WThe hen Elizabeth of York first encountered Prince Philip, not intending to become queen. She was seven years old to her aunt, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, as she married the Duke of Kent at Westminster Abbey, while 12-year-old Philip was attending as the bride’s first cousin. The children barely spoke – but foreign newspapers had already listed Prince Philip as a royal husband fit for a little princess through Queen Victoria.
When they met again, five years later, in 1939, everything had changed. Elizabeth’s uncle Edward VIII was raised three years ago. His father was now king and he was the heir to the throne. Philip was an 18-year-old naval cadet. And Europe was on the verge of catastrophic conflict and World War II was about to begin.
“How high he can jump!” Elizabeth told Marion Crawford in July 1939 when she saw Philip leaping over the tennis net at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. Elizabeth lived a very sheltered life with her family, spending most of her time with her sister and Reigns. While visiting the college with her parents and sister, she was dazzled by the star cadet, who would soon be away from active service. Elizabeth’s fascination was evident to all and most grateful to Philip’s uncle, Dickie Mountbatten, who hoped to encourage a marriage – himself as the power behind the throne.
When the royal party left Dartmouth on the Royal Yacht, all the cadets followed in their small boats – until the king instructed them to return to shore. In addition to Philip, Elizabeth looked at him through binoculars, as Elizabeth saw.
Philip and his family fled to Greece when he was a child. The family was established in Paris, but disbanded. His mother was placed in an asylum and his father took concubines. Philip was sent to schools and flourished in Gordonston, Scotland before moving to Dartmouth. With no parenting to speak, she was very close to her sisters, but when she was eight months old, her favorite Cecil died in a plane crash. Others were married to German officials – placing Philip and his family on opposite sides in the war.
During the war, Philip wrote to Elizabeth and in 1943 came to live for Christmas. Elizabeth was 17 years old and a young woman. Philip found her very attractive. She was not only charming and funny, but she was cheerful and practical, unlike her fragile mother.
At the end of the war, Philippe came to Elizabeth with serious intentions and took her to music and restaurants or dined in the nursery with Princess Margaret. Palace was doubtful about the match. The king and queen wished to “see more of the world” before marrying, and the courtiers discussed how Philip “is no gentleman,” “ill-tempered,” and possibly fickle – he wrote “no definite” on visitors’ books. Diode “. All mistreated Dickie Mountbatten, his abused uncle. The government was impressed by his background: as one courtier said, “It was all tied into one word, ‘Germany.”
Elizabeth refuses to make excuses. She had been determined on Philip since the age of 13 and the war only intensified the romance. The king gave and the engagement was announced on 8 July 1947, the date of marriage was fixed on 20 November. Philip became a naturalized British subject, adopted the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents and was made Duke of Edinburgh.
There was concern that a country deep in the post-war recession might think of a grand wedding. But Winston Churchill chose grandeur, stating that “we have a flash of color on a hard road to travel.” Royal guests from around the world came to see the princess’s wedding in a silk dress embroidered with 10,000 pearls. Among those not strongly invited were Philip’s three sisters, his German husband and former Duke of Windsor, the former Edward VIII, and his wife Wallis Simpson.
On the day of Westminster Abbey, Princess Elizabeth made her vows and promised to obey her husband, something that would be technically impossible if she was the queen.
And yet the fight had just begun. Philip was used to an active life and was pursued in an admiralty desk job. The couple’s first two children, Charles and Anne, were born in 1948 and 1950 and the family settled in Clarence House, where Philip took up renovation. Philip was stationed in Malta and Elizabeth used to visit him once a month. There, Elizabeth was free to be the wife of just one officer, away from the headlines.
In early 1952, Elizabeth and Philip visited Kenya. He began with a retreat on “Treetops”, which was located at a watering hole in Aberdare National Park. On the night of February 9, 1952, George VI died in his sleep. After reaching the royal staff, Philip informed his wife that his beloved father had died and returned to London.
The death of the king was a terrible blow to both Elizabeth and Philip. The emperor was in poor health for 56 years, despite being relatively young at the age of 56. Elizabeth and Philip expected many years of relative freedom. Now Philip was the queen’s husband and everything changed.
The family had to relocate from Clarence House to the less intimate Buckingham Palace. Philip had to give up his naval role. And Elizabeth’s grandmother, Queen Mary, speaks of the royal surname.
Philip believed that his wife’s surname was Mountbatten – and that his uncle Dickie had a grudge about the Royal House of Mountbatten. But Winston Churchill and Queen Mary were determined: the name should remain as Windsor. Philip was heartbroken: “I am nothing but a bloody amoeba.”
When their young children were born – Andrew in 1960 and Edward in 1964 – the Queen issued an order that any male descendant who was not given the title Prince or Royal Highness was “Mountbatten-Windsor”. It was a small victory.
Philip faced prejudice against his efforts to play a larger role for himself. He was opposed to chairing Elizabeth’s Coronation Commission and his efforts to create a system of awards for service, The Duke of Edinburgh Awards, were met with shocking derision by a minister, stating that it was “Hitting Youth.” Sounded like “.
However, with patience, hard work and her continued dedication to assist and support the Queen in her duties, Prince Philip received the respect and affection of the government and the people alike.
Philip had a keen interest in technology and was the first royal to be interviewed on television when he discussed the young trainees on BBC Panorama with Richard Dimbleby in 1961. Phillip was involved in the 1969 “Documentary”, a documentary. When the nation shows the family at home – including shots of Phillip barbecuing sausages.
Philip was a patron of more than 800 organizations, and, like his grandchildren, was particularly concerned with wildlife and the environment: he was president of the World Wildlife Fund from 1961 to 1982.
The Duke was particularly fond of the young royals and will be most poignantly remembered by many for supporting his grandchildren, William and Harry, as they lay behind the coffin of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, before the funeral. Passed through the streets of London. In September 1997.
The monarchy’s popularity waned after Diana’s death, but by the time of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, celebrations across the country were evident by the British public’s enthusiasm for the royal family.
Through the ups and downs, the duke was the firm companion of the queen. He is the longest-married emperor and the duke was the longest serving current union in the world. At the age of 99, he lived longer than any other descendant of Queen Victoria.
An active, intelligent man, it was not always easy to walk one step behind the queen. But, as Prince William put it, “He set aside his personal career to fully support him, and he never takes the limelight.”
The Duke took up the challenge with grace and dignity and never left the Queen. As Queen stated in her Diamond Jubilee speech in 2012, she has been his “constant strength and guide”.