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Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh
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 PhilipClick thumbnail to view full-size
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
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
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
Is he a god?
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.
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.
All images from Wikipedia Commons.
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© 2013 Jackie Jackson