His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT, OM, GBE, AC, QSO, PC, the 1st Duke, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich, died at Windsor Castle, 9 April, 2021. He was 99.
The death of Prince Philip is the first death of a consort of a living British monarch since the death of his great-great grandfather, the Prince Consort, at Windsor Castle, 14 Dec, 1861.
The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest serving royal consort in the history of the British monarchy, and was the oldest living descendant of Queen Victoria, and (aged 99 years and 303 days) he was also the oldest ever descendant of Victoria. The Queen is now the oldest living descendant of Queen Victoria followed by Lady Pamela Hicks and Princess Astrid of Norway.
He was born 10 June, 1921, at the Villa of Mon Repos, Corfu, the only son of HRH Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark , GCVO [1882-1944], by his wife HSH The Princess [Victoria] Alice Elizabeth Julia Marie of Battenberg, RRC [1885-1969], daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg, the 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, GCB, GCVO, KCMG, PC [1854-1921], and his wife HRH Princess Victoria Alberta Elizabeth Matilda Marie of Hesse & by Rhine [1863-1950], daughter of HRH Ludwig IV, Grand Duke of Hesse & By Rhine, and his wife HRH The Princess Alice Maud Mary of the United Kingdom [1843-78], second daughter of HM Queen Victoria [1819-1901], and Prince Albert of Saxe Coburg & Gotha [1819-61], &c.
Since the Julian Calendar was still in force in Greece at the time of Prince Philip's birth, his actual date of birth was Friday 28 May, 1921. Only when Greece adopted the Gregorian calendar two years later was the date amended - put forward 13 days - to 10 June. His grandmother, Queen Olga, widow of the assassinated King George I, and the Municipality of the Corfiates of Corfu were his godparents. [Philip's cousin, Princess Olga of Greece [1903-97] represented Queen Olga at the baptism].
He was educated at Cheam School, Salem, Baden and Gordonstoun, and the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth; 1939-45; Served in the Second World War with the Mediterranean Fleet, in Home Waters, and with the British Pacific Fleet in South East Asia and the Pacific [despatches, Greek War Cross, 1939-45, Atlantic, Africa, Burma [with Pacific rosette], and Italy Stars, War Medal 1939-45 [with Oak Leaf] and French Croix de Guerre [with Palm].
In 1940 Prince Philip joined the Battleship HMS Ramillies in Colombo as a Midshipman and spent six months in the Indian Ocean. In January 1941 he served on HMS Valiant in Alexandria and was mentioned in despatches for his action during the Battle of Cape Matapan after spotting an unexpected enemy vessel with searchlights. In 1942 he rose through the ranks becoming one of the youngest officers in the Royal Navy becoming first Lieutenant and second in command of HMS Wallace. In 1943 HMS Wallace was despatched to the Mediterranean and provided cover for the Canadian beachhead of the Allied landings in Sicilly. In February 1944 Prince Philip was appointed First Lieutenant and Second in command of the new Fleet destroyer HMS Whelp, which sailed to the Indian Ocean to join the Pacific Fleet.
Hon LLD Wales 1949, London 1951, Edinburgh and Cambridge 1952, Kararchi 1959, Malta 1964, California 1966; Hon DCL Durham 1951, and Oxford 1964; Hon DSc Delhi 1959, Reading 1957, Salford [Lancs] and Southampton 1967, Hon DSc Univ of Victoria, BC, Canada 1969, Hon LLD University of Western Ontario 1983; Hon Degree University of Jordan 1984; Hon Degree in Engineering at Lima 1962; Hon FRCP London 1952; Hon FRCSE, and Hon FRCS England; Hon Fellow University College Oxford 1953; a Personal ADC to HM King George VI 1948; Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal, Marshal of the RAF, Admiral of the Fleet RAN, Field Marshal Australian Military Forces, Field Marshal New Zealand Army, Marshal of the RAAF, Marshal of the RNZAF, Admiral of the Fleet RNZ Navy, a Captain General of the Royal Marines, Deputy Colonel in Chief Queen's Royal Hussars [the Queen's Own and Royal Irish], Colonel in Chief The Royal Gloucestershire Regiment, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, Colonel in Chief The