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With HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in the Hospital I thought I would have him as our featured royal.

Born on June 10, 1921 to HRH Prince Andreas of Greece and Denmark and HSH Princess Alice of Battenburg Prince Philip is a member of the House of House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg and a great-great grandson of Britain’s Queen Victoria and great grandson of Denmark’s King Christian IX. Despite his Danish and German ancestry the Duke of Edinburgh is very British and has lived the overwhelming majority in that country. In 1939 he joined the British Navy and on his 90th birthday Her Majesty the Queen awarded her husband with the rank of Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.

The Duke of Edinburgh met his future wife in 1939 when he was 18 and she was 13. In 1939 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. Upon the request of the Queen and Philip’s uncle, Earl Mountbatten, they asked him to escort Elizabeth and Margaret, who were Philip’s third cousins through Queen Victoria, and second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark, while their parents visited the facility. Philip and Elizabeth began a correspondence via letters and it seems Elizabeth with smitten with the tall blond prince on their first meeting. In 1946 Philip asked the king for permission to marry Elizabeth. This request was granted on the condition that it would not be announced until after the Elizabeth’s 21st birthday in April of the next year. The day before the wedding his wedding, King George VI bestowed the style His Royal Highness on Philip, and on the day of the wedding, 20 November 1947, King George VI granted Philip the titles of the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich.

The Duke of Edinburgh has been an excellent support to Her Majesty the queen. However, he has not been without controversy. The prince is no wall flower and often speaks his mind. Sometimes he would make and off-the-cuff remark or joke that would be taken either out of context or was not meant to be offensive but people would at times be offended but what he has said.

The princes has always been a very active man. He played polo until 1971 and then took up the sport of carriage driving. I worked at a historical house and have seen competitive carriage driving myself. I really enjoyed watching that and was happy that the prince took up that sport. Philip was also a skilled yachtsman and pilot.

It is difficult to capture a person’s life in a brief blog post. I tried to hit a few highlights today. I have a great respect for the Duke of Edinburgh and I wish him well and hopefully he will be back on his feet soon. This has been an extremely busy year for the Duke and the Queen. With the Jubilee celebrations and then the Olympics I question the wisdom of pushing two elderly people this hard, despite the fact that they have been in good health. Maybe next year it is time for Her Majesty to begin turning some of her responsibilities to the Prince of Wales? I am not a supporter of abdication but I do see the wisdom in the queen cutting back some and giving some duties to the prince of Wales and other members of the royal family.

 

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