Sunday, June 10, 2012

91 Facts about Prince Phillip, Duke of Endinburgh

  1. He was born in Greece on 10 June 1921. 
  2. At birth, he was a Prince of Greece and Denmark. 
  3. At his birth, he was in line for the Greek throne.
  4. His father died when he was 23 years old.
  5. His mother died when he was 48 years old. 
  6. He met his future wife when he was only 13 years old. 
  7. He had three older sisters, all of which who married to German princes or noblemen.
  8. He has outlived his parents,4 sisters, 7 nephews, and 3 nieces so far.
  9. He was educated throughout Europe during World War I. He attended:
    1.  an American School in Paris
    2. Cheam School
    3. Schule Schloss Salem
    4.  Gordonstoun School
    5. Royal Naval College, Dartmouth
  10. His mother was placed in an asylum after being diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1931. He rarely saw her for the next 10 years. She moved into Buckingham Palace with her son, daughter-in-law and four grandchildren for the final two years of her life.
  11. After his mother was institutionalized, his father moved to Monaco, and the young prince was bounced around from relative to relative-first to a school that was owned by his sister's husband's family, then off to the school that was attended by his three sons and two eldest grandchildren.
  12. In 1937 and 1938, numerous close relatives of his died: his sister Cecile, her husband, two young sons and mother-in-law were killed in an air crash at Ostend and his uncle and guardian Lord Milford Haven died of bone cancer. 
  13. He left Gordonstoun in 1939, and attended the Royal Naval Academy from 1939-1940, where he graduated as the Top Cadet in his class. 
  14. After graduation, he spent four months on the battleship HMS Ramillies, protecting convoys of the Australian Expeditionary Force in the Indian Ocean, followed by shorter postings on HM Ships Kent, Shropshire and in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).
  15. The Prince first met the love of nearly sixty years now in 1934, when he was 13 years old and she was only 8 years old at a mutual cousin Princess Marina of Greece & Denmark's wedding. 
  16. The pair would meet again later in 1937 when he was 16 years old and she was 11 years old. However the sparks began to fly after Princess Elizabeth toured the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth (where Prince Philip was a cadet at the time) in 1939. Upon sight of him, she immediately fell in love and the two began to exchange letters. 
  17. The pair dated for six years before being secretly engaged in 1946. 
  18. The formal announcement of their engagement took place on 9 July 1947, a few months after Princess Elizabeth's 21st Birthday. 
  19. The Royal pair wed on 20 November 1947. 
  20. Prior to their wedding, Prince Phillip renounced his rights to the Greek and Danish thrones (as well as for his descendants).
  21. Prince Philip had two stag parties the night before the wedding - the first at the Dorchester to which the press were invited and the second with his closest friends at the Belfry Club.
  22. He also converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism
  23. He adopted the style Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, and taking the surname of his mother's British family. 
  24. The attendants at their wedding included:
    1. HRH Prince Michael of Kent (age 5)
    2. HRH Prince William of Gloucester (age 6)
    3. HRH Princess Alexandra of Kent ( his wife's first cousin) (age 11)
    4. HRH The Princess Margaret (his wife's younger sister) (age 17)
    5. The Hon. Pamela Mountbatten (Philip's first cousin) (age 18)
    6. Lady Caroline Montagu-Douglas-Scott (daughter of the Duke of Buccleuch) (age 20)
    7. The Hon. Margaret Elphinstone ( his wife's first cousin) (age 22)
    8. Lady Mary Cambridge ( his wife's second cousin) (age 23)
    9. Lady Elizabeth Lambart (daughter of the Earl of Cavan) (age 23)
    10. The Hon. Diana Bowes-Lyon ( his wife's first cousin) (age 24)
  25. The day prior to the wedding, his future father-in-law bestowed the title His Royal Highness upon him. The morning of the wedding King George IV bestowed the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London on his new son-in-law, therefore giving him the title and style of His Royal Highness Phillip,Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London. 
