The whole world mourns at the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh
Not a lot of people know much about the late Prince or what kind of a life he led, especially the younger generation. It is quite natural that the spotlight will be on the one with the crown and the next heir. But Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was one of the most senior members of the British royal family and the husband of the longest-reigning monarch in British history, Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Philip got married to the queen on 20 November 1947.
Prince Philip’s family heritage
Prince Philip was born into royalty, being the only son among four other siblings—he was from birth in the line of succession to two thrones. His father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, similarly also had a military background. At the time, Greece’s unstable political situation caused Prince Andrew (Prince Philip’s father) to fall out of favour with the then reigning political parties.
The late prince received his education from Gordonstoun School, a private school on the north coast of Scotland. The school that he claimed to have channelled his traits as a tough and independent individual and sparked one of Philip’s great passions, his love for the sea.
According to the royal family traditions, King George VI (Prince Philip’s father-in-law) bestowed the style of “Royal Highness” on Philip and was made the Duke of Edinburgh. The wedding of the couple was the first royal wedding to be televised. Highlights of the event were screened later that day.
A few notable incidents
Prince Philip was married to Queen Elizabeth for over 73 years and was the longest-serving consort of the British monarchy for 69 years and 62 days. In May 2017, he officially stepped down from royal duties with a few health issues.
Like every public figure, Philip was in the spotlight for most of his life. There were times when his actions were considered very questionable. For instance, during a state visit to China in 1986, Prince Philip told a group of British students studying at Xian University, “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.” There were other incidents where his temper would be very visible, something the royal household does not show in public and is quite frowned upon. The most infamous example is of the time when he pointed at a photographer and said “Just take the f***ing picture” in order to grab his attention. There were many other incidents where he had made comments which are inadmissible by today’s standards.
His grandson Harry and his wife Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who currently resides in America, are expected to attend the funeral, though no plans for it have been announced yet. While the royal family still divided and Meghan being pregnant, it is unlikely that she might attend. This could be a pivotal moment for the royal family. Though the couple has changed the homepage of their non-profit organization Archewell’s site stating, “In loving memory of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. Thank you for your service…you will be greatly missed.”
Photo: Prince Philip and his grandson Harry
After finishing his studies at Gordonstoun, he joined the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. During the second world war, he served in the British forces. Interestingly, with two of his brothers-in-law fighting on the opposing German side. By the age of 21, he was one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy.
Queen Elizabeth II in previous speeches has mentioned how important the role of Prince Philip was in building the modern-day monarchy. The queen famously described him as her “strength and stay” at their 50th wedding anniversary.
World leaders and diplomats from all around the globe paid tribute and sent condolences to the Royal family. Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of Prince Philip. She wished eternal peace for the departed soul and conveyed her profound sympathy for the royal family.