New York Post Fashion Editor Recalls Her Infamous Encounter With Prince Philip

'Yes, I was Philipped,' writes Serena French

A touch of anecdotal mink.
Headshot of Richard Horgan

Under the headline “I Was Prince Philip’s ‘Mink Knickers’ Woman,” New York Post fashion editor Serena French has shared a most wonderful recollection. Triggered by the news that U.K.’s Prince Philip is retiring from royal duty.

First, she sets the Canadian time and place:

I was a young freelance writer in Toronto and had just landed a party column in the Globe and Mail newspaper. My first assignment was to cover a top-ticket fundraiser for the World Wildlife Fund. Five hundred of the city’s movers and shakers paid $125 to witness an endangered species in an unnatural habitat: Prince Philip was attending the reception as the WWF’s international president.

The Toronto establishment had turned out in force for the chance of princely proximity. As a junior reporter, my big plan was to hang back and observe, a fly on the wall.

Then, French re-publishes the account of her exchange with Prince Philip at the WWF event that was printed in the Toronto newspaper Oct. 21, 1993. Followed by some great anecdotes about the bedlam that followed. Think furtive calls from overseas newspapers, angry queries from a downstairs neighbor and more.

As French also discovered, the Sun–for the story that went with the headline above–had no qualms about putting other, never-spoken words in her mouth. She had been bundled into the mink knickers of Fleet Street, as it were.

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.