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Graphic shows life and times of Prince Philip.


Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, dies

By Jordi Bou

April 9, 2021 - Prince Philip has died aged 99. Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”

Apr 2021. Copyright 2021, Graphic News. All rights reserved

Greek-born Prince who spent his life at the side of Queen Elizabeth II
By Susan Shepherd

LONDON, April 9, 2021, Graphic News: For seven decades he walked beside -- or one step behind -- one of the most famous women in the world. As a leading member of The Firm, as the British Royal Family calls itself, he took responsibility for raising the next generation of the House of Windsor. A lifelong lover of outdoor pursuits, he championed opportunities for young people; at home, through the National Playing Fields Association and, across the Commonwealth, via the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Ever in the media spotlight, he was guaranteed widespread coverage of his verbal gaffes as well as the serious, if discredited, allegations towards the end of his long, public life, at the inquest into the death of his daughter-in-law, Diana.

The Queen called him, simply, “my strength and stay all these years” and, on their Platinum Wedding Anniversary in 2017, appointed him Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) for “services to the sovereign”. Distant cousins, who first met when he was an 18-year-old naval cadet at Dartmouth College and she a 13-year-old princess, the couple were married in the post-war austerity of 1947. By then, Philip Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksberg, great-great grandson of Queen Victoria, Prince of Greece and a descendant of the King of Denmark, had renounced all titles associated with his birth -- in 1921, on the island of Corfu -- and become a British citizen. As Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten RN, the bridegroom’s career was flourishing. He had seen active service during World War II and was mentioned in dispatches for his part in the battle of Matapan. Stationed on Malta in the early years of their marriage, the young duke might well have emulated his Uncle Louis, Lord Mountbatten, and climbed to the very highest ranks. But in February 1952, during a visit to Kenya, news reached the Royal party of the death of Princess Elizabeth’s father, King George VI and, as Philip would later put it, “the whole thing changed very, very considerably”.

The longest-serving royal consort in British history, Prince Philip -- the Queen created the title for him in 1957 -- accompanied his wife on all her overseas tours, visiting an average of 12 countries a year. When he eventually retired, at the age of 96 in August 2017, he had carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements. The duke was patron or president of over 800 organisations, including the conservation charity, the World Wildlife Fund. A keen pilot, he was still flying well into his 70s, making his last flight, from Carlisle to Islay, in August 1997. His passion for the sport of carriage-driving was well-known and he represented Britain in international competitions.

The first member of the Royal Family to be interviewed on television -- in 1961 -- the Prince’s relationship with the media was sometimes tense. He felt caricatured by sections of the press who would seize on remarks such as the one made in China, in 1986, to a group of British students when he warned them they would all be going home “slitty-eyed”. Known privately for possessing a wicked sense of humour, the duke once quipped: “Dontopedology is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it.”

His relationship with his eldest son, the Prince of Wales, was also much debated. While Philip thrived on the spartan regime at Gordonstoun, his Scottish boarding school, Charles reportedly hated it, calling it “Colditz in kilts”. Later, when Charles had still not married by the age of 30, his father was said to have put pressure on him to take a bride and secure the succession.

Not until he was 90 did the Prince’s famously robust health begin to fail. He spent Christmas 2011 in Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire, where he was fitted with a coronary stent to relieve a blocked artery. Six months later, during high-profile celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, he was admitted to the King Edward VII hospital in central London with a bladder infection. His five-day stay -- 24 hours after he had stood, in wet and windy conditions, throughout the Thames river pageant -- meant he was unable to escort the Queen to a national service of thanksgiving for her 60-year reign, at St Paul’s Cathedral. In April 2018, he underwent hip replacement surgery.

He spent four days in hospital in December 2019 and was hospitalised again, for his longest-ever spell, in February of this year, receiving treatment for his chronic heart condition. The Prince had spent the latest lockdown with the Queen at Windsor, where both had received Covid vaccinations.

Among those mourning the Prince will be the inhabitants of Tanna, in the Vanuatu group of islands in the South West Pacific, who held him to be a god and worshipped him as such.

PUBLISHED: 09/04/2021; STORY: Susan Shepherd; PICTURES: Associated Press, Getty Images, Newscom