10 Facts You May Not Know About The Late Prince Philip

Credit: https://www.esquire.com/uk/latest-news/a36074402/prince-philip-tributes-tweets-posts-celeberities/

After 73 years of marriage, Queen Elizabeth – and the world – bid farewell to her husband, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, as he was laid to rest last month, aged 99. The Duke was best known as the Queen’s husband, always two steps behind out of respect, deferring to her in public and putting duty, service and sacrifice to the Crown first, always.

While he may have only been the Queen’s husband to the public, Prince Philip in his own right lived a rather extraordinary life. In honour of the Duke’s passing, we share some little known facts about the man who spent his life in the Queen’s shadow. May his legacy of good works live on.

Prince Philip was born royal

Prince Philip didn’t only gain a title on marrying the Queen. Prince Philip was born Prince of Greece and Denmark. He also wasn’t a British citizen. “If anything, I’ve thought of myself as Scandinavian, particularly Danish,” he said in a 1992 interview.

He was the longest service consort (the spouse of a reigning monarch) in British Royal history.

He was incredibly passionate about a variety of causes, often well ahead of the times, particularly with issues around research, science, innovation and the environment. He may have joked that he was merely the “world’s most experienced plaque unveiler,” but Prince Philip was an incredibly hard worker and knowledgeable in many diverse areas of interest. Even after retiring, he still supported 780 organisations!

He had many interesting hobbies and was said to be incredibly talented. He was an avid reader and watercolour painter and loved birdwatching. 

He overcame a very rocky childhood. His family had to flee Greece, with baby Philip supposedly in a fruit crate, his father was absent and his mother was sent to a psychiatric hospital. Young Philip was shuffled between older sisters, boarding school and other relatives in a very unsettled childhood. The Duke himself, years later, said he didn’t have a home as a child. 

He was a closet foodie. Both the Queen and the Duke were said to favour simple dishes and both disliked oysters. However, of the two, Prince Philip was said to be the most adventurous eater, eager to sample new ingredients and dishes.

He helped create a sport – carriage driving. After giving up polo at the age of 50, the Duke turned to old fashioned carriage driving, even helping establish international rules for the sport and writing a book about it, Competition Carriage Driving.

The Queen and Prince Philip first met when they were teenagers, the Queen aged just 13. Their romance may not have been the conventional sort, but the stolen glances, humour and teamwork that was evident in their marriage, not to mention how long it lasted, proved that theirs was indeed a match of love.

Prince Philip changed his name. His birth name was Philippos Andreou Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg. However, when he married the Queen and became a naturalised British subject, he changed his name and surname to sound more “British.”

One fact that is well known – his cheeky sense of humour. Infamous for making more than one inappropriate remark over the years, Prince Philip’s directness and naughty sense of humour did endear himself to many – especially for bringing humour (and humanity, some might say) into staid, official functions and a little bit of fun to the stiff British upper lip. 



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