There's a lot we don't know about Prince Philip
The retired naval hero, great-grandfather – and oh yeah, also the Queen’s husband – turns 98 years old on June 10. Prince Philip has always been a bit cheeky compared to his more reserved wife, so here are some little-known facts she probably wouldn’t want to share.
Prince Philip wasn’t born a British subject
Queen Elizabeth II and her consort, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, have come to represent Britain itself in the 67 years she has been on the throne. But the Queen might not want you to know that her husband isn’t exactly British – at least he wasn’t until he married her. Before he was the Duke of Edinburgh, the young Philip was Prince of Greece and Denmark, nephew of the Greek king, and born on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921. He was not a British citizen, although his ancestry could be traced to multiple countries including Germany and England. “If anything, I’ve thought of myself as Scandinavian, particularly Danish,” he said in a 1992 interview. Although we may think of him as the quintessential English gentleman, he only renounced his titles and became a British citizen, choosing the name Philip Mountbatten, in preparation to marry then-Princess Elizabeth.
He had a turbulent childhood
In chin-up British fashion, the Queen and her husband aren’t very open about Prince Philip’s difficult early years. When the Greek royal family was ousted, his family fled the country with baby Philip lodged in a fruit crate. After settling in exile in France, Philip’s family went through more changes: his older sisters married and moved away, his father left, and his mother, who suffered from mental illness, entered a psychiatric hospital. “My mother was ill, my sisters were married, my father was in the south of France – I just had to get on with it,” the BBC reports he said. Young Philip was shuttled off to boarding schools in England, Germany, and Scotland for the rest of his childhood.