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Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Queen's Husband

As of October 2010, the Queen’s husband is the oldest surviving great-great grandchild of the longest serving British monarch in history, Queen Victoria. During his youth, he was regarded as one of the most dashing European Princes with his gorgeous physique and blindingly handsome look.

HALIFAX, NS - JUNE 29: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh leaves HMCS St John's after the International Fleet Review on June 29, 2010 in Halifax, Canada. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are on an eight day tour of Canada starting in Halifax and finishing in Toronto. The trip is to celebrate the centenary of the Canadian Navy and to mark Canada Day. On July 6th The royal couple will make their way to New York where the Queen will address the UN and visit Ground Zero. (Photo by Chris Jackson-Pool/Getty Images)
the Queen's Husband had been an Admiral of the British Royal Navy

His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh is now 89 years old. But the perk of youthfulness in his character still prevails. The Duke is popular in giving acerbic remarks even during public engagements, but the spike of this other side character, made him one of the most influential members of the British royal family.

Prince Philip was born His Royal Highness Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark and was sixth in line to the Greek throne before his marriage to Queen Elizabeth II in 1947. He renounced his place in the line of succession to the Greek throne to become a British subject and switched his religion from Greek Orthodox to Anglican. Prince Philip has a very distinguished royalty heritage; in fact he is more “royal” than Queen Elizabeth.

Born on June 10, 1921 in Corfu, Greece, Philip is directly descended from the Royal House of Glucksburg, Oldenburg whose royal members presently ruled the thrones of Denmark and Norway. He is the youngest and only son of Prince Andrew, son of King George I of Greece and Queen Olga (granddaughter of Czar Nicolas I of Russia). King George I was the brother of Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII of England (son and successor of Queen Victoria), Empress Marie of Russia and King Frederick VIII of Denmark. Through this lineage, Philip is Queen Elizabeth II’s second cousin once removed. His four older sisters, Princess Margarita, Princess Cecilia, Princess Theodora and Princess Sophia all married German Princes.

OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 30: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend a garden party at Government House on June 30, 2010 in Ottawa, Canada. The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh are on an eight day tour of Canada starting in Halifax and finishing in Toronto. The trip is to celebrate the centenary of the Canadian Navy and to mark Canada Day. On July 6th The royal couple will make their way to New York where the Queen will address the UN and visit Ground Zero. (Photo by Chris Jackson-Pool/Getty Images)

Philip’s mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, daughter of a German Prince, Louis of Battenberg, the first Sea-Lord of England at the outbreak of World War I, and his wife Princess Victoria of Hesse-Cassel. Princess Victoria was the daughter of Princess Alice, the Grandduchess of Hesse-Cassel, third child of Queen Victoria. The Empress Alexandra, wife of Czar Nicholas II of Russia (both massacred by the Bolshevics during the Russian revolution) was Philip’s great auntie through the Grandduchess of Hesse-Cassel. His maternal auntie, Louise, married the King of Sweden, Adolf VI. His grandfather was forced to relinquish his Princely title during the First World War because of the anti-German sentiments in England, so his cousin, King George V (grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II) made him the First Marquess of Milford-Haven, carrying the name Louis Mountbatten.

Philip’s parents separated when he was 9 years old, so he moved to England to live with his grandparents at Kensington Palace, he was raised by his maternal uncle, Lord Dickie Mountbatten, one of the most powerful men in the British royal court during those times. Through the supports of his rich relatives he matriculated at different exclusive schools in the British Isles, Cheams and Gordonstoun. Clearing the deck for a possible royal match, his uncle advised him to enroll in the Royal Navy School at Dartmouth, he then served the British Royal Navy as Lieutenant. Prince Philip, who was known as Philip of Greece through out his youth, had known his future wife all his life as they moved in the same circle and had spent several Christmas at Windsor Castle with the rest of the royal family. So newspapers around the world presumed the marriage was arranged as this was the common practice of the monarchy before the middle part of the 20th century.
ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 17: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip attend Royal Ascot Ladies Day on June 17, 2010 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images)
The Queen and Prince Philip during the Royal Ascot day

After he renounced his Greek royal title, Philip became Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, he regained his Princely title only after his marriage to the Queen. His father-in-law, King George VI, who was his second cousin through King Christian IX of Denmark, made him a British noble with titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Marrioneth and Baron Greenwich with a courtesy title of His Royal Highness. He is very close to Michael II, the ex-King of Romania and his first cousin through King George I of Greece.
LONDON - JUNE 12: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh watch the fly past from the balcony of Buckingham Palace at Trooping The Colour on June 12, 2010 in London, England. Trooping The Colour is the Queen's annual birthday parade and dates back to the time of Charles II in the 17th Century when the colours of a regiment were used as a rallying point in battle. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during the Trooping of Colours

Philip and Elizabeth married on November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey and had four children: The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, The Duke of York, Prince Andrew, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne and The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward. In February 1952, King George VI died while Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth were on a royal tour in Kenya, they returned home immediately after his wife swore an accession oath in their hotel at Kenya making her the second British monarch (after the first Hanoverian King, George I) to ascend the throne outside the British isles. After 1952, life had never been the same for the Prince.

Prince Philip was forced to resign his post in the royal navy to attend more on his present role as a Consort of the Queen. During his younger days, he was often met with several criticisms with his gaffe remarks made in public and his juvenile attitude, but Prince Philip is more of a serious, responsible and modern Consort. During his wife’s coronation as Queen of the United Kingdom, he declared he would be her “liege man of life and limb”, true enough, the Prince became very protective of the British monarchy all his life, he had been very watchful with what’s happening on the establishment he called “the firm”, he never permitted anything messy which might embarrass the reign of his wife, even to his children, he is the most disciplinarian, vigilant on every move that might be harmful to the British establishment. He became the Queen’s strongest support in every aspect running the monarchy.

The Duke of Edinburgh embraced his role as the Queen’s husband with dignity and profound loyalty, abiding the royal protocol and closely guarding the monarchy with dedication, he is the real strength behind the Queen’s courage. Almost 63 years in marriage and more than 58 years as Consort, the Prince remained devoted to his role, supporting his wife carrying her task as the ruling British sovereign, and though his age limits him to take frequent public appearances, he always make sure his presence is felt every time he took occasional engagements.

The Duke of Edinburgh still look dashing and irresistible at 89, his physical appearance still draws the remarkable and attractive personality he once had as a young man, and just like other Sovereign’s better-half ahead of him, his influence in the monarchy is formidable and impressive, making sure the royal court appeared worthy and dignified to the public.

And that’s what makes the Duke of Edinburgh more fascinating.

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