Britain’s Prince Philip Turns 99

FILES) In this file photo taken on December 25, 2012 Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh waves to well-wishers at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, in the east of England, on December 25, 2012.  Leon NEAL / AFP

 

Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip marks his 99th birthday on Wednesday, with the royal couple still in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The monarch, 94, and her husband of 72 years are maintaining social distancing rules at Windsor Castle, west of London, as their age puts them in a high-risk category for COVID-19.

Buckingham Palace released a new photograph of the couple, which was taken on June 1 in the quadrangle at the castle, to mark his birthday.

In the picture, the monarch is seen wearing a dress by British fashion designer Angela Kelly, who has served as her senior dresser since 2002.

She is also seen with the heart-shaped Cullinan V diamond brooch, which was worn by her grandmother, Queen Mary, at the Delhi Durbar in British-ruled India in 1911.

She inherited the item in 1953.

Philip, in a blazer and grey trousers, is seen wearing a tie of the Household Division, which comprises seven British Army regiments dedicated to serving Queen Elizabeth II.

The ageing Duke of Edinburgh, to give him his formal title, is the longest-serving consort in British history, and stepped down from frontline royal duties in May 2017.

In January 2019, he emerged unscathed after his vehicle was involved in a traffic accident that injured two people near the monarch’s Sandringham estate in eastern England.

But he has not been seen in public since spending four nights in hospital in December for what royal officials said was “observation and treatment” for a “pre-existing condition”.

The “precautionary measure” and unspecified condition renewed concerns about his health as he approaches his landmark 100th birthday next year.

Centenarians in Britain typically receive a special birthday card from the queen.

The queen and the duke moved to Windsor in March, effectively to self-isolate, as the coronavirus outbreak took hold, but remain there even as stay-at-home restrictions are eased.

Her grandson, Prince William, in April expressed his concern about their welfare given the risks, and after his father, heir to the throne Prince Charles, contracted the virus.

The monarch celebrated her 94th birthday in April with no fanfare, cancelling the traditional gun salute because of the crisis.

She was recently seen riding in the grounds of the castle.

At the height of the coronavirus outbreak, she sent two rare televised messages to the nation, urging solidarity and determination to fight the virus.

AFP

Prince Philip Released From Hospital After Four Nights

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 6, 2015, Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrives ahead of the racing on the second day of the Epsom Derby Festival in Surrey, southern England. Prince Philip, the 98-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, went into hospital on Friday, December 20, 2019 for precautionary treatment on a pre-existing condition, Buckingham Palace said.
Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Britain’s Prince Philip left the hospital on Tuesday after a four-night stay that renewed concern about the 98-year-old’s health.

Images broadcast by British media showed Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, dressed in a suit, taking a few steps and being helped into an SUV vehicle before being whisked away.

Philip did not respond to photographers as he got into the vehicles, Britain’s Press Association reported.

Multiple police stood guard around the hospital as well as royal protection officers.

READ ALSO: Pilgrims Gather In Bethlehem For Christmas Celebration

The Duke of Edinburgh was now expected to join the queen at Sandringham, the central England country retreat where the royal family traditionally spends Christmas.

Philip was admitted to London’s King Edward VII hospital on Friday.

Buckingham Palace said it was for “observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition”, adding that it was a “precautionary measure”.

The duke was reportedly flown there by helicopter from the royal Sandringham estate in eastern England, where he has been based since retiring from public duties in 2017.

The Sun tabloid reported that Philip has suffered a month of ill-health, including a “bad fall” which left him confined to bed for a couple of days.

In recent years, he has been admitted to hospital for abdominal surgery, bladder infections and a blocked coronary artery, while he is also reported to suffer from arthritis in his right wrist.

In January, the duke was involved in a car crash near Sandringham. He pulled out onto the main road, hitting another car and flipping his Land Rover.

A woman in the other car broke her wrist, for which Philip apologised. He subsequently gave up his driving licence, but faced no further action.

AFP

Prince Philip ‘Being Looked After Very Well,’ Says Charles

 

Prince Philip, centre, leaves after the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (Gareth Fuller/pool photo via AP)

 

Britain’s Prince Philip is being looked after “very well”, his son Prince Charles said Monday after the elderly royal spent a third night in hospital for treatment for a pre-existing condition.

