“All roads lead to Greece” as many of us believe and it seems that even the British Royal Family is no exception to this – our take on the old proverb of medieval origin.
As Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, prepares for his 100th birthday on the 10th June of this year, an article in the Daily Mail uncovers 100 fascinating facts about him that you most probably never knew.
Or in some hilarious cases, never wanted to know.
Taken from a new book by veteran Royal watcher Ian Lloyd, The Duke: 100 Chapters In The Life Of Prince Philip, the list unearths some interesting particulars pertaining to the Greek background of the Prince and his Greek connections.
1. The Duke of Edinburgh was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on 10 June 192 to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg on the Greek Island of Corfu in the family’s villa, ‘Mon Repos’.
2. Now, Queen Victoria’s oldest surviving great-great-grandchild, Prince Philip was sixth in line to the Greek throne at birth.
3. Philip was the fifth child of Princess Alice, 36. Her doctor thought it more expedient for her to give birth on the Mon Repos villa dining room table rather than in her bed, Lloyd reveals.
4. Philip’s father Prince Andrew was the son of King George I of Greece.
5. When George was assassinated in 1913, Prince Andrew’s brother Constantine (Philip’s uncle) became king.
6. Although born in Greece, Prince Philip’s family was exiled from the country when he was an infant after his uncle, the King Constantine, was forced to abdicate after Greece the loss of the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922.
Philip’s father, who was working in the army at the time, was accused of treason and banished, fleeing to Paris with his family.
7. An aunt, Princess George of Greece, documented a list of her willing extramarital sexual partners in unpublished memoirs, The Men I Have Loved.
She believed the closer the clitoris to the vagina, the more chance a woman has of achieving an orgasm – and had her own clitoris surgically shifted in that direction.
It didn’t work.
9. Philip’s mother converted to the Greek Orthodox Church but suffered delusions, thinking she was in a sexual relationship with Jesus and that she had a signed photo from him.
She was later reportedly diagnosed with schizophrenia was confined to a sanatorium in Switzerland.
10. The first time Elizabeth, then eight, and Philip, 13, saw each other was at the wedding of her uncle, the Duke of Kent, to Philip’s cousin Princess Marina of Greece, on November 29, 1934.
11. Philip signs himself with the Greek ‘P’
12. In January 1941 Philip joined the battleship HMS Valiant, helping convoy troops to bolster the British Expeditionary Force in Greece.
He manned the searchlights, identifying enemy targets. He later recalled one dramatic battle, saying: ‘All hell broke loose.’
13. The first Christmas card that Prince Philip ever sent to the then Princess Elizabeth, now Queen Elizabeth II and his wife of 74 years, he sent from Athens in 1939.
14. On his wedding day, November 20, 1947, Philip wore his naval uniform with the stars of the Order of the Garter and the Greek Order of the Redeemer.
Extracts taken from ‘The Duke: 100 Chapters in the Life of Prince Philip”, by Ian Lloyd.