As a royal consort, Prince Philip’s job was to accompany his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, in his duties as sovereign: official visits to other countries, state dinners and receptions, opening speeches by Parliament, ceremonies and honorary rites.
Philip, who died Friday at the age of 99, used to be conservative about his opinion of those tasks. Although he said that if he could choose the career to which he would dedicate himself, he would “prefer to continue in the Navy, frankly,” he said, in the same interview with The Independent in 1992, that he “tried to get the best” outside of life as a catalyst in Marriage that lasted 74 years.
Her death was announced at noon London time (8 am in Brazil), in a statement issued by Buckingham Palace: “It is with great regret that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II announces the death of her dear husband, His Royal Highness, and the palace said in a statement: ‘Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh “.”[Philip] He died peacefully this morning at Windsor Palace. Subsequent announcements will be issued in due course. The royal family joins people all over the world in mourning their loss. “
Philip’s death did not change the line of succession to the British throne, headed by his eldest son with the Queen, Prince Charles, 72, followed by the oldest son of Charles with Princess Diana, Prince William, 38. The Duke of Edinburgh’s health was in decline. For two years, when he had to stop driving after a minor accident. In March this year, he underwent a heart surgery.
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Philip and Elizabeth, 94, have been married since 1947, five years before assuming the throne, on the death of her father, King George VI. He had plenty of time to get used to: the Duke of Edinburgh has since become the longest serving companion and oldest man in the history of the British monarchy.
Best known for his manly style, which included satirical statements and sporting activities – and sometimes made him look like crude caricatures – the prince himself was born into a royal cradle. His father was Prince Andre of Greece and Denmark, who inherited him from a double noble affiliation, and his mother, Alice from Battempurga, an aristocratic German family who lived mainly in the United Kingdom.
The noble lineage did not spare him from a happy childhood. After Greece was defeated in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), his father, who was a military leader, was prevented from entering the country, and his family – which includes, in addition to the parents, four sisters older than him – was forced into exile. After a stint in France, in 1928 Philip was sent to a boarding school in the United Kingdom.
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The young prince would not have had more contact with his mother during childhood. In the next three years, Alice, deaf by birth – who took her husband’s name after marriage and was also renamed “Princess Andre of Greece and Denmark” – was diagnosed with schizophrenia and sent to asylum. At the same time, all four sisters married the Germans and moved to the Weimar Republic, while their father settled in Monte Carlo.
Meanwhile, Philip remained devoted to his studies, first in Germany, and then in Scotland. At the age of 18, in 1939, he became a British cadet at Dartmouth Naval College. After declaring war with Germany in October, the young man wondered if he should return to Greece, where his mother – who later became a nun – lives after leaving the asylum, but his uncle, King Jorge II of Greece, decided to do so. Naval warfare studies should be continued in the United Kingdom.
It will be like a student that the prince knows his great love. Also in 1939, the royal family visited Dartmouth, and Philip was responsible for supporting Elizabeth, then 13, and her sister Margaret. The charm and liveliness of Philip, who, in his youth, earned him love relationships with actresses and social people, also captivated Elizabeth, and the two began a relationship by letter.
After the war – in which he participated in some battles, without particularly noticeable participation, but with some honors and privileges, such as becoming a lieutenant at the age of 21 -, he finally asked George VI permission to ask for his daughter’s hand in 1946. The king authorized, as long as he waited the following year, When the princess was 21 years old. In March 1947, Philip gave up the Greek and Danish titles. The wedding, which was broadcast on television, took place on November 20 of that year, the same date that he was appointed Duke of Edinburgh.
According to Philip, at first, he hoped to reconcile a promising career in the Navy with activities alongside women. Between 1949 and 1951, he was sent to Malta, where Elizabeth accompanied him. According to the biography of the Queen, the years when the spouses will be happier. George’s premature death in 1952, which led to his wife’s coronation at the age of 27, sealed Philip’s fate as Prince Consort.
“I thought I might have a career in the Navy, but it became clear that there was no hope,” the Express newspaper quoted him as saying. – There was no choice. It happened. You need to make commitments, that’s life.
The separation from military life would be compensated for by outdoor activities and sports, such as chariot racing, a method that helped improve it. Throughout his life, Philip also practiced many other activities common to the more restrained British elite, such as sailing and polo, in addition to learning to fly airplanes. Even more controversial are bait, wild boar, duck, bison and at least one tiger killed in India on a 1961 expedition.
Male and aristocratic clichés were also noticeable in his statements and jokes, and were often received as politically incorrect or slips. “How did he survive eating?” Asked a student returning from Papua New Guinea. To the President of Nigeria, who wore traditional clothes, said he looked like he was wearing pajamas; During the 1981 UK recession, he asked why, “if everybody wants more entertainment”, now they complain of unemployment. These statements, in his own discretion, helped to cement the image of a “poor old man”.
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Despite this, it has helped more than 800 charities, mainly in the fields of education, industry, sports and the environment. In this latter theme, he maintained a lively performance, and was the first President of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Philip and Elizabeth had four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, born between 1948 and 1964. The Duke of Edinburgh was upset that he could not baptize the children with his own title, as Elizabeth wanted to keep the name of the Royal House in Windsor. The dispute was resolved by agreement in 1960, when the couple decided that although the house continued to be called Windsor, their descendants would also bear the title Mountbatten, the English version of the mother’s family of Battemberg, which deleted the association with Germany.
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He retired from royal duties in August 2017, at the age of 96. Philip made 22,219 official commitments in this period, and on November 20 of that year, he celebrated his 70th birthday with the Queen, who was the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum wedding anniversary.
In 2011, on his ninetieth birthday, Philip said on a BBC program that he had learned to perform his role as a royal relative “by trial and error.”
“There was no precedent,” he said. If you ask someone, “What do you expect from me,” everyone will look at me without saying anything. They had no idea, no one had a clue.
The British Crown did not reveal the cause of Philip’s death, but the prince had been in hospital for a month, and had been discharged from the hospital in the past 16 days, initially due to injury and then by heart surgery.