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Did Prince Philip give two-finger signal to tell the world Anne was on the way?


Was this a two-finger signal to tell the world Anne was on the way? Picture in Malta that sparked Princess Elizabeth pregnancy rumours – as photographer, 93, pays tribute to ‘very popular’ Prince Philip

  • Frank Attard, now 93, snapped them in 1950 at their Villa Guardamangia home
  • There, the royal pair enjoyed an idyllic two years unrestrained by Royal protocol before Elizabeth’s Coronation three years later
  • Recalling the photocall, he told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Prince Philip gave this two-finger signal as I took their photograph’
  • ‘When I sent [it] over to the British newspapers, they said it expressed how they were expecting their second child.’ Princess Anne was born five months later

The man who took the famous photograph that led to global speculation that Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth were expecting their second child has paid tribute to the Duke.

Frank Attard, now 93, snapped the young couple in 1950 at their Villa Guardamangia home in Malta, where they enjoyed an idyllic two years unrestrained by Royal protocol before Elizabeth’s Coronation three years later.

Recalling the photocall, he told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Prince Philip gave this two-finger signal as I took their photograph. 

‘When I sent the photo over to the British newspapers, they said it expressed how they were expecting their second child.’ Princess Anne was born five months later.

The man who took the famous photograph that led to global speculation that Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth were expecting their second child has paid tribute to the Duke. Frank Attard, now 93, snapped the young couple (above) in 1950 at their Villa Guardamangia home in Malta, where they enjoyed an idyllic two years unrestrained by Royal protocol before Elizabeth’s Coronation three years later. Recalling the photocall, he told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Prince Philip gave this two-finger signal as I took their photograph. When I sent the photo over to the British newspapers, they said it expressed how they were expecting their second child’

The Duke served with the Navy's Mediterranean Fleet between 1949 and 1951 and his wife would join him for extended stays while their son Charles stayed in Britain with his grandparents. (Above, Princess Elizabeth and Philip on Malta during their honeymoon in 1947)

The Duke served with the Navy’s Mediterranean Fleet between 1949 and 1951 and his wife would join him for extended stays while their son Charles stayed in Britain with his grandparents. (Above, Princess Elizabeth and Philip on Malta during their honeymoon in 1947)

The Duke served with the Navy’s Mediterranean Fleet between 1949 and 1951 and his wife would join him for extended stays while their son Charles stayed in Britain with his grandparents. 

‘They had their best years in Malta,’ said Mr Attard. ‘They used to go to the cinema and the Princess would go and watch Prince Philip play polo. They were very popular in Malta and still are.’

Locals remembered how the young Princess would sit reading by the sea while her husband was at work, as second-in-command of HMS Chequers. 

Princess Anne was born five months after the 'two-finger signal' photo was taken

Princess Anne was born five months after the ‘two-finger signal’ photo was taken

The future Queen was a hit with Maltese fishermen who chatted to her after she waved off her husband from Marsamxett Harbour.

Doris Mallia, 73, said: ‘My late father would have been 100 today and he used to go fishing for crabs where the yacht club was in Floriana. 

‘The Prince would go out on his yacht from there but Princess Elizabeth said she didn’t like to go, so she used to find a nice rock and sit with her book.’

The couple’s impressive residence in Malta had belonged to Lord Louis Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s uncle.

The couple enjoyed dancing the night away at the island’s grand Phoenicia Hotel in the capital, Valletta.

On Friday, Malta’s Prime Minister, Robert Abela, said: ‘We are truly saddened by the loss of Prince Philip, who made Malta his home and returned here so often. Our people will always treasure his memory.’

The Duke of Edinburgh stands at attention during a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Malta Branch of the British Legion at Malta's Cenotaph War Memorial, in 2001

The Duke of Edinburgh stands at attention during a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Malta Branch of the British Legion at Malta’s Cenotaph War Memorial, in 2001

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