“He’s being looked after very well in hospital. At the moment that’s all we know,” Charles told a reporter when asked about his father’s health during a visit in northern England.

Philip, the 98-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, was admitted to London’s King Edward VII hospital on Friday.

Buckingham Palace said it was for “observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition”, adding that it was a “precautionary measure”.

The Duke of Edinburgh was reportedly flown there by helicopter from the royal Sandringham estate in eastern England, where he has been based since retiring from public duties in 2017.

The 93-year-old queen did not alter her plans, travelling by train on Friday from London to Sandringham, where she hosts the royals for Christmas each year.

She attended church as usual on Sunday, accompanied by her son Prince Edward and his family.

The duke has long been an advocate of eating well and keeping fit, but has had a number of health issues as he advances in age.

The Sun tabloid reported that Philip has suffered a month of ill-health, including a “bad fall” which left him confined to bed for a couple of days.

In recent years, he has been admitted to hospital for abdominal surgery, bladder infections and a blocked coronary artery, while he is also reported to suffer from arthritis in his right wrist.

In January, the duke was involved in a car crash near Sandringham. He pulled out onto a main road, hitting another car and flipping his Land Rover.

A woman in the other car broke her wrist, for which Philip apologised. He subsequently gave up his driving licence, but faced no further action.

AFP

Queen Elizabeth’s Husband Hospitalised

Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrives ahead of the racing on the second day of the Epsom Derby Festival in Surrey, southern England. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Prince Philip, the 98-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, went into the hospital on Friday for precautionary treatment on a pre-existing condition, Buckingham Palace said.

His London hospital stay is likely to upset the royal family’s plans for Christmas at the monarch’s private Sandringham estate in Norfolk, eastern England.

Queen Elizabeth, 93, had gone to join Prince Philip at Sandringham by train on Friday, having opened parliament in London on Thursday following last week’s snap general election.

“The Duke of Edinburgh travelled from Norfolk this morning to the King Edward VII Hospital in London for observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition,” the palace said.

“The admission is a precautionary measure, on the advice of his royal highness’ doctor.”

The prince is expected to be in the hospital for a few days.

He was not taken by ambulance and it was a planned admission.

On December 23, 2011 while at Sandringham for Christmas, the royal patriarch suffered chest pains and spent four days in hospital for a successful coronary angioplasty and stenting.

Since his retirement from royal duties in 2017, Prince Philip has spent much of his time at Sandringham.

In January, he flipped his vehicle in a crash near the estate and gave up his licence shortly afterwards.

 Christmas tradition 

The royal family traditionally spends Christmas at Sandringham, visiting the local church on December 25 and greeting well-wishers outside.

Royal-watchers will be looking out this year for Prince Andrew, the sovereign’s second son, who has stepped back from public life completely amid outrage over his friendship with the US convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew attended the monarch’s pre-Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace earlier this week.

Queen Elizabeth arrived at Sandringham from London on a regular passenger train to begin her Christmas break.

She stays at the Victorian country house until after the February 6 anniversary of her 1952 accession to the throne.

Carrying a black handbag and wearing a salmon pink coat and patterned headscarf, she travelled in the front carriage.

The monarch briefly mingled with passengers on the platform at King’s Lynn before she was escorted through a side exit to a waiting vehicle.

She has tended to travel on the Thursday before Christmas in recent years, but the State Opening of Parliament is likely to have been behind the change this year.

AFP

British Prince Philip ‘Shocked And Shaken’ After Car Crash

(file copy) Prince Philip Credit: AP

Queen Elizabeth II’s 97-year-old husband Prince Philip was “very shocked and shaken” after being involved in a car accident that left his Land Rover flipped on its side, a witness reportedly said.  

The duke emerged unharmed but two people in another car were injured in the crash that occurred Thursday when the duke was driving near the Sandringham Estate, according to police and Buckingham Palace.

Norfolk Police said two women — the driver and passenger of a Kia — required hospital treatment but were later discharged. It would not confirm reports that a baby was also in the car.

The BBC reported that Prince Philip’s vehicle turned on its side after pulling out of a Sandringham driveway onto the main road and colliding with the Kia.

