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PRINCE PHILLIP – The Silent Support

This Saturday we were treated with the unfortunate news Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edingburgh’s passing. He lived to be 99, saw two world wars and upheld a 73 year marriage with Queen Elizabeth II. But who was this charismatic, pragmatic man that has left such a lasting impression on the royal family?

Prince Phillip was born into royalty. His ancestry can be traced back to the Greek and Danish royal families. As a child he was moved around from country to country. His family fled Greece and moved to France when he was young. He could speak French, English and German fluently! He later went on to serve in the Royal Navy after graduating to of his class in the academy in 1939, aged just 18. During the Second World War he fought for the British, against the Germans. Promotion to lieutenant followed on 16 July 1942. In October of the same year, he became first lieutenant of HMS Wallace, at 21 years old one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy.

TEATalk - Three of his sisters were married to German men, during the rise of the Nazis. Infact he fought against his brothers-in-law during World War II!

During this period, his courtship with then Princess Elizabeth begun. They would keep in touch via letters. Eventually in 1946, he would give up his Greek and Danish titles and take on his mother’s name, Mountbatten. The day before the wedding, King George VI bestowed the style of Royal Highness on Philip and, on the morning of the wedding, 20 November 1947, he was made the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London. Philip and Elizabeth were married in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey, recorded and broadcast by BBC radio to 200 million people around the world. And thus began one of the longest marriages in the Royal Family!

TEATalk - Since his siters were married to German Nazis, they were never invited to the wedding!

Together they have four children. Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. One might wonder though, why Prince Phillip was not “King” Phillip. This is because a woman who marries a King by de-facto becomes the Queen, but the husband of a queen never assumes the title of King! When a King dies, the Queen never takes over. The crown is passed down to next in line, be it an heir or an heiress! This is how at the tender age of 25, the Queen’s accession to the throne went forward, when her father, the Late George VI, passed away.