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The Nazi Ha-Ha. But the school that stamps an Englishman for life is not his ''preparatory" school but his "public" school. Philip's was Gordonstoun, a school as young and experimental as Cheam is old and tradition-encrusted. Its founder, a strong-minded German schoolmaster named Kurt Hahn, believed that education should provide "the moral equivalent of war" by facing boys with plenty of hard work, physical danger and a rugged regimen. Philip, whose four sisters had all married German princes, was originally entered at a similar school Hahn had founded in Germany, but his tendency to roar with uncontrollable laughter whenever he saw the Nazi salute soon decided the family to send him back to England posthaste. "We thought it better for him as well as for us if he left Germany," one of Philip's sisters explained nervously.
At Gordonstoun, Philip reveled in a rigorous routine that included' two icy showers each day, a long, bracing hike before breakfast, hours spent in the company of dour but expert Scots fishermen and boatbuilders. He became captain of the cricket and hockey teams, and "head boy" of the school in his final year. He was "often naughty, never nasty," pitched in at dirty jobs like anyone else (on one school cruise when everybody else was seasick, he did all the cooking and dishwashing). He early proved he could do most things with less effort than other boys, sometimes showed impatience and intolerance for those less gifted. In a letter of recommendation when Philip decided to enter the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, stern Dr. Hahn wrote: "Prince Philip is a born leader, but he will need the exacting demands of a great service to do justice to himself. His best is outstanding; his second best is not good enough."
A Gawky Girl. The Royal Navy does not take kindly to pampered princelings. Tough instructors at Dartmouth went out of their way to prove the validity of Captain Bligh's legendary dictum that "a midshipman is the lowest form of life in the British Navy." But Phil the Greek (as he was sometimes called) weathered every storm. In two terms he received only one day's punishment, and might well have avoided a second rude admonition had it not been for a young lady who came to call.
The young lady, a gawky girl of 13, was a distant cousin whose father had recently become King Emperor. A devastatingly handsome young man of 17, Philip could not be expected to show any great interest in her as a woman, but he could scarcely duck entertaining her. As an officer and a gentleman, he did his best to please by leaping lithely over a tennis net ("How good he is. Crawfie. How high he can jump!" cried Lilibet to her governess), and spicing the conversation on the royal yacht with salty though not too saltyanecdotes. Elizabeth was entranced, but if Philip remembered anything special about the visit, it concerned the following morning when, back on duty and too' sleepy to hop to at first call, he hit the deck with a resounding whack as a touchy petty officer slashed the cords on his hammock.