  26. In 1957, his wife granted her husband the title Prince. From then on, he has been known as His Royal Highness Prince Phillip, The Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London.
  27. The Duke is the youngest child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice (of Battenberg). 
  28. His grandfather was a Prince of Denmark who became King of Greece. 
  29. The Duke is also related to Kings of Prussia and Emperors of Russia. 
  30. The Duke renounced his Greek royal title in 1947 and became a naturalised British subject following his service in the Royal Navy.
  31. The Duke learned to fly all types of aircraft. He gained his RAF wings in 1953, his helicopter wings in 1956 and his private pilot's licence in 1959. Prince Philip achieved 5,986 hours in 59 types of aircraft. The Duke's final flight was on 11th August 1997 from Carlisle to Islay, following which he has stopped flying.
  32. The Duke of Edinburgh is a prolific writer on environmental, technological, equestrian and animal subjects. His books include: Selected Speeches 1948-1955 (1957); Birds from Britannia (1962); Down to Earth (1988); and Survival or Extinction: A Christian Attitude to the Environment (1989). Down to Earth is even available in Japanese.
  33. The Duke of Edinburgh is only the fifth consort to a reigning queen in British history. Of his predecessors, Philip II of Spain was husband to Mary I. William III was co-Sovereign with Mary II (although she, as daughter of James II, was nearer to the throne). The husband of Queen Anne was not given the title of King, but remained Prince George of Denmark. Prince Albert was created Prince Consort by Queen Victoria in 1857. 
  34. Care of the environment has long been one of The Duke of Edinburgh's greatest interests. 
  35. The Duke was the first President of the World Wildlife Fund-UK from its foundation in 1961 to 1982, was International President of WWF (now World Wide Fund for Nature) from 1981 to 1996, and is now President Emeritus. He has visited WWF projects in over 40 countries on five continents.
  36. The Duke of Edinburgh's official livery colour is dark green, known as 'Edinburgh Green'. It has been used for staff liveries - the Duke of Edinburgh's page at the Coronation wore dark green and silver - and private cars.
  37. Prince Philip lived for seven years in France as a boy, and still speaks the language well. His wife speaks French fluently as well. Sometimes, when they are not around French speakers, they speak in rapid French to each other!
  38. He speaks English, French and German.
  39. The Duke of Edinburgh has served as Chancellor of the Universities of Cambridge (1976-), Edinburgh (1952-), Salford (1967-91) and Wales (1948-76). He is also a Life Governor of King's College, London.
  40. In 1963 The Duke of Edinburgh founded a bag-piping trophy for the Pakistan Army. He offered to present the challenge cup after witnessing a display of massed bands of the Pakistan Army while visiting the country with The Queen in 1961.
  41. The Duke of Edinburgh is a veteran public speaker. His Royal Highness has made 4,632 speeches at meetings, conferences and receptions - an average of around eight speeches a month for 50 years.
  42. The Duke has a particular interest in the use of the English language to promote communication among different countries. Since 1952 he has been President of the English Speaking Union, a society which organized scholarships, exchanges and public speaking events around the world.
  43. In 1958 The Duke of Edinburgh commissioned celebrated British composer Benjamin Britten to produce a setting for the Jubilate and Te Deum for the St. George's Chapel Choir, Windsor. The modern settings were a new departure for the previously traditional choral music used at the Chapel.
  44. Prince Philip is Patron or President of 814 organisations. The longest-standing association is with the Federation of London Youth Clubs, of which His Royal Highness became Patron in 1947. He has been President of the National Playing Fields Association since 1948.
  45.  Together with Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan and Sir Evelyn Rothschild, The Duke of Edinburgh some years ago instituted the Inter-Faith Dialogue between the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths. This group continues to meet regularly to discuss matters of common interest.
  46.  The Duke of Edinburgh has undertaken 223 solo visits to 67 Commonwealth countries, and 385 visits to 74 other countries; an average of 12 countries per year, over the last 50 years.
