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Vale, Prince Philip

Vale, Prince Philip
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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has passed away at Windsor Castle, at the age of 99. The news of the death of Queen’s Elizabeth II’s husband has seen a celebration of a most extraordinary life. Born on 10 June 1921, this year would have marked the 100th birthday of Prince Philip. How much do you know about this royal, who spent decades upon decades travelling as an ambassador for the United Kingdom alongside his wife, Queen Elizabeth II? To look at Prince Philip’s photos throughout the years is to understand more about the man who helped keep the British monarchy alive and well, sometimes quietly and other times not so quietly. To mark his passing, check out these images that tell the story of Prince Philip’s life.

Toddler life

Toddler life
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He was originally Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, and he was born on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921. The son of Prince Andrew and Princess Alice, he had an unconventional childhood marked with controversy. His family fled Greece when he was a baby, and his mother experienced mental health issues, which led her to become institutionalised (and not of her own choice). Looking at this early Prince Philip photo, taken in 1922 when he was just around just a year old, you’d never guess at commotion surrounding him.

Here are some surprising facts you probably didn’t know about Prince Philip.

Schoolboy days

Schoolboy days
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Despite his tumultuous family life, early Prince Philip photos reveal a child who doesn’t look unlike many of his peers. When he reached school age, the young prince attended the MacJannet American School in Saint-Cloud, France, outside Paris. Here, he engages in a round of archery with some classmates, appearing as though they are pretending to be Robin Hood. Can you spot the Queen’s future husband? Spoiler alert: He’s second from the left. It’s not all that surprising to see Philip engaging in sport at an early age, as he continued to participate in various games throughout his life.

Paying homage

Paying homage
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As previously mentioned, before he was Prince Philip of Edinburgh, he was Prince Philip of Greece. He’s pictured here around the age of nine, wearing traditional Greek garb. While there isn’t any context surrounding this photo, it’s interesting that he is photographed in attire associated with the country that his family fled when he was a baby. Later in life, Prince Philip would shed his ties to Greece and assume his mother’s surname, Mountbatten. We’ve heard the Mountbatten name a lot more recently, as it is part of the last name given to Harry and Meghan’s son, Archie.

Here 12 little known facts about Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren.

Stage star

Stage star
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Who would have thought that Prince Philip was a man of the theatre? Sure, we’ve seen the royal on many an occasion showing an appreciation for the arts, but apparently in his younger years (back in 1935, to be exact), he even took to the stage in a school production of Macbeth. Prince Philip would have been around 14 years old when this photo was taken of him wearing his costume and preparing to recite lines written by the Bard. Given the drama that has played out in the royal family over the years, learning the ins and outs of this tragedy may have been good preparation.

Pageant player

Pageant player
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Macbeth wasn’t Prince Philip’s only turn on the stage. He also played the role of one of the Three Wise Men at the school he attended throughout his teenage years, Gordonstoun School, located in Moray, Scotland. Self-described as a “co-educational independent school for boarding and day pupils,” it was also the same educational institution that his eldest son, Prince Charles, later attended. According to Vanity Fair, Prince Philip was one of the first students to attend this school, as it opened in 1934. This Christmas pageant photo was taken in 1938.

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Military time

Military time
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You might be wondering what Prince Philip did for work in between the time he graduated from high school and eventually met his wife, Queen Elizabeth (then a princess). After graduating from Gordonstoun, Philip enlisted as a cadet in the Royal Navy, according to Army Cadet History. After training at RNC Dartmouth, he went on to work as a midshipman on the HMS Ramillies in 1940. That stint was followed by time aboard the HMS Valiant, a battleship stationed in Alexandria. There are many Prince Philip photos of his time with the Royal Navy, but here he is pictured in 1947, giving a salute as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. This was just a few months before he and Queen Elizabeth married.

Royal wedding

Royal wedding
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As you can probably imagine, Elizabeth and Philip had quite an elaborate celebration when they married on November 20, 1947. According to the official royal website, their wedding cake was a 2.7 metres tall, and 2000 guests were invited to the ceremony. The service, performed at Westminster Abbey, aired on BBC Radio with an audience of 200 million people globally. Although their engagement was just four months long, Elizabeth and Philip had known each other for quite some time. They originally met at another royal wedding that took place in 1934, when Philip was a teenager.

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A true partnership

A true partnership
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Ahead of the wedding, Prince Philip was given the title The Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London. Try to say that three times fast! His first cousin David Mountbatten served as the best man at the wedding, while Elizabeth had eight bridesmaids. The Duke added a loving touch to the engagement ring he gave to Elizabeth: It used diamonds from a tiara that belonged to his mother, Princess Alice. Needless to say, the platinum and diamond bauble, which was crafted by jeweller Philip Antrobus, is a stunner.

The balcony wave

The balcony wave
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A royal wedding wouldn’t be complete without the iconic balcony wave. In this photo, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth (though at the time, still a princess) wave joyfully to the crowd of onlookers from the balcony at Buckingham Palace, just as we’ve seen more recently during the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Sadly, we didn’t get that great balcony moment with Harry and Meghan, who chose to marry at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, as opposed to the Buckingham-accessible Westminster Abbey. For the record, Elizabeth’s dress was designed by Sir Norman Hartnell, who had to submit designs in order to be considered.

 

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