Only Eileen Parker had the first-hand knowledge to produce a book like Step Aside For Royalty,with its intimate portrait of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in the early years of their marriage, but she needed a ‘ghost’ to handle the writing and I was first on her list.
Eileen’s husband, Mike Parker, was a Royal Navy comrade of Prince Philip during the Second World War. Afterwards, Mike spent ten years with the Prince, first as equerry, later as private secretary.
The events that tested Mike and Eileen’s marriage to breaking point are dramatised in the Netflix television series, ‘The Crown’. They appear onscreen under their real names, though not as their true selves. Step Aside For Royalty tells their story as it was lived.
Praise for Step Aside For Royalty
‘The divorce of the Duke of Edinburgh’s equerry Mike Parker from his wife Eileen in the mid-Fifties sent shockwaves through Buckingham Palace … In this lively if mumsy memoir Eileen looks back at the high jinks of those early days … Prince Philip and Mike climbing over walls to get back into the Palace late at night, and wild times with what the Queen used to call disparagingly “Philip’s funny friends.”’
– Daily Mail.