Highlanders [Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons], Intelligence Corps, Army Cadet Force, Royal Canadian Regiment, Seafrorth Highlanders of Canada, Royal Canadian Army Cadets, Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Australian Cadet Corps, Corps of RNZ Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, Hon Colonel Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt Univs Officers' Training Corps, Trinidad and Tobago Regiment, Air Commodore in Chief Air Training Corps, Air Commodore of the Air Squadron since 1983, Royal Canadian Air Cadets, Hon Air Commodore RAF Kinloss, Commandant in Chief and Extra Master Merchant Navy; Ranger of Windsor Great Park since 1952; Lord High Steward of Plymouth since 1960; Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh since 1952, Chancellor of Cambridge University since 1976; Chancellor of Salford Univ 1967-90; Visitor of Upper Canada College since 1955; Visitor Manchester College of Science and Technology since 1957; and Churchill College Cambridge since 1959; Life Gov of King's College London since 1954; Master of the Bench of the Inner Temple since 1954; an Entered Apprentice, Navy Lodge, United Grand Lodge of England, Dec 1952; Elder Brother of Trinity House since 1952 [Master since 1969]; Hon Brother of Hull Trinity House since 1956; Royal Governor of Charterhouse since 1953; President of the Royal National Playing Fields Assoc 1049-84; President in Chief of the British Racing Drivers' Club 1952-92; Pres of the British Amateur Athletic Board since 1952; President of the Commonwealth Games Federation 1955-90; President, British Sportmen's Club since 1958; Central Council of Physical Recreation since 1951; City and Guilds London Institute since 1951; English Speaking Union of the Commonwealth since 1952, Guinea Pig Club 1960; Guards' Polo Club 1955; Royal Agricultural Soc of the Commonwealth 1958; Central Council of Physical Recreation since 1951; the Royal Household Cricket Club; Royal Merchant Navy School 1952; Royal Mint Advisory Committee on designs, seals, coins and medals, Royal Society of Arts, World Wild Life Fund 1961-82; President Federation Equestre International; President, Maritime Trust, Grand President British Commonwealth Ex Services League since 1974; President Royal Bath and West and Southern Counties Soc 1981; President Royal Windsor Horse Show 1991-94; President Windsor Park Equestrian Club 1982; Vice President the Society of Friends of St George's and the Descendants of the Knights of the Garter since 1948; FRS 1951; Permanent Fellow of the Inst of Petroleum 1963; Hon Fellow Royal Society of Canada 1957; Australian Academy of Sciences 1962; Trustee, National Maritime Museum Greenwich since 1948; Patron Royal Institute of Navigation and Lords' Taverners [Pres of the Council 1960-61, later Twelfth Man]; Patron and Trustee of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award; a Liveryman and Assist of Shipwrights' Co [later Prime Warden and Permanent Master since 1955]; a Freeman of the Liveryman of Fishmongers' Co [Prime Warden 1961], a Freeman of the Liverman of Mercers' Co, Admiral of the Master Mariners' Co, Frand Master, the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators, a Guild Brother of Glasgow, of Craft Rank Qua Hammermen, Trades House of Glasgow, Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron 1953; Admiral of the House of Lords Yacht Club, of the Royal Motor Yacht Club, of the RN Sailing Assoc, Commodore-in-Chief, Sandringham Yacht Club.
Prince Philip followed in the footsteps of many members of the Royal Family when he was initiated into freemasonry. He was initiated into the Navy Lodge No 2612, in December, 1952, and progressed to the second degree in March 1953, and raised as a Master Mason in the May of that year, weeks before the Queen's Coronation. He remained a freemason to end of his life.
He received the Freedom: of the City of London, Greenwich and the City of Edinburgh 1948; City of Belfast 1949; City of Cardiff 1954, City of Glasgow 1955, City of Melbourne 1956, City of Dar-es-Salaam 1961; Hon Citizen of Montevideo 1962, City of Nairobi 1963, Cities of Guadalajara and Acapulco, Mexico, and Bridgetown, Barbados 1964, and City of Los Angeles and Hon Citizen of Chicago 1966;&c.