Witness Roy Warne, 75, told The Sun newspaper that the Prince was pulled from the wreckage “conscious” but “very shocked and shaken”.

“I saw the car flip,” he said, adding that he rushed to help free the driver before he “suddenly realised it was Prince Philip”.

An image from the accident scene published by a local radio station showed two cars by the side of the road, one on its side with a smashed windscreen and another a few yards away in bushes.

“The Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road traffic accident with another vehicle this afternoon,” the palace said in a statement.

“The Duke was not injured. The accident took place close to the Sandringham Estate. Local police attended the scene.”

She added that the duke saw a doctor “as a precaution” who confirmed he was not hurt.

Duke in a breath test 

Norfolk Police said, in accordance with the policy in collisions, it breathalysed both drivers.

“We can confirm both drivers were breath tested and provided negative readings,” the force added.

It said officers were called to the estate shortly before 3:00 pm (1500 GMT) “after a Land Rover and Kia were involved in a collision”.

“The male driver of the Land Rover was uninjured,” it added.

“The female driver of the Kia suffered cuts while the female passenger sustained an arm injury, both requiring hospital treatment”.

The Press Association reported that there was a passenger in the duke’s vehicle who was likely his close protection officer

The royal couple spends most of the winter at the residence in Norfolk, an English county northeast of London, which continues to operate as a sporting estate.

Philip, known for his forthright manner and off-color jokes, formally retired from public life in 2017.

He has been seen behind the wheel on numerous occasions over the decade, including with world leaders and dignitaries as his passengers.

In 2016, alongside the Queen, he drove former US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle around Windsor Castle in a Range Rover after they landed nearby in the presidential helicopter.

Meanwhile, the duke continued to compete in demanding carriage driving competitions into his 80s and has previously pulled muscles in his back while driving his horse-drawn carriage.

Philip described in an interview how he took up carriage driving when he gave up polo aged 50, helping to establish it as a sport in subsequent years.

Born a prince of Greece and Denmark, he married then Princess Elizabeth on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey in London.

On their golden wedding anniversary in 1997, she said of him: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.”

AFP

Prince Philip Involved In Road Accident

(file copy) Prince Philip/AP

 

Queen Elizabeth II’s 97-year-old husband Prince Philip emerged unscathed after being involved in a road traffic accident near the monarch’s Sandringham Estate on Thursday, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

“The Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a road traffic accident with another vehicle this afternoon,” said a spokesman.

“The Duke was not injured. The accident took place close to the Sandringham Estate. Local police attended the scene,” it added.

The couple spends most of the winter at the residence in Norfolk, southeast England, which continues to operate as a sporting estate.

Philip, known for his forthright manner and off-color jokes, formally retired from public life in 2017.

Born a prince of Greece and Denmark, he married then Princess Elizabeth on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey in London.

On their golden wedding anniversary in 1997, she said of him: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.”

AFP

Britain’s Prince Philip Hospitalised For Hip Surgery

FILE COPY Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) travel in a horse-drawn carriage back to Buckingham Palace after attending ‘Trooping the Colour’ on Horse Guards Parade to mark the Queen’s official birthday, in London. Photo: Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP

 

Queen Elizabeth II’s 96-year-old husband Prince Philip was admitted to hospital in London on Tuesday for planned surgery on his hip, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

“His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London this afternoon, for planned surgery on his hip which will take place tomorrow,” it said.

Philip retired from public life last year but has since appeared several times at royal engagements alongside Elizabeth.

He was forced to miss a pre-Easter religious service last week, however, because he was having trouble with his hip.

At a ceremony commemorating Britain’s war dead last November, he appeared to be having trouble standing and leaned against a wall.

Philip has been a constant and mischievous presence at royal functions for decades and is perhaps better known for punctuating royal pomp with a taste for off-colour jokes.

“You managed not to get eaten, then?” was one typical remark to a British student who had trekked in Papua New Guinea in 1998.

The prince has been largely blessed with good health, but he has been admitted to hospital with various complaints in recent years. He accompanied the queen on overseas visits as late as 2015.

Never one to talk about his own feelings, the queen has been more forthcoming about his worth.

