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Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

Updated on February 26, 2016
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BritFlorida loves to track down historical stories, especially scandals and mysteries from the UK.

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Prince Philip - Queen Elizabeth's prince

Way back in 1947, Princess Elizabeth of England married her handsome prince.

She had been in love with him since she was just thirteen years of age. Philip Mountbatten, as he was then, was a tall and handsome blond lieutenant in the British Navy who had served gallantly throughout the Second World War.

The slender and beautiful young princess was destined to become Queen Elizabeth II and her handsome lieutenant would remain at her side as her royal consort.

On February 25, 2013 The Duke of Edinburgh became the longest-lived male member of the British Royal Family - and was still at the side of the woman he married sixty six years previously. (His mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother was the oldest female).

Philip was also from a royal house, being a prince of both Greece and Denmark. His family had been exiled from Greece when Philip was just a child. He adopted the surname of Mountbatten - a name from his mother's lineage - and when he married Elizabeth he had become a British citizen. I do think that he was rather dishy! Today, his grandson William is seen as being a rather good-looking chap - I think I can see where it came from, can't you?

Elizabeth and Philip

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The marriage

WAS PHILIP SEEN AS AN IDEAL CONSORT?

At first he wasn't seen as an ideal match for the princess. Many people would have preferred to see her marry someone who was 100% English and born in the UK.

Philip had been educated in England and in Scotland however and had served gallantly for the British Navy during the war. In addition, his great great grandmother was Queen Victoria and he came from a noble lineage.

PHILIP WAS POPULAR WITH THE LADIES!

Most young women though were very excited at the idea of having this handsome young man as part of the British Royal Family.

ASKING PERMISSION FROM THE KING

In the traditional manner, he asked Elizabeth's father, George Vl, for permission to marry her and it was granted. They were married in November 1947 and the event was followed by millions of people all over the world when it was broadcast on the radio by the BBC.

THE GERMAN CONNECTION

At the time of his marriage, he had three surviving sisters; another sister had been killed in an air crash when Philip was a teenager. His surviving sisters were married to German royalty and some were thought to have had connections with the Nazi Party.

For this reason, they were not invited to the wedding. The Second World War was still very fresh in the public's mind.

EARNING HIS POPULARITY

Despite a few initial reservations about Philip's suitability as a husband for the Queen, the public were soon won over by his devotion to his wife, to Britain and to the Royal Family.

Watch the 1947 royal wedding

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: Six Decades of Love, Marriage and Monarchy (Royal Couples Book 1)
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: Six Decades of Love, Marriage and Monarchy (Royal Couples Book 1)

It's not just me that thinks the story of this couple is fascinating.

Despite being in the public eye, despite the arduous public duties they perform and despite the ups and downs of the British Royal Family over the years, this now-elderly couple seem to have the same sparkle together as they had over sixty years ago.

 

Philip and Elizabeth trivia

  • He was made the Duke of Edinburgh by the king on the morning of the marriage. When Elizabeth married him she became the Duchess of Edinburgh.
  • The couple wanted to be known by his surname, Mountbatten, but this wasn't acceptable to Elizabeth's grandmother, Queen Mary. Winston Churchill agreed with her so in the face of this formidable opposition, the royal house kept the name of Windsor.
  • The Duke famously grumbled, tongue in cheek, that he was the only man in the UK whose children wouldn't be able to take their father's name.
  • A couple of years later, after her grandmother had died, Elizabeth had the family name changed to Mountbatten-Windsor.
  • This was the surname that their four children grew up with until they came into their own titles.
  • Before the marriage, he had renounced his Danish and Greek titles. In February 1957, the Queen conveyed a title to him and returned him to his princely status.

A devilish humor

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The Duke of Edinburgh has a sense of humor that is typically British and also typical of his generation. My mum and dad were born in the same decade so it's a sense of humor I grew up with.

During his life, as the media has grown and expanded enormously, he developed a reputation for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.

A lot of this is exaggerated or taken out of context by today's press. However most English people like his straightforwardness and his humor, taking his comments as they are intended.

Quotes attributed to Prince Philip

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About marriage

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Is he a god?

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I promise, this is true.

In Vanuatu, formerly New Hebrides, there is an island called Tanna and several of the residents are practitioners of what is known as the Prince Philip Movement, in that they believe that Philip is a divine being and not a human at all.

Their religion tells them about a god who is fair haired and fair skinned who traveled overseas to marry a rich and powerful woman. They are convinced that the Duke of Edinburgh is that god.(Even if you are reading this on the first of April, I guarantee that it's true).

In 2007, a British television company made a reality TV show where they took five of the natives who have this belief to London. The finale of the program was a meeting, sadly not filmed, between the men from the Yaohnanen tribe and Prince Philip.

