A Prince of Greece with No Greek Blood: Prince Philip's Greek Origins

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June 10 marks the 103rd anniversary of the birth of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who began life far from the British royal circles he later graced.

Born on a kitchen table in Corfu on June 10, 1921, Philip was the fifth child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg.

Despite his title, Philip had no Greek blood, yet his early years were steeped in the turbulence of Greek history. Shortly after his birth, revolution erupted in Greece, leading to his family's exile. Accused of high treason, Prince Andrew faced the possibility of execution. The family fled their home, and the infant Philip was spirited away in an orange crate aboard a British warship, escaping to Paris.

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The journey marked the beginning of an unsettled childhood. The family took refuge in a house loaned by Princess George of Greece and Denmark, but stability remained elusive. Philip's mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and sent to a Swiss sanatorium, while his father lived on the French Riviera with his mistress. The family unit disintegrated, leaving young Philip to navigate life largely on his own.

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Philip's education saw him move from Cheam School in Surrey to a brief stint in Germany, where his sisters had married. He later attended Gordonstoun, a boarding school in Scotland, where he thrived despite personal tragedies, including the death of his sister Cecile in a plane crash and his uncle's sudden passing from cancer.

At Gordonstoun, Philip found solace and strength, excelling in sports and developing a lifelong passion for boats. His resilience was further tested during World War II, where he served with distinction in the Royal Navy, earning commendations for his bravery.

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His naval career led to a pivotal moment in 1943 when he visited Windsor Castle and met the young Princess Elizabeth. Their connection grew, and in 1947, Philip married Elizabeth, beginning a partnership that would last over seven decades. Following her accession to the throne in 1952, Philip dedicated himself to his role as consort, eventually founding the Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1956, a program that continues to impact youth globally.

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Philip's death on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99, was met with widespread mourning.

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Read more: Greek Royal Family

(Source: Daily Mail UK)


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