“He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years” the queen said in a golden wedding anniversary speech in 1997.

– Prince Philippos –

Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark was born on a kitchen table on Corfu on June 10, 1921, the only son of prince Andrew of Greece — the younger brother of Greece’s king Constantine — and princess Alice of Battenberg.

Aged just 18 months, he and his family were evacuated in a British Royal Navy ship from politically unstable Greece, with the toddler reputedly carried in a cot made from an orange box.

The family settled in Paris, sending the young Philip to preparatory school in England when he was just seven, secondary school in southern Germany, and then to the austere Gordonstoun in Scotland, where he was head boy.

He pursued his love of sailing and at the outbreak of World War II in 1939 became an outstanding Royal Navy cadet before serving on battleships in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean.

Philip was formally introduced to princess Elizabeth in July 1939 when her father king George VI and his family toured the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, on England’s south coast.

They kept in touch during the war and met on a number of occasions. But it was not until July 1947 that their engagement was announced and they tied the knot that year on November 20 at Westminster Abbey.

In his spare time Philip has been a keen horseman, competing at international level for Britain in the sport of carriage-driving.

 

AFP

Elizabeth II, Prince Philip Mark 70th Wedding Anniversary

 

This file photo taken on June 17, 2017 shows Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) travel in a horse-drawn carriage back to Buckingham Palace after attending ‘Trooping the Colour’ on Horse Guards Parade to mark the Queen’s official birthday, in London on June 17, 2017.

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 70 years of marriage on Monday to the man she calls her “strength and stay”, making them Britain’s first reigning couple to mark a platinum wedding anniversary.

The bells of Westminster Abbey, where Elizabeth married Prince Philip on November 20, 1947, rang out to mark the seven decades of the royal union.

The two were on a visit to Kenya when Elizabeth found out she had become queen following the death of her father king George VI in 1952. She has since gone on to become the nation’s longest serving sovereign.

Prime Minister Theresa May led the congratulatory tributes to the royal couple.

“They have devoted their lives to the service of the UK and the Commonwealth — my best wishes to them both on this special occasion,” she said.

At their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997, Elizabeth paid tribute to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, saying: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.

“I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know,” she said.

She has also described the prince as her “rock”.

Official photographs have been released for their anniversary, along with a set of commemorative stamps documenting their engagement, wedding and honeymoon.

One of the photographs shows them in front of Thomas Gainsborough’s 1781 portraits of George III and QueenCharlotte, whose 57-year union is the next longest British royal marriage.

In another photograph, the Queen poses in the same cream dress she wore at her diamond wedding anniversary thanksgiving service 10 years ago, along with a yellow gold, ruby and diamond brooch Philip gave her in 1966.

The royal couple will not hold any public events but have invited family and friends to Windsor Castle for a private dinner on Monday evening.

Met As Teenagers

The fairy-tale royal wedding in 1947 was a morale boost during the tough years immediately after World War II.
Their marriage endured, as Philip accepted living in his wife’s shadow, and the Queen seemingly forgiving his periodic gaffes.

They had four children — Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward — whose marriages have been less successful, with all except Edward having divorced.

The couple also boast eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, with a sixth great-grandchild expected in April, when Prince William and wife Kate Middleton’s third child is due.

The 96-year-old Duke of Edinburgh retired from the public eye this summer, enjoying his newfound free time reading and painting.

For her part the Queen, at 91, is slowly passing over some of her official duties to her son Prince Charles, now aged 69.

The royal couple first met as teenagers, and eventually married when Elizabeth was a 25-year-old princess.

Philip, the son of a Greek prince banished from that country, renounced his titles and Greek Orthodox faith and became a British citizen in order to marry, adopting his mother’s anglicised name, Mountbatten.

Prior to the wedding he told the Queen Mother he had “fallen in love completely and unreservedly” with her daughter.

Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip Celebrate 70 Years As Couple

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) travel in a horse-drawn carriage back to Buckingham Palace after attending ‘Trooping the Colour’ on Horse Guards Parade to mark the Queen’s official birthday, in London on June 17, 2017. Photo: AFP

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip will celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary on November 20, marking 70 years since they married in the splendour of Westminster Abbey.

