Source: Gettyimages | WPA Pool

Prince Philip Dead, Duke Of Edinburgh Passes Away At 99


Apr. 9 2021, Published 7:33 a.m. ET

Prince Philip has passed away at the age of 99, as reported by NBC News. The Duke of Edinburgh was known by most as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and its Commonwealth, as well as for his own prominent role within the royal family. Philip became the oldest male member of the British royal family in 2013 and was the third oldest royal ever. He was also the longest-serving consort in British history. As consort, he completed 22,219 solo engagements as a part of his royal duties until he retired from public life on August 2, 2017, at the age of 96.

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Philip Was A War Hero Before He Was A Prince

Source: Gettyimages | Chris Jackson

Born in Greece on June 10, 1921, Philip had familial ties to both the Greek and Danish royal families, according to Britannica. He enjoyed a privileged youth that saw him educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom before joining the British Royal Navy at the age of 18. He had an esteemed career in the Navy, serving with distinction during World War II and becoming one of the youngest first lieutenants when he was promoted to that rank at age 21.

During his service, Philip met the future queen when she toured the Royal Naval College with her father, King George VI, in 1939. Elizabeth, who was 13 at the time, became enamored with the man and the pair began to exchange letters. The queen was Philip's third cousin through Queen Victoria and second cousin once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark.

Philip Abandoned His Ties To Greek & Danish Royalty

In 1946, after seven years of correspondence, Philip was granted permission by King George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before he could do so, however, Phillip had to abandon his claims to the royal titles in Greece and Denmark, join the Church of England, and become a naturalized British subject. He did all that was required of him, taking his maternal grandmother's surname of Mountbatten. He was eventually given the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by the king.

The engagement was formally announced on July 10, 1947, a few months after Elizabeth's 21st birthday. Due to the poor relationship between the United Kingdom and Germany following World War II, Philip's three sisters, who had married German princes, were not invited to the wedding ceremony.

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Philip Broke The News Of King George VI's Death To Elizabeth

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After he and Elizabeth wed, Philip continued his military career and was eventually given a promotion to lieutenant commander on the frigate HMS Magpie. Philip reached the rank of Commander on June 30, 1952, although his active military career had ended almost a year earlier in July 1951.

King George VI died on February 6, 1952 while Philip and Elizabeth were on a trip to Kenya. Philip had the unfortunate duty of being the one to break the news to her. With Elizabeth now the queen, the couple returned to the United Kingdom. As Elizabeth did not take Philip's last name upon marriage, the royal house was able to retain the title of House of Windsor.

Philip's Life In The Royal Family

Operating as a consort to the queen, Philip was utterly dedicated to his duties and the royal family. In 1956 he founded The Duke of Edinburgh's Award in order to reward the achievements of young people between the ages of 14 and 24, as well as the Commonwealth Study Conferences. He became the first royal to cross the Antarctic Circle as part of a tour with the HMY Britannia. He served as a patron for about 800 organizations during his time in public service, including serving as the U.K. president of the World Wildlife Fund from 1961 to 1982, international president from 1981, and president emeritus from 1996. He spent more than 60 years as president of the National Playing Fields Association and was a chancellor of the universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Salford, and Wales.

Philip and Elizabeth would have four children together -- Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward.


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