ROYAL historian Lady Colin Campbell, the chatelaine of Castle Goring near Worthing, has written her new book about the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh because she thought they deserved it as a recognition of their accomplishments.
The Queen’s Marriage, which has just been published, contains previously undisclosed revelations as the experienced Royal Insider and expert on the British aristocracy covers the monarch’s relationship with the Duke of Edinburgh in intimate detail.
“I wrote the book because I thought it was an interesting topic,” Lady Colin tells Pique. “It has been done before by other authors but I knew I had a contribution to make and could clear up a few myths. I wanted to show the tremendous hurdles they have overcome to be the sort of monarchs they are. There has been pressure to modernise the monarchy but they are politically astute – they understand that change has to be slow and steady, and not slow and dramatic.
“I chose to write the book now because they are still alive and deserve to know that there will be some mark of recognition in the public domain for what they have accomplished.”
She adds, “I think the Queen has earned her position. The Queen is the most revered Head of State in the world and Prince Philip has made a valuable contribution. I think the country is very lucky to have had such a monarch and consort, and much of it is down to Prince Philip. He raised her game in a way that very few other men could have done.
Lady Colin Campbell, top, and above, her new book The Queen’s Marriage
Below: Castle Goring
“The Queen is a truly extraordinary human being. She has positively affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. That is a fine achievement and I recognise it, and I think they can just be proud of their accomplishments.”
She has described negative reactions in the media to the book, which has just been published, as “despicable and pathetic”.
“This is a positive truth about two people everybody professes to love and journalists are doing their hardest to bury everything positive that I have written about here and her consort,” she says.
Lady Colin, described by writer Lynn Barber as being “the greatest gossip since Pepys”, divides her time between her London house and Grade 1 listed Castle Goring, which she bought in 2013 and has transformed into a venue for weddings and other events. In 2015, she appeared on TV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! to pay for repairs to its roof, she said, and in the process became the the most Googled living person of the year. An ITV documentary, Lady C and the Castle, which followed her transformation of Castle Goring, was broadcast in 2016.
She is known for her international bestselling book Diana in Private, 1992, about Diana, Princess of Wales, the first writer to reveal that the Prince and Princess of Wales lead separate lives, that Diana wanted a divorce, that both Charles and Diana had lovers, that Diana had an eating disorder, and that she believed that her bodyguard and former lover Barry Mannakee had been killed to silence him. Her subsequent extended and revelatory biography The Real Diana was published in 2004.
Lady Colin, who has two sons, Misha and Dima, and was married in 1974 to Lord Colin Campbell, son of the 11th Duke of Argyll, for just over a year, is also the author of the 2012 book The Untold Life of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, Guide to Being a Modern Lady (1986), The Royal Marriages (1993), her autobiography A Life Worth Living (1997), Empress Bianca (2005), Daughter of Narcissus (2009) and With Love From Pet Heaven (2010).
In The Queen’s Marriage, Lady Colin uses her “connections and impeccable sources” to recount details about the Queen’s marriage.
“The sources are in the book,” says Lady Colin. “Some are identified and some are not, and some are old friends of mine as well. I’m friendly with some royals, who are obviously connected with the Royal Family, and my friendships are very well known in certain circles and I’m not dropping them into the melee of muck created by the gutter press.”
She added that there has been no response from the Royal Family to her book. “I never expected any response from the Royal Family. There has been no comeback. I leave the conclusions of that to you.”
The Queen’s Marriage by Lady Colin Campbell is published by Dynasty Press, priced £25.