Written by Marie-Claire Maude
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh has died peacefully at his Windsor home at the age of 99.
In a statement issued by Buckingham Palace, “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”
Prince Philip of Greece was born on the 10th June 1921 on the Island of Corfu.
His Father was Prince Andrew of Greece and his Mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg. The Duke was the youngest child and the only boy in a family of sisters.
Most of his schooling took place in Scotland after a short stint in Germany.
With the Second World War looming, HRH decided upon a military career, as is tradition within the Royal Family.
He found great success in his career within the Royal Navy, by October 1942 becoming one of the youngest first lieutenants there had ever been, serving on board the destroyer HMS Wallace.
Relationship with Her Majesty The Queen
During his time in the Navy, The Duke began to form a relationship with the young Princess Elizabeth.
After countless letters written between the pair and numerous visits with the Royal Family, Prince Philip asked the then King George VI for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
After a short engagement, the wedding took place the following year in Westminster Abbey on 20th November 1947. This was the time Prince Philip would also be given his formal title, His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
The pair were married for 73 years.
Becoming a family
Following the couple’s marriage, a year later (1948) The Duke would become a Father for the first time to first in line to the throne Prince Charles.
He later went on to Father a Daughter, Princess Anne (1950), and two more Sons, Princes Andrew (1960) and Edward (1964).
Undertaking Royal duties
It was upon their first Royal Tour to Kenya as a married couple that the news of King George VI’s death came to be understood.
It is reported that the Duke broke this news to the Princess, both coming to terms with how their lives were about to be changed forever.
Princess Elizabeth’s coronation took place on the 2nd June 1953 at Westminster Abbey.
She was to be formally crowned Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip would remain as the Duke of Edinburgh.
Duke of Edinburgh Awards
After his career in the Royal Navy, the Duke turned his hand towards causes close to his heart and character.
It was well known that one of Prince Philip’s main priorities was for the welfare of young people, which in 1956 lead to the launch of the hugely successful Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
The award scheme has become one of the Duke’s most memorable achievements, equipping people from various different communities to build skills and grow in confidence to carry into later life.
For more information about the scheme, visit https://www.dofe.org.
The Duke of Edinburgh has earned a great deal of respect for his steadfast support to Her Majesty The Queen in her role as Monarch and Head of State.
A feat perhaps few would be willing or able to undertake.
The Duke left behind what was heading to be a hugely successful Naval career to support HRH the Queen, as husband and confidant to the female sovereign.
Some have argued he found this transition difficult to wrap his head around – he was a natural leader, and his role as male consort to the Queen forced him to take second place.
Retirement from public life
After decades of public engagements and Royal trips across the Globe, The Duke of Edinburgh retired from Public life in August 2017 at the age of 95.
He celebrated his 70th wedding Anniversary later the same year.
Prince Philip and Her Majesty The Queen have four children, eight grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Being the Duke of Edinburgh was a lifelong career, and one Prince Philip made large contributions throughout his life in serving.
The world has changed dramatically since 1921, the year The Duke was born, and with this he has played a large part in shaping and modernising the monarchy over the years.
At a speech delivered by the Queen to mark the couples Golden wedding Anniversary, the monarch was indulgent in showing her gratitude for her husband.
“He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments, but he has quite simply been my strength and stay all these years. I and his whole family…owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know”.