Often, posthumous articles written about a person’s life are somber. Prince Philip was 2 months shy of the century mark when he died, though, so don’t expect to see many references to “what he could have done” if he didn’t die, because “live to be 100” was pretty much all he missed out on. In addition to breathing air for 99 years, Prince Philip was also married for more than 7 decades to the same woman, whom most know is the Queen of England, Elizabeth II (who is also his third cousin… party on, Europe).
The Queen began her reign of England in 1952, not long after they wed, and Prince Philip was at her side up until his death last week. He was known for his quick wit that sometimes crossed the line and was taken as offensive speech, and rumors still exist that he was involved in Diana’s death among other scandals, but by the vast majority of accounts, he was a pleasant person to be around, cared for his loved ones, and believed strongly that “the purpose of the monarchy is to serve the people, not the other way around.”
Here is a closer look at his life as a husband to a queen regnant, and the monarchical legislation that led to him being an unintentional staple in the fight for the rise of the matriarchy over the last 70 years.
As a Kid…
The mainstream media can be a real headache, but cheers to them for shortening Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich to “Prince Philip.” He was born in Corfu, Greece (a beautiful island in the Mediterranean) though he spent the majority of his childhood in Great Britain. His father was a prince of Greece and Denmark, and his mother was the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria of England, so that matriarchal blood was a-coursing through his veins (and his future wife’s, as she was also related to the Queen).
It’s reported that he did not have a positive relationship with his father, though he always remained a loyal son.
After graduating school, Philip studied at the Royal Naval College and joined the Royal Navy following graduation. He served during World War II so he was a literal Nazi killer which is subjectively, rad!
During his military service, then-Princess Elizabeth got flustered over the man in uniform who also happened to be eligible royalty, and the two got married. Jokes aside, they actually have a pretty romantic story. Elizabeth first met Philip when he was about to leave for the Navy, when she was only 13 and he was 18. She thought he had “viking good looks” which is somewhat comical to those who only knew him in his later years. So the story goes, she remained lovestruck until she was old enough to speak on it, and he did not play hard to get. 70 years later, they were still having tea every day.
A few years after the marriage, Elizabeth assumed the crown, making her the Queen of England. Almost immediately, Philip left the military, denounced his rights to the Greek and Danish thrones, and stood next to his wife as she began her reign. The couple would have three sons and a daughter together, and during the Queen’s royal duties, Prince Philip was the one in charge of raising the children.
His only daughter touted his selflessness following his death, also noting “his ability to treat every person as an individual” was one of her favorite things about him. Prince Andrew also spoke highly of his father as a caregiver, and added that he was “the grandfather of the nation.” The other two sons shared similar accolades, both pointing to an unfillable void left by their father.
Drama – Past and Present
Prince Philip did have his fair share of scrutiny from the public eye during his century as a popular figure, including a reputation as a party boy and womanizer, with many accusations of cheating. Those close to him said he was flirtatious, but always true to his Queen, and she certainly seemed to like having him around. He also had a few slip ups regarding social issues, as most aging white men do, but had a lot of moments worthy of respect, as well, which a lot of aging white men do not.
Much more intense are the accusations some still hold that he was responsible for Princess Diana’s death, but that is a long, long story, for another day. Even still, the general view on him in the years preceding his death seemed to be positive, and the funeral, slated to take place April 17, is expected to be attended by many respected figures from across the globe.
It will be the first time Prince William and Prince Harry will meet face to face since the infamous Oprah interview last month, and the recent comments from prince Andrew regarding his father were the first he made since being tied to Jeffrey Epstein in 2019.
With that, his funeral is shaping up to be a microcosm of his life… A lot of great things to be talked about, laughs expected, but plenty of drama that will be unavoidable given the media presence. Meghan Markle will be staying in California, “at the advice of her doctors,” and she is, indeed, pregnant. Just another storyline in the life (and now death) of Prince Philip.