Despite three of their four children (Charles, Anne and Andrew) having divorced, this royal union has endured through the decades without any public hint of marital strife.

Now, they join a small club of couples who have spent seven decades together.

No events are planned to celebrate their landmark, but the bells of Westminster Abbey will ring at 1300 GMT in tribute.

Elizabeth and Philip will spend the day with other members of the royal family, a Buckingham Palace spokesman told AFP.

After 70 years of marriage it’s a burgeoning clan, with four children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

They expect to welcome a sixth great-grandchild in April, when Prince William and wife Kate Middleton’s third child is due.

The 96-year-old Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, retired from the public eye this summer, enjoying his newfound free time reading and painting.

For her part the Queen, at 91, is slowly passing over some of her official duties to her son Prince Charles, now aged 69.

– Meeting at 13 years-old –

It was a version of love at first sight.

Elizabeth was aged just 13 when she first laid eyes on her future husband Philip, then a dashing 18-year-old blond army officer.

The pair may have met in their teens, but it would be eight years until the nation celebrated with pomp their fairy-tale wedding at Westminster’s famous abbey on November 20, 1947.

The princess dazzled, dressed in a satin dress embroidered with roses and decorated with 10,000 pearls and sparkling crystals.

In this post-war period, it was “a flash of colour on the difficult road we’re taking,” said Winston Churchill, leader of a Conservative Party then in opposition.

Fresh memories of the war and fears of anti-German sentiment meant several of Prince Philip’s German relatives — including his three surviving sisters — were not invited to the ceremony.

Prior to the wedding, the Queen Mother asked her future son-in-law if he would cherish her daughter.

“Cherish Lilibet? I wonder if that word is enough to express what is in me,” he replied, using the Queen’s childhood nickname.

He went on to say that he had “fallen in love completely and unreservedly” with her.

– Sacrifices –

After their honeymoon — at Balmoral, the Scottish holiday estate of the royal family — the newlyweds moved to Malta where Philip, a naval officer, had been stationed.

However, the premature death of King George VI, in 1952, put an end to the more carefree life the young couple had adopted on the Mediterranean island, and propelled Elizabeth to the throne.

It also forced Philip to sacrifice his career in the Royal Navy to become the Queen’s spouse.

The son of a Greek prince banished from the country, he renounced his titles and Greek Orthodox faith and became a British citizen to marry Elizabeth, adopting his mother’s anglicised name, Mountbatten.

But their children would take the Queen’s family name, Windsor.

On his 90th birthday in 2011, she surprised her husband by making him Lord High Admiral, the titular head of the Royal Navy and a role she had held since 1964.

It was reported to be a show of gratitude for his decades of unstinting support as her consort.

That support has come alongside a steady stream of gaffes, sometimes with xenophobic hints, which the Queen appears to have forgiven him for.

“I think the main lesson that we have learnt is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage,” Philip said in a golden wedding anniversary speech in 1997.

“You can take it from me that The Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.”

The man she referred to as her “rock,” also once remarked: “My job first, second and last, is never to let the Queen down.”

AFP

Queen Elizabeth To Celebrate 70th Wedding Anniversary With Prince Philip

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will add another landmark to her record-breaking reign on Monday, November 20 when she celebrates her 70th wedding anniversary with husband Prince Philip.

Princess Elizabeth, as she was at the time, married dashing naval officer Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at London’s Westminster Abbey on Nov. 20, 1947, in a lavish ceremony attended by statesmen and royalty from around the world.

Seventy years on, Elizabeth, 91, and her 96-year-old husband will mark their platinum anniversary with a small, family party at Windsor Castle, the monarch’s home to the west of London. A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said there would be no public event to mark the occasion.

Greek-born Philip, a descendant of Elizabeth’s great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria in his own right, has been at his wife’s side throughout her 65-year reign, the longest in British history. He was the person who broke the news to her that her father was dead and she was queen.

“One of the secrets of this very, very long marriage and it’s an incredibly impressive anniversary, is the fact Prince Philip has always seen it as his main duty to support the queen, to help her in whatever way he can,” royal historian Hugo Vickers told Reuters.

