Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II's husband and the longest-serving consort of any British monarch, has died at age 99.
Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband and the longest-serving consort of any British monarch, has died at age 99. Philip spent 65 years supporting the queen, retiring from his public role in 2017 and staying largely out of the view since.
In his active years, he helped set a new course for the monarchy under a young queen, championing Britain itself, as well as environmental causes, science, and technology. Philip’s relationship with the young Princess Elizabeth began as a story of young love.
“We behave as though we had belonged to each other for years,” Elizabeth wrote in a letter to her parents shortly after they married.
Over the years, the queen acknowledged Philip’s deep influence on her, calling him her “strength and stay” in a speech on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997.
Born on June 10, 1921, on the Greek island of Corfu, he was the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, and Princess Alice of Battenberg. Greece’s king, Philip’s uncle, was forced to abdicate when Philip was a baby, and the family fled to Paris, with Philip famously carried to safety in a crib made from an orange box.
At age 7, he moved to England, where he lived at Kensington Palace, now home to Prince William. Philip lived there with his paternal grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, and later attended Gordonstoun, a boarding school in Scotland.
The intensely private prince will likely be remembered for his early efforts to help modernize the royal family’s image during a time of great change for Britain and the world, especially at the outset of Elizabeth’s reign in 1952. He also developed a reputation for the occasional brusque comment and crass, if not racist jokes.
Unlike many men of his generation, Philip took an active role in raising his children. Prince Charles was born in 1948, and his sister, Princess Anne, two years later. There was a nearly 10-year gap before Prince Andrew was born in 1960, and Prince Edward arrived in 1964.
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