Always by the Queen at 99: Prince Philip celebrates his birthday


LONDON – There will certainly be no noise. Count on it.

On Wednesday, when British Prince Philip turns 99, he will spend it quietly and in the same way that he spent most of his adult life: alongside Queen Elizabeth II.

The loyal consort plans a quiet lunch at Windsor Castle, where members of the royal family fled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some family members can call, but the palace says no more. Britain is still subject to coronavirus restrictions that limit the size of gatherings and Philip and the 94-year-old queen are well within the age group over 65 most vulnerable to coronavirus.

Last year was not easy for Philip, who retired from public life in 2017 after 65 years of supporting the Queen.

In November, his second son, Prince Andrew, 60, was forced to withdraw from all royal public office due to his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the death row American sex offender who died in prison. from New York. Two months later, Prince Harry, Philip’s grandson, and his wife, the former Meghan Markle, sparked fresh controversy when they announced that they were retiring from royal office in order to be able to find the independence in North America.

Wednesday’s birthday is just the last milestone for the man born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on June 10, 1921, amidst the upheaval that led to a military coup that overthrew his uncle, King Constantine of Greece, a few months later.

Her parents were Princess Alice of Battenberg, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and Prince Andrew of Greece.

King George V of England sent a Royal Navy cruiser to evacuate Philip’s family, and the toddler was taken to safety in an orange box camp bed. Young Philip went to school in Germany and Britain and rarely saw his parents when he was growing up.

In 1939 Philip joined the British army as a cadet at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. It was there that he was asked to escort Princess Elizabeth and her sister during a visit to the facility.

He served in the Royal Navy throughout World War II, winning mention in dispatches for service aboard the battleship HMS Valiant at Cape Matapan, on the Greek Peloponnese peninsula. Philip rose to the rank of commander, but his career ended when his wife became Queen Elizabeth II after the death of his father, King George VI, in 1952.

Philip had married the future queen at Westminster Abbey in 1947 when she was 21 years old and he was 26. He renounced his Greek title and King George VI made her the Duke of Edinburgh. At the coronation of Elizabeth in 1953, Philip swore to be “the man of the life and a lige member” of his wife, and he settled in a life supporting the queen.

Together they had four children – Charles, the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward; eight grandchildren, including Prince William, second in line of the throne and Harry; and eight great grandchildren.

At the time of his retirement from public life, Philip was the boss, president or a member of more than 780 organizations, including many charities. He had made 5,496 speeches, written 14 books, and made 637 individual visits abroad, in addition to hundreds of trips accompanying the Queen.

“I think a lot of people probably don’t know what he did because he doesn’t like adulation,” said Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine. “He doesn’t like glory. It just continues with. ”

For many, Philip was the man, a step or two behind the queen, who told jokes out of color and sometimes made headlines for being a little inappropriate.

It is not without controversy. New arrivals to the home of Windsor, such as the late Princess Diana and Prince Andrew’s ex-wife, Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, have reportedly run into him.

But Seward said such disagreements stemmed from Philip’s sense of duty to the monarchy as an institution.

He is, after all, a man who gave up his own independence and a promising naval career to marry the future queen at a time when the royal family was still recovering from the abdication of King Edward VIII a decade earlier. Elizabeth’s father only became king because his older brother, later known as the Duke of Windsor, refused to rule without the American divorce which became his wife – a decision that some considered to be shirking to his duty to the nation.

But Seward said that Philip’s contributions to the monarchy have been profound. He was recognized for having modernized the house of Windsor behind the scenes, made profitable the royal domains and supported in a formidable way the monarch.

“I think he shaped the queen’s reign very subtly, and people don’t really know what he did,” she said. “So he managed to do things without being noticed, what he wants. “


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