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Prince Philip's Biography

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Who was Prince Philip?

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was born Prince of Greece and Denmark on 10 June 1921 in Corfu.

Prince Philip was the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg, the sister of Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

According to the BBC's profile, Prince Philip: The Iron Duke:

"His father was banished from Greece when he was a year old, and so young refugee Philip travelled to Britain in a crib made from an orange box.

"His deaf mother and gambling father split up and the young prince spent his childhood being passed from the pillars of English prep schools to the posts of European family homes."

In 1947, Prince Philip became a naturalised British subject and married the Queen, at the time Princess Elizabeth. The marriage took place in Westminster Abbey on 20 November. They were distantly related on both his father and mother's side of the family.

Prince Philip went to schools in France, England, and Germany before becoming Head of School at Gordonstoun.

He spent World War II in the Royal Navy and was First Lieutenant of the HMS WHELP, which was in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered.

After the war, Prince Philip remained in the Royal Navy, going on to become Commander, until the death of his father-in-law, King George VI. Although he gave up active duties, after The Queen's accession, Prince Philip still remained closely attached to the navy, as well as to the other armed forces.

He mastered 59 types of aircraft including 9 helicopters.

The Queen and Prince Philip had four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

Notable amongst the Duke of Edinburgh's public roles were President Emeritus of WWF (World Wildlife Fund), and Patron and Chairman of Trustees of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme.

By his own admission Prince Philip was capable of the odd faux-pas. In 1960 he told the General Dental Council:

"Dentopedalogy is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it. I have been practising it for years."

In November 2007, the Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.

On 18 April 2009, the Duke of Edinburgh became the longest serving consort in British history, overtaking the 57 years and 70 days by Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, wife of King George III.

In December 2011, the Duke of Edinburgh was treated in hospital for a blocked coronary artery.

On 4 May 2017, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Philip was retiring from royal duties.

In January 2019, Prince Philip emerged from his Land Rover, which he was driving, without severe injuries, after a crash on the A149 near Sandringham.

The Duke of Edinburgh died aged 99 on 9 April 2021. He was buried in St George's Chapel in Windsor.

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