For over 70 nears he stood by her side as a consort, confidant, and companion; His Royal Highness Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh died April 9, 2021 at Windsor Castle just two months before his 100th birthday. Buckingham Palace reports that the Prince died peacefully. His Royal Highness had recently spent time in the hospital.
With a marriage to Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for 74 years, the couple hold the record for the longest marriage in British history.
Up until his retirement from public life a few years ago, Prince Philip made thousands of appearances fulfilling various engagements for the British Empire that included heading charities, founding programs to benefit the Commonwealth’s children, and had a hand in raising his four children.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II once referred to the Prince as “her rock”. As for Prince Philip, he saw his job as to “never let her down”.
In British tradition, Prince Philip served in the military during World War II before marrying into British royalty. His only “job” was that of consort to Her Majesty the Queen; walking three paces behind her in public appearances. The Prince once noted, “constitutionally, I don’t exist”.
Along with his title of Prince and Duke of Edinburgh; Prince Philip holds the Order of Merit, is a Knight of the Thistle, had a license to fly fixed wing, helicopter, and private planes, was the first person to hold the position of President of the World Wildlife Fund – a position he held for 20 years -, is the Earl of Merioneth, the Baron Greenwich, is a Knight of the Garter, is a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire, and is a Companion of the Order of Australia. He also holds the titles of Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal, and is a Marshal of the Royal Air Force.
The Prince was known for speaking his mind; at times seemingly brash, insensitive, and controversial.
He was born Philippos Andreou of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderberg-Glücksburg Prince of Greece and Denmark on the dining room table of the family home in Corfu, Greece. He was the fifth child, and only son, born to Prince Andrew and Princess Alice of Battenberg. His father was the younger brother of the King of Greece. His grandfather came from Denmark in the 1860’s to become the King of Greece. His great-great-grandmother was Queen Victoria; as is Her Majesty Queen Elilzabeth. His family moved to France when young Philip was only 18 months old after his father was put on trial after a military defeat.
After his British education, Philip attended Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth before joining the Royal Navy where he served on battleships in the Mediterranean; as well as, the Indian and Pacific Oceans. He was present when Japan surrendered in 1945.
In July 1947, Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of then Princess Elizabeth; the couple were married on November 20 of that year.
A young mother of two, Princess Elizabeth became Queen of Britain in 1952 after the death of her father King George VI. And Prince Philip had to give up his career in the Royal Navy to begin his lifetime engagement as the consort to the Queen. During the coronation he pledged to be “her liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship”.
With Covid lockdown rules firmly in the foreground, plans for Prince Philip’s funeral arrangements will not include a lying in state, but will take place at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel and is expected to include a “significant” military presence. Large crowds will not be allowed to gather for the funeral events but will be able to view them via television. Once the health crisis is over, a public memorial service may be possible.
Now living in the United States, grandson Harry may have to quarantine prior to attending the funeral.
Prince Philip is survived by his wife of 73 years, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, children – Princess Anne and Princes Charles, Andrew, and Edward; eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grand children.
feature photo credit: [[File:Prince Phillip of Edinburgh.jpg|Prince_Phillip_of_Edinburgh]]