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When Queen Elizabeth threw shoes at Prince Philip

books Updated: Sep 28, 2011 12:39 IST

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A screaming Queen Elizabeth threw shoes and a tennis racquet at the Duke of Edinburgh during their first Australian visit, a new book has revealed.

The Royal tantrum was played out in front of a stunned Australian camera crew who had been waiting for the Queen and Prince Philip to emerge from a chalet in the Yarra mountain range of Victoria in 1954, according to royal author Robert Hardman in his book Our Queen.

“(She) was not merely cross she was hurling shoes, threats and sporting equipment, and venting the sort of regal fury that, in another age, would have cost someone their head,” Hardman writes in an extract published in the Daily Mail.

A little while later, a more familiar, composed Queen came back outside, to apologize for her behaviour.

“I'm sorry for that little interlude,” she told senior cameraman Loch Townsend, “but, as you know, it happens in every marriage. Now, what would you like me to do?”

According to the book, the Queen’s temper is still sometimes on show in the royal household.

She was enraged at being advised to fly the British flag at half-mast, an honour reserved over a millennium only for reigning monarchs, at Buckingham Palace after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

“I have been scarred by the Queen,” one senior adviser said.