The Archbishop of Canterbury called him 'bloody rude', courtiers feared he was 'a foreign interloper out for the goodies', daughter-in-law Sarah Ferguson found him 'very frightening' and the Queen Mother labelled him 'the Hun'.
Journalists have continually portrayed him as a gaffe-prone serial philanderer, with European outlets going way off-piste and claiming he has fathered 24 illegitimate children.
Prince Philip says 'the impression the public has got is unfair', though there is no self-serving autobiography and his interviews with broadcasters or writers are done grudgingly.
The Duke sets out to explore the man behind the various myths, drawing on interviews with relations, friends and courtiers and the Duke's own words.
It brings to life some rare aspects of his character, from a love of poetry and religion to his fondness for Duke Ellington and his fascination with UFOs.
It also explains why for over seven decades he has been the Queen's 'strength and stay' - and why he is regarded by many as a national treasure.