Queen and Philip ‘had a lot of faith in their son’, former top royal aide reveals

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip had “great faith” in the abilities of their son, now the King, according to the former monarch's top aide.

Lord Young of Old Windsor, the late Queen's private secretary, paid tribute to his former boss in his maiden speech in the House of Lords.

The independent peer described how he learned about the “nature of public service, decency and duty” from Britain's longest-serving sovereign – and said he believed his choice of title would “appeal” to her.

Lord Young spent 20 years in the Royal Household, serving as aide to the late Queen, then as her deputy private secretary and finally as her private secretary from 2017 until her death.

The title also I think would appeal to my late boss's crossword puzzle mind. “Old” can also mean “former”, and so “old Windsor” can mean – well, you get the point

Lord Young of Old Windsor

After the Queen's death in 2022, he served as joint principal private secretary to the King until May this year.

He told peers at Westminster during the fifth day of debate on the King's Speech: “I come to this House as Lord Young of Old Windsor.

“The village of Old Windsor has happy family relationships for me. As children we had Sunday trips there led by my late parents – my mother an NHS nurse, my father a consultant anesthetist at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

“But also the title I think would appeal to my late boss' crossword-solving mind. ‘Old' can also mean ‘former', and so ‘old Windsor' can mean – well, you get the point.'

I understood the great faith that Her Majesty, and indeed Prince Philip, had in the abilities of their son, now our King, a faith that is justified, as shown by his first 14 months as our sovereign

Lord Young of Old Windsor

He continued: “I learned so much from His Majesty about the nature of public service, decency and duty and indeed about the stability and sanctity of our constitutional arrangement, and the role this House played in ensuring the tripartite balance of the Commons and Lords and Crown in Parliament.

“I understood the great faith Her Majesty, and indeed Prince Philip, had in the abilities of their son, now our King, a faith justified, as can be seen from his first 14 months as our sovereign, including, of course, a recent visit to the House, where the Commons and Lords assembled to receive the Graceful Speech.'

He added that the Commonwealth was “one of the things that was closest to the heart of our late Queen and indeed our King” and noted a growing appetite for “fresh and equal relations” with Commonwealth countries in areas such as trade, peace and security, climate and culture.

He added that there was “widespread public confusion” about Commonwealth realms versus Commonwealth member countries and that more needed to be done to educate people.

Finally, he expressed “concern” about the fate of the Commonwealth Games amid news that Australia has been given three months to find a host city for the 2026 event.