Pat Kirkwood, one of the most famous women of British stage and screen, did not get an OBE although she was twice recommended for the same. And that's because of the persistent rumours linking her to Prince Philip.

The report, which emerged in The Daily Mail. also adds that much of the Government paperwork regarding the denial has been destroyed. This is fuelling speculation over why she missed out on an OBE.

Documents obtained by the newspaper under freedom of information laws reveal that in the year 2000, Kirkwood, then aged 79, was recommended by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for an OBE both in the Birthday Honours List and in the New Year's Honours List.

The rumours over an affair between the two hit the news after Philip visited Kirkwood during a performance at the Hippodrome in 1948 in her dressing room and had supper with her.

However, Kirkwood has always denied that she and the prince had an affair. She died in 2007.

Kirkwood also became the first woman to be given her own show by the BBC.

The rumours are now set to be resurrected in a new series of television drama The Crown. The series will show the Queen reacting jealously to Prince Philip.

Meanwhile, Royal biographer Margaret Holder was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail that "giving Kirkwood an honour would have been embarrassing for the Queen regardless of whether or not the rumours are true".