  47.  From 1952 to 1999 The Duke of Edinburgh served as President of the Royal Mint Advisory Committee on the design of coins, seals and medals.
  48.  As President of International Equestrian Federation from 1964 to 1986 Prince Philip was involved in defining the rules and regulations for several equestrian sports. Under the guidance of The Duke, International Rules were created for Carriage Driving, Long Distance Riding and Vaulting, and Veterinary Committee and Veterinary Regulations were introduced.
  49.  The Duke helped to design the interior of HM Yacht BRITANNIA , formerly the floating Royal residence for many UK, Commonwealth and overseas tours. 
  50.  Some 75 prizes and medals are associated with The Duke of Edinburgh. The most unusual is the Silver Wink award. Students at the University of Cambridge challenged Prince Philip to a tiddlywinks match in 1958. The Duke of Edinburgh appointed the Goons as his Royal champions. 
  51. The Silver Wink has been awarded by the Duke since 1961 to the winner of the University Tiddlywinks Championships.
  52.  The Duke uses an LPG-powered taxi cab around London to attend engagements, often unrecognised.
  53. The Duke has a strong interest in the welfare of ex-Service men and women. 
  54. Since 1974, he has been Grand President of the British Commonwealth Ex-Services League, which provides practical welfare assistance for ex-servicemen and women of the Crown. The Duke has nominated the charity for donations made by members of the public to mark the Jubilee.
  55. The Duke has been President of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) since 1952. The organisation promotes discussion followed by practical projects or awards within the areas of design, arts, education, environment and business.
  56. The Duke of Edinburgh has his own personal Standard. The first three quarters show Prince Philip's lineage: Denmark (lions and hearts); Greece (white cross on blue); Mountbatten (2 black 'pales' on white). The fourth quarter contains the arms of the City of Edinburgh and represents his title.
  57.  Prince Philip is a Freeman of the cities of Acapulco; Belfast; Bridgetown, Barbados; Cardiff; Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania; Edinburgh; Glasgow; Guadalajara; London; Los Angeles; Melbourne; Nairobi.
  58. The islanders of Tanna, one of the islands in Vanuatu in the South West Pacific, worship the Duke of Edinburgh as a god. Vanuatu was formerly the Anglo-French Condominium of the New Hebrides, which Prince Philip visited in 1971. 
  59. The Duke is the oldest living great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria.
  60. The Duke designed a bracelet as his wedding present to The Queen. The stones came from a tiara owned by his mother.
  61. The Duke was invited to become Chancellor of the University of Wales in 1948, and one of his first acts was to present his wife, Princess Elizabeth, with an honorary degree.
  62. Although he was the Queen's husband, the Duke of Edinburgh was not crowned or anointed at the Coronation ceremony in 1953. 
  63. He was the first subject to pay Homage to Her Majesty, and kiss the newly crowned Queen by stating "I, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God."
  64. Prince Philip has accompanied the Queen on all her Commonwealth tours and State visits, as well as on public engagements in all parts of the UK. 
  65. The first of these was the Coronation tour of the Commonwealth from November 1953 to May 1954, when the couple visited Bermuda, Jamaica, Panama, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Cocos Islands, Ceylon, Aden, Uganda, Libya, Malta and Gibraltar, travelling a distance of 43,618 miles.
  66. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh celebrated their 6th wedding anniversary in the year of the coronation, with a dance at Clarence House given by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. They left on their Commonwealth tour three days later.
  67. He holds orders from 34 different countries including Greece, Monaco, Norway, Panama, Sweden, Ethiopia, Portugal, Iraq, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Nepal, Finland, Tunisia, Liberia, Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru, just to name a few.
  68. He hold numerous honorary doctorate degrees, mostly from Universities in England.
  69. He has 22 godchildren.
  70. He is second cousin to Queen Sofia of Spain & King Constantine of Greece (his great-grandfather and their great grandfather were brothers).
