Philip was born in Corfu, Greece in June of 1921. His father was Prince Andrew or Denmark and Greece and his mother Princess Alice of Battenberg giving him the tile of Prince in both Greece and Denmark. His uncle was King of Greece, Constantine I, who ruled Greece during the Greco-Turkish War and was forced to abdicate his throne thereafter.
Philip was the youngest of five children and the only son. He was baptized Greek Orthodox. At the tender age of eighteen months he and his family was exiled to France after his father’s arrest by revolutionary tribunal. The HMS Calypso spirited them to safety. They lived with Princess George of Denmark and Greece, a wealthy aunt, while in France where Philip and his sisters spent their early childhood and educationally formative years learning to speak fluent English, French, and German at the Elms School in Paris.
Mon Repos, Philips’ birthplace on Corfu in Greece.(left)
In 1929 Philip was sent to live at Kensington Palace in England with his maternal grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven and his uncle, George Mountbatten the 2nd, Marquess of Milford Haven at Lynden Manor in Bray, Berkshire.
Kensington Palace. (right)
In 1933 Philip attended a school owned by his family’s brother-in-law, Berthold Margrave of Baden. It was called Schule Schloss Salem in Germany. He stayed there for two years and then moved to Scotland in 1937 where his siter and her husband, the hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse, were living with their family and in-laws after Germany had become to hateful and tumultuous toward the Jew’s. He struck a sort of pen-pal relationship with the then thirteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth whom he had first met in 1934. They were third cousins.
Schule Schloss Salem in Germany. A very elite boarding school.
As fate would have it, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, and Princess’ Elizabeth and Margaret were visiting the Royal Naval College when Lord Mountbatten asked Philip to escort the Princesses around the campus. Princess Elizabeth and Philip became enamored with one another and exchanged letters for a number of years thereafter.
Philip joined the British Royal Navy in 1939 after attending the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. He was eighteen then. Philip returned to Greece and moved in with his mother in Athens for a month in the middle of his studies. His cousin, Greek King George II beseeched him to go back to England to complete his training for the Royal Navy. He did and graduated the following year.
The Royal Naval College.
He served during World War II in the Mediterranean and Pacific Fleets serving against his two brothers-in law who both fought for Germany which must have been a terrible undertaking. Philip was given the title Midshipman in 1941 where he spent the next four months aboard the battleship HMS Ramillies in the areas surrounding Australia and the Indian Ocean. He also served on the HMS Kent and HMS Shropshire in Ceylon and then aboard the HMS Valiant in the Mediterranean Fleet. That same year Philip took a series of courses and qualifying exams in Portsmouth that gave him the commission of Sub-Lieutenant. He scored the top on four out of five sections. He was engaged in the battle of Crete, the battle of Cape Matapan and was awarded the Greek War Cross.
Mid-year 1942 Philip was awarded V and W class destroyers and acted as flotilla lead aboard the HMS Wallace. A bit later that year he moved up in rank to First Lieutenant. He was a mere 21 years old and one of the youngest of that rank in the Royal Navy.
In 1944 Philip was given a new destroyer, the HMS Whelp. He remained on that ship until 1946 when he was asked to become an instructor at the HMS Royal Arthur. HMS Royal Arthur was a school located in Corsham, Wiltshire that served the Petty Officers in the Royal Navy.
Prince Philip left military service in 1952 at the rank of Commander when Elizabeth officially became Queen. They had never lost contact with one another and their relationship had deepened to an abiding and mutual love.
In 1947 he asked King George VI to wed his eldest daughter Elizabeth. Prior to their wedding in November of 1947 Phillip dropped his Danish and Greek titles and became a naturalized British citizen taking his maternal grandparents surname Mountbatten, Baron of Greenwich, and Earl of Merioneth. He was also given the title of Royal Highness the day prior to his marriage to Queen Elizabeth.
Elizabeth and Philip at their wedding in 1947. Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh. (left)
They were wed at Westminster Abbey. The ceremony was broadcast on BBC radio and recorded. Two million people watched and listen in. They honeymooned at the Mountbatten Home in Broadlands.
Mountbatten family residence. Hampshire, England. Where they honeymooned. (below right)
The Duke and Duchess took up residence at Clarence House. Two of their children were born prior to Elizabeth becoming Queen. Prince Charles in 1948 and Princess Ann in 1952. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had four children. (Prince Charles of Wales, Princess Ann, Prince Andrew/Duke of York, and Prince Edward/Earl of Wessex)
Clarence House. Where they resided until the Duchess became Queen. (left)
The Duke continued his military career after their marriage. His first task was that manning a desk at the Admiralty and then teaching courses at the Naval Staff College in Greenwich, England. Because of his status (First Lieutenant) he was stationed in Malta after serving aboard the HMS Chequers (lead destroyer in the Med Fleet.)
Philip was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1950 and Commander in 1952 where he commanded the HMS Magpie.
King George’s health began to flag in 1951 and both Elizabeth and Philip were appointed Privy Council. They had just returned from a coast-to-coast tour of Canada.
In 1952 they embarked upon touring the Commonwealth of Nations. A 54-state territory of the British Empire. King George died in February of that year and the returned to Brittan.
There was a lot of talk about which house name to use for the new Queen to which House of Windsor was finally selected because Queen Mary still held considerable sway. Duke
Philip was less than pleased since he wanted his children to share his name. Elizabeth was Coronated Queen of England in 1953.
The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth, 1953.
Queen Elizabeth, Duke Philip and their four children. (left)
Throughout 1956 and 1957 Duke Philip commanded the HMY Brittania traveling to Antarctica and Melbourne, Australia for the Summer Olympics.
HMY Britannia. (right)
In 1957 the Duke of Edinburgh finally was bestowed the title of Prince Philip and appointed the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. Prince Philip headed many philanthropic foundations during his time as Prince. During his marriage with Queen Elizabeth he has appeared in over twenty-two thousand official solo engagements.
In 2017 Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrated seventy years of marriage. This Platinum Anniversary marking them as the first Monarchs to reach that milestone.
The Queen and Prince were vaccinated in January of 2021 against Covid 19. He was treated for a heart condition in early March and died on April 9th just two months before he would turn one hundred years old. May his memory be eternal.