Today would have been Prince Philip’s 101st birthday.
He was a loyal and unwavering companion to his beloved wife, Queen Elizabeth II, for more than 73 years, before passing away peacefully on April 9, 2021.
Today, June 10, the royals and their fans across the world, will remember the Duke of Edinburgh.
Last year, the Queen marked what would have been her husband’s 101st birthday, by planting a newly bred rose named after him.
The rose, which is deep pink and dappled with white lines, was newly bred following Philip’s death.
It is also being sold to raise money for the Duke of Edinburgh’s living legacy fund.
In honour of what would have been a remarkable 101st birthday, we remember the man who devoted a lifetime to supporting his Queen and country.
Who is Prince Philip?
Prince Philip was born on the island of Corfu in Greece, on June 10, 1921, to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg.
In 1922, Philip’s uncle, King Constantine I of Greece, was forced to abdicate after the debacle of the Greco-Turkish War. Philip’s father, who was working in the army, was accused of treason. The family was forced into exile and left the Greek island on board HMS Calypso, a Royal Navy gunboat. Legend tells how then 18-month-old prince was carried in a makeshift cot fashioned out of an orange crate.
Philip’s family went to France, where they settled in the Paris suburb of Saint-Cloud. Philip’s mother was eventually committed to a psychiatric institution while his father relocated to the south of France, maintaining limited contact with the rest of the family.
Philip attended the MacJannet American School before he was sent to the United Kingdom to study at the Cheam School. During the 1930s, he relocated to a school in Germany and then moved again to Scotland’s Gordonstoun School, founded by Jewish headmaster Kurt Hahn following the rise of the Nazi party. Many of Philip’s family members remained in Germany, including his sisters, who married into German aristocratic circles.
During World War II, he served in the British Navy while in-law family members were on the opposing Axis side of the conflict.
Philip married Elizabeth Windsor (Queen Elizabeth II) on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey, in a ceremony broadcast throughout the world by radio.
On the morning of the wedding, Philip became the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich.
He and Elizabeth eventually had four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.
Prince Charles, their oldest child, is the heir apparent to the throne.
The Duke of Edinburgh devoted his life to royal service, taking on tens of thousands of engagements and accompanying the Queen on official visits to some 140 countries.
He retired from royal duties in 2017, at the age of 96.
On April 9, 2021, Prince Philip passed away peacefully.
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss,” a statement issued by Buckingham Palace read.
The funeral service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle was a quiet affair not only because of Prince Philip’s wishes, but also because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
His casket was also adorned with something very special, his personal flag.
The flag includes four square sections:
- The left corner- a yellow background with red hearts and blue dragons, which represent the Danish coat of arms.
- The top right – the white cross from the national flag of Greece.
- The bottom left – black and white vertical stripes to represent the Mountbatten family.
- The bottom right – a castle that represents Edinburgh, in honour of his title the Duke of Edinburgh.