the note in 1965 (pictured, in December 1965)
He added: ‘He announced that he thought the Australian conference should break new ground by studying problems peculiar to Australia & useful to the emerging countries and other things along those lines.
‘I couldn’t help saying that if Australia did this half as well as England & Canada they could still be pleased with themselves.’
Auctioneer Francisco Pinero said: ‘The letter from Prince Philip is interesting for the comments that he makes regarding Australia and the relationship with America and also its relationship with Great Britain, which has not always been completely harmonious over the years.’
Japanese aircraft bombed towns and airfields in Northern Australia on 97 occasions during 1942 and 1943.
As the letter goes on sale, parts of the note have been published, including Prince Philip’s comments that if Australia is ‘doing half as well as England and Canada they could be pleased with themselves’ (left) and calls it ‘a fascinating place (right)
Elsewhere in the note, the royal writes that Australia ‘still haven’t got over the fact that Britain was not able to protect them from the Japs’
In response to these attacks, the US set up numerous miltary bases in Australia before being deployed to Papua New Guinea.
Almost one million US personnel passed through Australia during the war.
Australian Prime Minister John Curtin stated: ‘Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom.’
The sale of the letter takes place on July 22.
In the letter, which was penned in 1965, Prince Philip recounted meeting the Australian public servant Sir Henry Bland
The royal described Bland, who he met during the trip, as a ‘small, dark balding man with large eyes and a rubbery face’
It comes after reports hundreds of royal staff could lose their jobs this month amid doubts over the Queen’s return to London, as Buckingham Palace feels the impact of the coronavirus crisis.
As many as 250 workers have reportedly been offered voluntary redundancy after Covid-19 created an £18 million black hole in Her Majesty’s finances.
And the monarch herself is expected to head not to the palace, but back to Windsor Castle, where she has spent the entirety of the lockdown, after her summer holiday in Balmoral, according to the Telegraph.
The Queen, 94, and Prince Philip have been cared for at Windsor since lockdown started in mid-March by a devoted team of staff who provide a protective shield – dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’ – around them.