Wouldn't that have been something to see? I hope there's archive footage somewhere that is eventually released.

Prince Philip by Allan Warren
Prince Philip by Allan Warren | Source

November 2013

This video shows the Duke of Edinburgh, aged 92, laying a wreath at Ypres on November 11. (Is it me or do you think his eyes are watering?) So how ramrod straight he is and how elegantly he conducts himself.

This wonderful elderly gentleman was a war hero, he served loyally to his country as consort and provided the stability that the monarchy needed after the troubled times of the war.

Yet he has remained 'his own man'. He has never been a yes-man and has always been willing to state his opinions - whether they are popular views or not. His wife might rule the country but there's always the underlying feeling that Philip is in charge when it comes to running his family.

In this video he pays tribute to those lost in wartime.


The older the prince gets, the more he amazes me.See this video from his 93rd birthday.

Photography credits

All images from Wikipedia Commons.

© 2013 Jackie Jackson

Thanks for reading - please say hello

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    • ashleydpenn profile image

      ashleydpenn 

      4 years ago

      Great lens. I must admit I never knew he was also a Prince of Denmark... Thanks for sharing!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @CaztyBon: Thank you! Today we tend to see him as a sweet old man and he's certainly amazing considering he was born in 1921!

    • CaztyBon profile image

      CaztyBon 

      5 years ago

      I really enjoyed reading your perspective of Prince Phillip being American I don't know much about him or how the British feel about him. Thank You!!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Carol Houle: Thank you so much Carol! I really appreciate it.

    • Carol Houle profile image

      Carol Houle 

      5 years ago from Montreal

      I absolutely love your Brit lenses. I am voting for a purple star, for this is one of my favs.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @opatoday: Thank you! It's his 92nd birthday today and the poor guy is in hospital. Get well soon!

    • opatoday profile image

      opatoday 

      5 years ago

      This is great stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @greenmind: He's a fascinating character - and what a good old age too.

    • greenmind profile image

      GreenMind Guides 

      5 years ago from USA

      Nice lens -- I learned a lot about the Prince that I never knew!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @ruthlspurgeon: And it's going to get even more interesting when William and Kate have their baby in July. Thanks for reading!

    • ruthlspurgeon profile image

      ruthlspurgeon 

      5 years ago

      Interesting lens. I love the royal family.

    • DvdMovieGirl profile image

      DvdMovieGirl 

      5 years ago

      Good lens topic. He is certainly quite a well loved if not controversial character here in the UK, he does say some shocking things!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @JoshK47: Thank you for reading! Yes, the Royal Family has a lot of history and we're just on the brink of a new generation too.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 

      5 years ago

      Quite an interesting read - I've always been rather interested in British royalty. Thanks kindly for sharing!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Aunt-Mollie: Oh so do I. The Queen has been in hospital too recently. What a shame. But the lovely couple have a rigorous schedule that most people half their ages couldn't cope with. I hope they're both around for many more years to come.

    • profile image

      Aunt-Mollie 

      5 years ago

      I've read that his health is failing and that he's recently been in the hospital. I hope he lives long enough to see his great grandchild.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Fridayonmymind LM: I think they were better looking than William and Kate :)

    • Fridayonmymind LM profile image

      Fridayonmymind LM 

      5 years ago

      He was a pretty good looking when he was younger.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @CarrieLee2: Prince Philip certainly has had a fascinating life!

    • CarrieLee2 profile image

      CarrieLee2 

      5 years ago

      Very wonderful info here! I have been intrigued by the Brittish royalty for awhile, and this was wonderful! Thank you for the information!

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @CuAllaidh: Thank you for the visit! It's certainly fascinating. Today I think a lot of people (younger people) see the Queen and Prince Philip just as a couple of old people but they've had fascinating lives.

    • CuAllaidh profile image

      Jeff Johnston 

      5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      I consider myself a monarchist, but honestly I didn't know half this info about Philip, thanks for the info :D

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      5 years ago

      It was a great information on life of Prince Philip and his marriage to Queen Elizabeth...Kelly bushingwww.jankioiltools.com

    • profile image

      Auriel 

      5 years ago

      interesting lens.

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @lav777 lm: They are, aren't they? And sometimes you can see that there's still a definite sparkle between the two of them. So many people today say that Prince William is good looking but Prince Philip as a young man beat him hands down!

    • lav777 lm profile image

      lav777 lm 

      5 years ago

      wow... he was a real handsome guy even before... they are so compatible. :)

    • BritFlorida profile imageAUTHOR

      Jackie Jackson 

      5 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @pumpum: Thank you so much!

    • pumpum profile image

      pumpum 

      5 years ago

      Great lens!

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