Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, passed away today at the age of 99. Buckingham Palace had announced, “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
Queen Elizabeth had once shared, “[Prince Philip] is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments, but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.”
While he has been under the spotlight all his life, there are many interesting facts that you might not know about him.
1. Queen Elizabeth is his third cousin.
Prince Philip was her second cousin once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark. And they were third cousins through Queen Victoria! In fact, Duke of Edinburgh’s uncle was King George V of England, Elizabeth’s grandfather.
2. Prince Philip wasn’t born on his official birth date.
Officially, Prince Philip was born on June 10, 1921. But he was born in Greece. And at that time, the country was following the Julian calendar. So, technically, he was actually born on May 28, and not on June 10!
3. Prince Philip’s family was forced to flee Greece.
Losing World War I and the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–22 hit the Germans hard. It eventually led to the abdication of Philip’s uncle, Constantine I. And because of that Philip’s family was forced into exile.
Prince Philip was carried in a wooden fruit crate when the family fled the country.
4. Prince Philip’s original surname is actually quite a mouthful.
Before he adopted the surname Mountbatten, his original father’s family’s name was: Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.
5. Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II first met when she was just 13 years old.
“He gave her a tour of the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, and she was impressed with him from the start,” says Harris. They soon became pen pals and after seven years of dating, Prince Philip asked King George VI for his daughter’s hand in marriage. They had to wait a year before getting at the King’s request.
6. Prince Philip was the only 5th male consort in British royal history.
Royal family has been patriarchal since the beginning of times. And usually that means that the male heir gets the preference in the hierarchy.
7. Duke of Edinburgh wasn’t Prince Philip’s only title.
He also held the titles – Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich in the County of London, Knight of the Garter, a Privy Counsellor, and was a member of the British House of Lords until 1999.
8. Prince Philip was in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrender during World War II.
After the outbreak of the Second World War, Philip joined the Royal Navy in 1939. Prince Philip was eventually posted to a British destroyer, HMS Whelp, in 1945. The ship was in Tokyo Bay when Japan surrendered on September 2, 1945. He later recalled, “200 yards away. You could see what was going on with a pair of binoculars.”
9. Duke Of Edinburgh was the first royal family member to be ever interviewed on television.
Philip was interviewed by the BBC. It was aired on their flagship current affairs program, Panorama, on May 29, 1961.
10. Prince Philip was also the first royal family member to cross the Antarctic circle.
Prince Philip was on a 40,000-mile “diplomatic mission” in 1957. In the globe-spanning mission, the Prince went to the most southerly of the Earth’s five major circles of latitude. And by doing so, he became the first British royal ever to venture into Antarctic waters.
11. Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-lived male royals in history.
Philip was the longest-lived male royal in the British history. And his 73-year marriage to the Queen has remained the longest in royal history.
12. Before his retirement, the Duke of Edinburgh was one of the busiest royals.
When it was officially announced that the Duke would step back from public life, he had appeared at more than 22,000 official events and delivered some 5500 speeches in his lifetime.
13. Prince Philip called Queen Elizabeth II “mon petit chou” which translates to ‘my little cabbage’
“Mon petit chou” literally means “my little cabbage.” But a more likely meaning is “my little pastry puff.”
14. The diamond on the Queen’s engagement ring came from Prince Philip’s estranged mother’s tiara.
He made a bracelet for the Queen with the leftovers. They have time and again proven they have the most beautiful love story.