  71. He is also distantly related to Queen Margrethe of Denmark & her two sisters as they are greatx4 granddaughters of King Christian IX and he is great-grandson of Christian IX.
  72. Prince Louis of Battenburg (who was Prince Phillip's maternal grandfather) married one of Queen Victoria's granddaughters,  Princess Victoria of Hesse and by Rhine. Thus, The Queen and Prince Philip both have Queen Victoria as a great-great-grandmother. 
  73. They are also related through his father's side. His paternal grandfather, King George I of Greece, was Queen Alexandra's brother.
  74. On the occasion of their golden wedding anniversary in 1997, the Queen described Prince Philip as her 'strength and stay'.
  75. Although a consort to the present monarch, as a great-grandchild of Queen Victoria, he himself is distantly in line for the British throne in his own right. However, because his wife is the present monarch, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren all follow after her. 
  76. The Duke has had a longstanding interest in art, both as an artist and collector. 
  77. He invited the artist Edward Seago to accompany him in HMY Britannia for the Antarctic and later stages of his 1956/57 World Tour. 
  78. A selection of The Duke’s oils have been displayed next to The Prince of Wales’ watercolours at Sandringham House.
  79. Since learning to ride in the late 1920s The Duke has always had an interest in horses. 
  80. As President of the International Equestrian Federation from 1964 to 1986, Prince Philip was involved in defining the rules and regulations for several equestrian sports. 
  81. Under the guidance of the Duke, International Rules were created for Carriage Driving, Long Distance Riding and Vaulting, and Veterinary Committee and Veterinary Regulations were introduced.
  82. After The Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952, Prince Philip was asked by Her Majesty to oversee the running of the two private Royal estates at Balmoral and Sandringham. 
  83. The Duke is also Ranger of Windsor Great Park and oversaw the restoration of parts of Windsor Castle after the fire in 1992.
  84. For 30 years he competed in carriage-driving events after giving up polo in 1971. 
  85. He has also been a keen sailor and cricketer. 
  86. The Duke of Edinburgh was the first member of the Royal Family to be interviewed on television. 
  87. The interview took place in May 1961 when Prince Philip was interviewed by Richard Dimbleby, probably on a subject related to the City & Guilds of London, of which His Royal Highness has been President since 1951. 
  88. In 1986 while visiting China, he told a group of Scottish students in the city of Xian that Beijing was "ghastly" and said that if one of the students stayed in China too long, he would return to Scotland with "slitty eyes." Reported in the press, comments such as these earned Philip widespread condemnation.
  89. His apologists have said that such remarks stem from his enduring frustration at perpetually playing second fiddle to his wife.
  90. He holds the following Royal Orders in the United Kingdom:
    1. Royal Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter
    2. Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle
    3. Grand Master and First and Principal Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
    4. Member of the Order of Merit
    5. Companion of the Order of Australia
    6. Extra Companion of the Queen's Service Order
  91. He has four children, 8 grandchildren and 2 great-granddaughters who are: 
    1. Prince Charles Arthur Phillip George (14 November 1948)
      1. Prince William Arthur Phillip Louis of Wales (21 June 1982) 
      2. Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales (15 September 1984) 
    2. Princess Anne Alice Elizabeth Louise (15 August 1950)
      1. Peter Mark Andrew Phillips (15 November 1977) 
        1. Savannah Anne Kathleen Phillips (29 December 2010)
        2. Isla Elizabeth Phillips (29 March 2012) 
      2. Zara Anne Elizabeth Phillips Tindall (15 May 1981)
    3. Prince Andrew Albert Christian Edward, The Duke of York (19 February 1960)
      1. Princess Beatrice Elizabeth Mary of York (8 August 1988)
      2. Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York (23 March 1990) 
    4.  Prince Edward Anthony Richard Louis, The Earl of Wessex (19 February 1960) 
      1. The Lady Louise Alice Elizabeth Mary Mountbatten-Windsor (8 November 2003)
      2. James Alexander Phillip Theo  Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn (7 December 2007)

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