Prince Philip's pen pal of 40 years shares intimate details of private jet trips and his mischievous jokes

PRINCE Philip's pen pal of almost four decades has revealed intimate details of private jet trips she took with the late Duke and tales of his mischievous wit.

Musician Liona Boyd exchanged hundreds of fond letters with Philip for years after the pair "clicked" at an event in the 1970s.

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The 71-year-old described Britain's longest-serving consort as "one of the most wonderful anchors of her life" and has told of the friendship they struck up and maintained for almost 40 years.

On one occasion, Liona asked Prince Philip – who was known for his comedic comebacks – for suggestions for artwork for an album.

She said he "chuckled mischievously and suggested I wear three maple leaves and nothing else."

Liona said Prince Philip "always wrote back right away" to the letters she posted – each one spritzed with French perfume.

"He was very prompt," she told the Mirror.

"I sent him poetry – he said my lyrics were brilliant. I was thrilled and never took it for granted.

"He became one of the most wonderful anchors of my life. I loved those trips to the post office, seeing his beautiful stamps."

Liona was introduced to the Queen and Prince Philip after performing at a private dinner at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in 1977, and some years later posted him a CD.

She said she was "stunned" when he responded.

From there, the pair continued to correspond with each other right up until Philip's death at the age of 99.

In her book, No Remedy for Love, she recounted how Philip once "teased" her for the use of Beverley Hills stationery, cheekily telling her to "get some new writing paper".

Liona said Philip always "hand-typed or hand-wrote all his letter" – signing them off "Yours ever" or "Love, Philip".

She recalled to the Mirror how the Duke "was insulted" when she once asked if he dictated his letters.

"I always used to wonder how he had time to write to me,” she added.

The Duke even invited classical guitarist Liona aboard his private plane in 1995, personally flying her from Manchester to a naval base in Norfolk.

She said she was "so shocked" when Philip took control of his his Hawker Siddeley 146 himself.

"It was a bit bumpy,” she added.

In her autobiography, she recounted how during the "surreal" flight, she "chatted with the crew, sat in the Queen's chair, tested out her loo and nibbled on crustless sandwiches."

In her autobiography, Liona described Philip as a "delightful dinner companion" and described one particular incident where his witty nature shone through.

"Was this really the Queen’s husband chuckling mischievously as he told me how, one night balancing on a wooden loo outside in the rain, he was bitten by mosquitoes and blackflies on unmentionable body parts he’d neglected to spray?," she wrote.

The pair continued to exchange letters in recent years, and in one note in 2014 Philip said: "The older I get, the quicker birthdays seem to come."

Liona said in one letter in 2016, the Duke confided that he "didn't expect to live that much longer".

Philip stopped sending her physical letters about a year ago, but Liona said the final note she received from the Duke was an email in March via his private secretary, sending his condolences to Liona and her sister on losing their mother.

Liona, who was born in London but grew up in Canada, said she "had tears streaming down her face" when she learned of Philip's passing on April 9.

"I assume he never received my final letter (sent on March 29)," she said.

"My heart goes out to the Queen.

"I will treasure his letters for the rest of my life. I will miss him dearly."

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