Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary recently, but news reports revealed that the Duke of Edinburgh once desperately wanted to marry another woman.
According to a report by British “Express”, commentator Philip Eade released an extract from his 2011 ‘Young Prince Philip: His Turbulent Early Life’ book in the Daily Telegraph in 2017, explained how Philip’s father was concerned over his son getting into trouble when he was only 17. That was in the summer of 1938, Philip was staying with his aunt Aspasia, in Venice.
Mr Eade remarked: “Philip’s father, Andrea, had reminded Aspasia that the boy was studying for his special entrance exam to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and pleaded with her to ‘keep him out of girl trouble’. It was a challenge.”
According to the diaries: ” He attended many gatherings hosted by members of high Venetian society and would often offer to drive girls home on the boat after gatherings.”
Mr Eade explained: “One girl, Cobina Wright, began to stand out from the rest and Philip begged his aunt to be allowed to stay out in the boat a little longer.”
He continued: “Cobina Wright was a budding American actress whose pushy mother, also called Cobina, was among those who entertained Philip during his time in Venice.
“Cobina Wright Senior organised debutante parties in New York and was grooming her daughter for a film career capped by a spectacular marriage.” She was reportedly only two months younger than Philip – compared to the five year age gap with the Queen – and was “tall, slim and blonde with huge blue eyes and a radiant smile”.
Mr Eade said: “By 1938, she was already under contract with 20th Century Fox while also modelling and singing in nightclubs.The next year, she won the title of Miss Manhattan and was named ‘most attractive and talented New York girl of the 1939 season’.”
Ms Wright later said that the girl had first met Philip when her mother had “shoved” her into his arms at a bar but there was supposedly strong mutual attraction.
Mr Eade explained: “Over the next three weeks, Philip escorted Cobina around Venice, spending ‘passionate evenings in gondolas on the Grand Canal’ before they both returned to London.”
In Ms Wright’s 2011 obituary, The Daily Telegraph reported that the two of them spent a week in England “dining, dancing and walking London’s streets, hand in hand”.
The piece continued: “When mother and daughter left for America, he vowed to follow, and was said to have cried as he kissed the younger Cobina goodbye.
“Her friend, Gant Gaither, the Broadway producer, later maintained that Philip wrote her impassioned love letters and ‘desperately wanted to marry her, but [in the end] Cobina Jr just wasn’t all that interested’.
According to Mr Eade’s book, “it was not long before Philip found a new girlfriend and started up a romance with a woman called Osla Benning in late 1939.”
Philip married the Queen in 1947 and became her consort upon her coronation seven years later.
The Duke of Edinburgh was born into both the Greek and Danish royal families, but he moved over to the UK after his family was exiled out of Greece. He soon developed a name for himself within the British aristocratic social circles, renowned for his good looks and charm.