Prince Philip's mastery of the royal wave led to him developing an unusual nocturnal habit

As part of duties as consort to his wife, the Duke of Edinburgh has had to master one essential skill – the royal wave. This seemingly innocuous gesture led to the Prince developing a rather strange nighttime habit. Lady Pamela Hicks revealed in the ITV documentary ‘My Years With The Queen’ on Thursday that Prince Philip started to “sleep wave” as a result of all his hand waving.

The Queen’s former lady-in waiting accompanied the royal couple during their Coronation tour in the 1950s.

They travelled to the Caribbean, Pacific, Asia, Africa and Europe and were greeted and cheered by vast crowds.

The Queen and Prince Philip would spend all day waving to their well wishers as they were driven around on their tours.

In an extract from her diaries, Lady Hicks wrote: “Sitting still in a car being yelled at and having to wave is the part of the tour Philip really loathes.”

When the Duke started waking up in the morning with a cold hand, there were initial fears that he might be suffering from a medical condition.

However, it soon transpired that Prince Philip had simply been waving in his sleep.

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During a tour of Kenya in 1952, Her Majesty was informed of the death of her father King George VI.

Describing the moment the devastating news was broken to her by Prince Philip, Lady Hicks wrote: “You could see the moment she’s been told, the body language.

“She stopped walking and slumped a bit. And one thought, how awful for her.”

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