Prince Phillip Mountbatten, the duke of Edinburgh, was born on June 10, 1921 in Greece, a member of both the Greek and Danish royal families. He was the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Batenburg. As a member of the House of Glucksberg, the ruling family of Denmark, he was a prince of both Denmark and Greece by way of his patrilineal descent and was in the line of succession to both thrones.
In 1922 Prince Phillip, along with his family, were exiled from Greece following its defeat in the Greco-Turkish war and the overthrow of the monarchy. Phillip, just over year old, was carried onto a Royal Navy warship in a wooden fruit box and was evacuated to France, where he and his family settled in Paris. Following his earlier education in France and Germany, Phillip moved to the UK, where he enrolled at the Gordonstoun School in Scotland.
Upon the completion of his military service in 1946, Phillip married future monarch Princess Elizabeth in 1947 at London Westminster Abbey and was bestowed the titles the Duke of Edinburgh, earl of Merioneth, and baron of Greenwich.
Consort to the queen, royal patron
As consort to the queen, whose took the throne in 1953, Phillip supported Elizabeth in her official duties as sovereign, accompanying her in ceremonies, such as the State Opening of Parliament and official tours across the world.
In 1956 he founded the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Award, a national program aimed at self-improvement for young people. Further to his royal duties, Phillip was a patron to some 800 organizations and was a keen sports enthusiast, often highlighting the importance of fitness
Though largely popular and known nationwide for his good humor, the duke was also notorious for making a number of politically incorrect remarks during his time as royal consort. However, these comments were perceived as being unfortunately typical of someone from his age and background. In 2019, at age 97, he was involved in a car crash, but suffered few injuries and willingly surrendered his driver’s license as well as offered an apology, after some criticism.
Prince Phillip retired from his royal duties in 2017. Starting in 1952 he completed a total of 22,219 solo engagements as part of his royal duties. During his retirement, the prince kept a low profile, attending a few family events with the queen as well as some state ceremonies.
The duke of Edinburgh passed away on April 9 at age 99, two months after being released from King Edward VII’s Hospital in London for treatment of a heart condition.
Witness to an eventful century for both the British Royal Family and the world, Prince Philip was both the longest-serving consort in British history and the oldest-ever male member of the royal family.