“He is the only person who can actually tell the queen absolutely straight what he thinks and if he thinks some idea is ridiculous he will say so in whatever language he chooses to use.”

Their engagement was announced in July 1947 and they married four months later. With Britain still recovering from the hardships of World War Two, the wedding offered a rare burst of colour and pageantry against an austere background of rationing and shortages.

While some two billion people were estimated to have watched the couple’s grandson Prince William marry his wife Kate, their own wedding was only broadcast live to some 200 million radio listeners although highlights of the day were captured on grainy black and white film footage.

While royal watchers say Elizabeth and Philip have had their ups and downs like any married couple, they have avoided the travails of three of their four children whose marriages have ended in divorce, most notably heir Prince Charles’s ill-fated union with his late first wife Princess Diana.

Philip, who has suffered health issues in recent years and was hospitalised in June, retired from active public life in August.

However, they both attended a memorial service on Remembrance Sunday although a royal source said the queen had decided not to lay a wreath so she could watch from a nearby balcony alongside her husband.

“Without Prince Philip, the queen would have had a very tough and lonely life. He’s been a complete support to her a rock to her from the moment she was on the throne,” royal biographer Claudia Joseph told Reuters.

Reuters 

Britain’s Prince Philip Hospitalised With Infection

Prince Philip, the 96-year-old husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, has been admitted to the hospital with an infection and will miss the formal opening of parliament, but he remains in good spirits, Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday.

Philip, whose official title is Duke of Edinburgh and has sometimes drawn attention with headline-grabbing gaffes, has been by the queen’s side throughout her 65 years on the throne and she has described him as “my strength and stay”.

“The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London last night, as a precautionary measure, for treatment of an infection arising from a pre-existing condition,” a spokesman for the Palace said.

“Prince Philip is in good spirits and is disappointed to be missing the State Opening of Parliament and Royal Ascot,” the spokesman said.

The queen, the world’s longest-reigning living monarch, celebrated her 91st birthday in April. She will be accompanied in parliament by her son, Prince Charles, who is heir to the throne, When Philip announced in May that he would retire later this year from active public life, he quipped about not being able to “stand up much”.

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s feisty consort, has been a pivotal figure in the British royal family for almost seven decades. Despite the ambiguities of his position the blunt-talking prince brought acerbic wit and unflagging energy to his role as consort while helping to strip away court ritual and nurse the monarchy into the 20th century.

Philippos Schleswig-Holstein Soenderburg-Glucksburg was born on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, the fifth child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece.

Philip’s parents went into exile when he was 18 months old. They sailed from Corfu with the little boy sleeping in a cot made hurriedly from orange boxes.

Philip had British and German blood through his mother, a great grand-daughter of Queen Victoria. She was born Princess Alice of Battenberg and became a nun after drifting apart from her husband, who died virtually penniless in 1944.

Philip’s early life was spent on the move around Europe until he was sent to Gordonstoun, a tough school in Scotland, where his first son Prince Charles later became an unwilling pupil. Under the tutelage of his uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, Philip renounced his Greek titles and Orthodoxy and was formally naturalised as a British subject.

In 1939 he joined Britain’s Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, southern England, as a cadet and graduated top of his class. It was here that he first met Princess Elizabeth, the heir to the British throne, when at the age of 13 she visited Dartmouth with her parents.

During World War Two Philip served on battleships, cruisers and destroyers. He was mentioned in dispatches, took part in the Allied landings in Sicily and was in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

The engagement of Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, as he was then known, to Princess Elizabeth was announced in July 1947. They were married in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947 in a sumptuous ceremony attended by statesmen and royalty from around the world. Philip’s titles – His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron of Greenwich — were bestowed on him by King George VI just prior to the marriage.

Princess Elizabeth gave birth to their first child, Charles, Prince of Wales, in November 1948. The royal couple had three more children, Princess Anne born in 1950, Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964.

Prince Philip continued his naval career until 1951, then took indefinite leave following the death of King George and devoted himself full-time to public duties when Elizabeth became queen a year later.

The prince had no official power and no clear-cut constitutional role. Protocol obliged the man dubbed “the second handshake” to spend his public life literally one step behind his wife.