Some of Prince Philip's honours and awards include: Grand Cross the Order of the Redeemer of Greece, Order of the Phoenix of Greece, Grand Cross Order of George I [with swords] of Greece, Order of St George and St Constantine [with swords] of Greece [4th Class], Knight of the Order of the Elephant of Denmark 1947; Grand Cross of the Order of St Charles of Monaco 1951; Order of St Olav of Norway 1952; Order of the Manuel Amador Guerrero of Panama 1953; Order of the Seraphim of Sweden, and the Chain of the Most Exalted Order of the Queen of Sheba of Ethiopia 1954; Grand Cross of the Order of the Tower and Sword [Civil] of Portugal 1955; Order of King Faisal I of Iraq 1956; Order of the Legion of Honour of France 1957; Knight of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic; Grand Cross of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands, and the Order of Merit of the Federal German Republic [1st Class] 1958; Order of Ojaswi Rajanya of Nepal 1960; Knight of the Grand Band of Star of Africa of Liberia 1961; Grand Cross of the Order of San Martin Argentina, of the Order of the Condor of Bolivia, and of the National Order of the Southern Cross of Brazil, Chain of the Chilean Order of Merit, Grand Cross of the Extraordinary Order of Boyaca of Colombia, Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of Ecuador, National Order of Merit of Paraguay, and the Great Cross and Order of the Sun, with Brilliants, of Peru 1962; Grand Cordon of the Order of Leopold of Belgium and the Order of the Brilliant Star of Zanzibar [1st Class] 1963; Decoration of the Republic of Sudan [1st Class] and Grand Cross of the Order of the Icelandic Falcon 1964; Collar of the Aztec Eagle of Mexico 1964; Star and Riband of the Order of Nahdah of Jordan 1966; Decoration of Honour of Services to the Republic of Austria, Grand Cordon 1966, Grand Commander of the Order of Maritime Merit, San Francisco Port Authority 1968; Order of the White Rose of Finland 1969; Order of the Superior Sun of Afghanistan 1971; Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum of Japan 1971; the Most Esteemed Family Order of Brunei 1972; Chevalier Grand Cross Order of the Golden Lion of Luxembourg 1972; a Member of the Distinguished Order of Izzuddin of the Republic of the Maldives 1972; Hon Member of the Darjah Utama Temasek of Singapore 1972; Grand Cross Yugoslav Star of Yugoslavia 1972; Grand Cordon of the National Order of the Leopard [Military] of Zaire 1973; Grand Collar National Order of Infante Dom Enrique of Portugal 1973; Commander of the Golden Ark of the Netherlands 1979; First Class [Mil] Order of Oman 1979; Collar of the Order of Independence of Qatar 1979; 1st Class Order of Muhammadi of Morocco 1980; Companion of the Queen's Service Order of New Zealand 1981; Canadian Forces Decoration 1982; Grand Cross the Order of Carlos III of Spain 1986; Companion of the Order of Australia 1988; Grand Ribbon of the Order of Merit of Poland 1991; King George VI Coronation Medal 1937; Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Medal 1953; Commemoration Medal of New Zealand 1990, Sultan of Brunei Silver Jubilee Medal 1992; George Cross 50th Anniversary Medal of Malta 1992; Grand Master and First Principal Knight of the Order of the British Empire 1953.
HRH was created Baron Greenwich, Earl of Merioneth and Duke of Edinburgh on the eve of his marriage, Peerage of the United Kingdom, 19 Nov, 1947; Knight of the Garter , KT ; GBE [Military] 1953; and OM 1968.
He was naturalised a British subject in February 1947 and assumed the surname of Mountbatten, as adopted by his maternal family. He was granted the style and title of Royal Highness upon his marriage, and further granted the titular style and attribute of Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 22 February, 1957. He was introduced to the Privy Council in 1951. By Warrant dated 18 Sept, 1952 the Duke of Edinburgh was granted precedence next to HM The Queen except where otherwise provided by Act of Parliament. For the last decade of his life the Duke of Edinburgh was Lord High Admiral of the United Kingdom.
Prince Philip married HRH The Princess Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey, 20 November, 1947. His best man was his cousin, David, 3rd Marquess of Milford Haven [1919-70].
He is succeeded in his three peerages by his elder son and heir, HRH The Prince of Wales. Prince Charles is now the third 'future' king to have been Duke of Edinburgh. His ancestor, Frederick Prince of Wales was created Duke of Edinburgh in 1726, and upon his death in 1751 the Dukedom passed to his son, George, Prince of Wales [later King George III], and the peerage merged in the Crown when George ascended the throne in 1760.
The funeral of The Duke of Edinburgh will not be a State Funeral and will not be preceded by a Lying-in-State. His Royal Highness’s body will lie at rest in Windsor Castle ahead of the funeral in St George’s Chapel on Saturday 17 April. The ceremonial funeral is is in line with custom and with His Royal Highness’s wishes.
The funeral arrangements have been revised in view of the prevailing circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and it is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral.
All official flags, including the Union Flag, will be flown at half-mast from now until 08:00 on the day following the funeral.