On Friday (April 9), Queen Elizabeth shared the sad news that her beloved husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, had passed away. He was 99-years-old. Though the Duke of Edinburgh had been retired from his royal duties for four years before his passing, he undertook 22,219 solo engagements, gave 5,496 speeches, and wrote 14 books—making him one of the busiest members of the Royal Family in history. In addition to his royal duties, Prince Philip served with the British forces in WWII, learned how to fly numerous aircrafts throughout his life and was known for his sense of humor. Here are some facts you may not have known about the late royal.
Philip was born on June 10, 1921 as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on the island of Corfu. At the time of his birth, he was sixth in line to the Greek throne.
Prince Philip and his family were exiled from Greece when he was a child after his uncle, King Constantine, was forced to abdicate following the Greco-Turkish War. His father, Prince Andrew, was also accused of treason and exile. They fled to Paris, France.
Prince Philip was later sent to live with his relatives in England—his maternal grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven and his uncle George Mountbatten, 2nd Marquess of Milford Haven. He lived in Kensington Palace for those years.
Philip served with the British forces in WWII. He was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour for his bravery during the War.
Prince Philip first met then-Princess Elizabeth in 1939 after being asked by her mother to escort Elizabeth and her sister Margaret to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth.
Ahead of his wedding to Elizabeth, Prince Philip dropped his Greek and Danish royal titles and adopted his Uncle’s surname ‘Mountbatten,’ which is still used as a surname for descendants of Philip and Queen Elizabeth who are not part of the direct line to the throne. For example, Prince Harry’s son is named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Prince Philip became a member of the British Royal family when he married Queen Elizabeth II on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey in London.
Upon marrying Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philp was granted a number of new titles, including the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London by the King.
He was the first ever royal to cross the Antarctic Circle in 1957.
Prince Philip is trained to fly numerous aircrafts. He has both his helicopter wings and his pilot license.
In 1961, he was the first member of the Royal Family to be interviewed on television.
Also in 1961, Prince Philip became the first president of the World Wide Fund for Nature—a position he held until 1982.
He was known for his quick wit and self-deprecating humor.
In 2009, Prince Philip became the longest serving royal consort in British history.
He officially retired from his royal duties in 2017 at the age 95.
Over the course of his career as King Consort, the Duke of Edinburgh had 22,219 solo engagements, gave 5,496 speeches, and wrote 14 books—making him one of the busiest members of the Royal Family in history.
One of his final public appearances was the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Saint George’s Chapel in London in 2018.
He also attended Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi's private wedding ceremony in July 2020.
Queen & Philip celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary this past year.
Prince Philip leaves behind his wife, Queen Elizabeth, their four children, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, and Prince Edward, as well as eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.
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