Rumours of extra-marital activities and a rift with the Queen were firmly denied in the 1950s but speculation continued and Prince Philip failed to win the hearts of the people. He was attacked for his views on subjects as varied as nuclear power, individual freedom and nature conservation.

Critics called him a hypocrite for heading the conservation group the World Wide Fund for Nature while continuing to indulge in blood sports such as pheasant shooting.

His tactless gaffes were legendary. During a state visit to China he told British students: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll be slitty-eyed.” The remarks were symbolic of his gruff and unguarded manner, which contrasted sharply with the sweetly smiling image of the Queen.

He was popular with some royalists for his urbane wit, devotion to his family, love of sport and unsentimental dedication to the business of being royal. But he was criticised for his reportedly stern brand of fatherhood, linked by some to his children’s broken marriages.

As Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew suffered marital breakdown, royal-watchers pointed the finger at their doughty father, calling him overbearing and cold, particularly with his sons.

The popularity of the royals reached a low ebb following the death of Prince Charles’ wife Princess Diana in a Paris car crash in August 1997. Two months later, on the eve of the Queen and Prince Philip’s golden wedding anniversary, a poll showed overall backing for the royals had plunged to 32 percent.

At a banquet to celebrate the anniversary, Prince Philip alluded to the difficulties of recent years, paying tribute to his children and asking to be forgiven for feeling proud of them. “I am, naturally, somewhat biased, but I think our children have all done rather well under very difficult and demanding circumstances” he said.

After a tumultuous 35-year affair Prince Charles finally married the love of his life, Camilla Parker-Bowles, in April 2005. The Queen and Prince Philip attended the service of blessing in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, along with 750 guests, including other members of the royal family.

Prince Philip was again the subject of unwelcome headlines during the six month inquest into the death of Princess Diana and her lover Dodi al-Fayed which opened in London in October 2007. Dodi’s father, luxury

Dodi’s father, luxury store owner Mohamed al-Fayed, alleged that his son and Diana were killed by British security services on the orders of Prince Philip. The jury finally returned a verdict of unlawful killing due to the grossly negligent driving of Henri Paul, Dodi and Diana’s chauffeur, and the paparazzi photographers pursuing them.

Credited with carrying out more public engagements than any other royal except his daughter, Princess Anne, Prince Philip continued throughout his eighties to support a wide range of charities and accompany the Queen on her royal duties.

In June 2011, as a 90th birthday present, the Queen awarded her husband the office of Lord High Admiral, the titular head of the Royal Navy. By now the longest serving consort and oldest-serving spouse of any British monarch, Prince Philip announced he would be winding down his activities and stepping back from his official duties.

In recent years the prince’s health has become a cause for concern as he received hospital treatment for a number of ailments. In December 2011 he underwent a successful procedure to unblock a coronary artery and spent Christmas in the hospital.

In June 2012 he was taken to hospital suffering from a bladder infection a day after spending hours on the River Thames in driving rain and a cold wind as part of a flotilla of 1,000 boats taking part in the spectacular highlight of the Queen’s diamond jubilee celebrations, and returned to hospital for further treatment two months later.

In June 2013, the Palace announced Prince Philip had been admitted to hospital for exploratory abdominal surgery, prompting fresh concerns for his health. He was able to walk unaided when he left the clinic following an 11-day stay, and by the autumn had resumed his royal engagements, including attending the christening of his second great-grandson, Prince George, the first child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Named after the Queen’s father, Prince George is third in line to the throne, after his father, and grandfather.

Despite his recent illnesses, Prince Philip fulfilled more than 200 engagements in 2014. He has earned a reputation as a loyal and hard-working consort with a brusque sense of humour and a tendency to make politically incorrect gaffes.

Britain’s Prince Philip Marks 96th Birthday With Gun Salute

Britain’s Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, marked his 96th birthday with a 41 gun salute in London on Saturday (June 10) as he looks forward to his retirement.

It is believed he will spend his birthday privately at Windsor Castle.

In May, Buckingham Palace announced he was to permanently stand down from royal duties in the autumn.

Next weekend, Philip is expected to help the Queen celebrate her official 91st birthday at the annual Trooping of the Colour parade.

After retirement, it is believed he may still appear at public events, but will not play an active role Buckingham Palace has previously said.