LONDON (AP) – When Prince Philip married a British heir to the throne, he learned that he was walking in a virtually untold territory.
There was no official role, constitutional obligation or legal responsibility for the sovereign queen’s husband.
“There was no precedent,” he said when he turned 90. “If I ask someone, ‘What do you expect me to do?’ They all seemed empty. They had no idea. “
His wife, Elizabeth, knew exactly what to do when she became queen in 1952 after the untimely death of her father, King King VI. For Philip, however, his ascension to the throne marked the end of his career as a naval officer, and he fell into uncertainty.
But at that crucial moment, he carved out the part he had been carrying for decades. The basis of the Queen’s honest and unwavering support was through a chaotic kingdom during which the millennial monarchy was forced to recreate the 21st century. It was the Duke of Edinburgh until his death on Friday at the age of 99.
Her marriage both shaped and constrained her life, putting the irritable, hard-thinking Philip in front of the public three steps behind the queen, even though she played a significant role in the home, including raising four children.
His life spanned almost a century in European history, from his birth as a member of the Greek royal family to his longest career in British history, surpassing Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.
He was known for his sometimes profoundly offensive remarks, lavishly engaging more than 20,000 royals to promote British interests at home and abroad. He has led hundreds of charities, founded programs to help British schoolchildren take part in open-ended challenges.
Philip saw his only role as supporting his wife as he faced the changing demands of a constitutional monarch, who began his reign as Britain retreated from the empire, ruled the monarchy for decades, declining from social punishment, from British rule to the modern world where people demand intimacy from their icons.
In the 1970s, Michael Parker, the former personal secretary of the old friend of the sea, said about him: “He told me that he offered me my job on the first day, that his job, first, second, last, would never let him in.”
The queen, a very private person who was not given to the expression of luxurious feelings, was once called “her rock” in society.
In particular, Philip called his wife, Lilibeth; but she called her “Queen” in conversation with others.
Over the decades, Philip’s image has changed from a handsome, great athlete to an arrogant and insensitive disgrace. In his last years, the image finally turned into the image of a mad philosophical observer of the time, an old man with a disfigured face who, despite many illnesses, maintained his military influence in society.
Not content with staying afloat, he contributed to British industry and science, defended the environment long before fashion, and traveled extensively and frequently, supporting many of his charities.
In those frequent public appearances, Philip gained a reputation, a demanding reputation, and at times was rude.
Many Britons praised his tendency to speak the mind, while others criticized what he called racist, sexist, or outspoken behavior.
For example, in 1995 he asked one of the Scottish driving instructors: “How do you keep the natives from drinking so that they pass the exam?” Seven years later in Australia, visiting the Aborigines with the Queen, he asked: “You are still throwing spears at each other.” During a visit to a military barracks, he asked a naval cadet instructor if he worked in a strip club.
Many believe that his inclination to speak his mind meant that he was giving the queen necessary, dull advice.
“The way he survived the British monarchy had to be his own man, it was a source of support for the Queen,” said Royal Historian Robert Lace. “All his life he was surrounded by men who said, ‘Yes, ma’am,’ he was a man who always told him how it really was, or at least how he saw it.”
Lacey said that in the difficult times of the royal family with Diana, Philip spoke with authority for the family, showing that the queen was not automatically delayed, despite the position of monarch and head of state.
Philip’s relationship with Diana deteriorated as his separation from Charles և their eventual divorce began in a series of public battles that damaged the monarchy. He was widely believed to have criticized Diana for using interviews, including accusing Charles of adultery.
But letters published after Philip և Diana մահ after his death showed that the old man sometimes supported his bride.
After Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997, Philip had to endure accusations by former Harrods owner Mohamed al-Fayed that he had conspired to kill the princess. Al-Fayed’s son, Dodi, was also killed in the crash.
During a lengthy investigation into their deaths, the senior judge, who was acting as a forensic pathologist, instructed the jury that there was no evidence to support the allegations against Philip, who did not publicly respond to Al Fayed’s allegations.
Philip’s last years were clouded by controversies and rifts within the royal family.
His third child, Prince Andrew, was embroiled in a friendship with US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a New York jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking.
US authorities have accused Andrew of denying their request for an interview as a witness. He rejected the lawsuit, but in the wake of the scandal, he relinquished his royal duties.
In early 2020, Philip’s grandson, Prince Harry, and his wife, former American actress Megan Markle, announced that they were relinquishing their royal duties and moving to North America to avoid tight media control.
Last month, they gave an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, saying that Megan had been neglected and racist while working as a family member, although Winfrey later said that Harry had said that he had not been particularly hurt by remarks from grandparents. The chamber called the couple’s concerns “worrying” and said they would “be discussed privately by the family”.
Born on June 10 at the dining room table of his parents’ house on the Greek island of Corfu, Philip was the fifth child and only son of Prince Andrew, the younger brother of the King of Greece. His grandfather came from Denmark in the 1860s to accept Greece as the country’s monarch.
Philip’s mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, a descendant of German princes. Like his future wife, Elizabeth, Philip was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
When Philippe was 18 months old, his parents fled into exile in France. His father, an army commander, was tried after a devastating military defeat by the Turks. After the British intervention, the Greek junta agreed not to sentence Andrei to death if he left the country.
Philip went to school in Britain ին In 1939 he enrolled as a cadet at Dartmouth Naval College. He received his first post in 1940, but was not allowed to approach the main war zone because he was a foreign prince of a neutral nation. When the Italian invasion of Greece ended that neutrality, he joined the war, serving in warships in the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific.
During a vacation in Britain, he visited his royal cousins ին, at the end of the war, it was clear that he was friendly with Princess Elizabeth, the heir of King VI, the eldest child child. Their engagement was announced on July 10, 1947, and they were married on November 20.
Then, in 1952, at the age of 56, King VI died of cancer.
Philip was forced to give up his maritime career, his servitude was officially sealed at the coronation when he knelt before his wife, and promised to become “a man of his life, a member, an earthly worshiper.”
The change in Philip’s life was dramatic.
“Inside the house, no matter what we did, it was together,” Philip told Basil Butroid, a biographer before he became Queen Elizabeth. “People came to me and asked what to do. In 1952, everything changed, very, very significantly. “
Saud Butroid said. “He had the choice of simply labeling along, the second touch of the receiving line, or finding other outlets for his exploding energy.”
Thus, Philip took over the management of the royal estates, expanding his travels to all corners of the world, building a role for himself.
Since 1956, he has been the sponsor and trustee of the UK’s largest youth activity program, the Duke of Edinburgh Award for Voluntary, Non-Competitive Youth, Cultural Adventure, which exists in more than 100 countries around the world.
He painted, collected contemporary art, was interested in industrial design, and planned a garden in Windsor Castle. But he once said that “the art world considers me an uncultured, polo player.”
Over the years, the famous blonde hair thinned, և long, thin bones face acquired a few lines. He gave up polo, but remained neat and energetic.
To the friend’s suggestion that he be relieved a little, they say that the prince answered. “Well, what would I do?” Sit down or knit? ”
But when he turned 90 in 2011, Philip told the BBC he was “ending” his workload, and he reckoned he had “done my thing”.
For the next few years, casual hospitals remained under the flag of Philip Health. He announced in May 2017 that he planned to step down from royal duties after nearly 22,000 royal insignia since his coronation.
The queen, their four children, as well as nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren survived Philip.
Katz և Associated Press writer Robert Barr contributed to this report before his death.
For full coverage of Prince Philip’s death, visit https://apnews.com/hub/prince-philip