10 Lesser Known Facts About Prince Philip's Life
The Queen's husband, Prince Philip passed away today at the age of 99.
Queen Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, passed away today at Windsor Castle, England, at the age of 99. Also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, he led quite the life as a Royal during his 73 years of marriage to the Queen.
Born to the royal family in Greece with a Danish and Greek lineage, Prince Philip's first few years as a royal were spent in exile in France before he finally settled in Britain. Father to Prince Charles, the future King, and grandfather to Prince Harry and Prince William, the consort of the Queen had a life filled with adventures and riddled with hardships in the years that he executed his royal and familial duties.
Here's a look at some lesser-known facts about his life:
1. He was a prolific writer
Not many people of this generation know this about him, but Prince Philip has actually authored several books on the subjects of environment, technology, animals, among others. He published 14 books in his lifetime, and some of the prominent titles include: The Environmental Revolution (1978), Men, Machines And Sacred Cows (1984), Down to Earth (1988), and Survival or Extinction: A Christian Attitude to the Environment (1989).
2. A God-like figure
Prince Philip was worshiped by a sect of people called Tana in the Vanuatu nation, situated in the Pacific Islands. When this became popular as the 'Prince Philip Movement' and the Duke himself found out about this, he sent them a signed portrait of himself as a token of appreciation. Following this, the Tana population replied by sending him a pig-killing club as a gift. The Prince followed this up by sending them a picture of him posing with the same club.
3. An avid flier
Flying had always been one of the many passions of the Duke and he realized this dream only many years later when he earned his Royal Air Force wings in 1953. By 1959, he had added a helicopter's license and a private pilot's license to this. It was in 1997 that he flew his last plane at the age of 76, having acquired almost 6000 flying hours.
4. No smoking
According to reports, the Duke quit smoking before he got married to the Queen. It is believed that the Queen was not very fond of the habit in the first place, and as a gesture of his love, he decided to quit ahead of their nuptials.
5. He didn't have an easy childhood
In 1930, Princess Alice, the Duke's mother, was diagnosed with schizophrenia, following which she was banished from the royal family and placed in institutional care in Switzerland.
He was still in boarding school when his sister, Cecile passed away in a plane crash with her husband and children. She was also pregnant at the time.
6. He's actually related to the Queen
The Duke is the great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria, just like the Queen. While the Queen is the direct descendant of Victoria's eldest son, the Duke is a direct descendant of Princess Alice, the third child of Queen Victoria. In simpler terms, this makes the Duke and the Queen third cousins.
Through a separate family line, they are also second cousins. This however, is not the first time two related royals have been married. Queen Victoria herself was also related to her consort, Prince Albert.
7. He's the only royal to cross the Antarctic circle
Prince Philip was on a 40,000 mile diplomatic mission where he circled the globe and embarked on many adventures. He also set the record as the only Royal ever in history to cross the Antarctic circle during this journey on his ship, the HMY Britannia.
8. He was the longest-living male royal
Only the Queen mother and Princess Alice (an aunt of Queen Elizabeth) have outlived Prince Philip, making him the third longest-living royal and the only male royal that has lived so far.
9. He was the first royal to be interviewed on television
In a first-time-ever televised interview of a Royal, Prince Philip made an appearance on BBC on May, 29, 1961. He was interviewed by Richard Dimbleby for the BBC's popular show 'Panorama'.
10. He was one of the youngest lieutenants in the Royal Navy's history
Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy in 1939, just after the Second World War broke out. As the years passed, he rose through the ranks and became the youngest lieutenant at the age of 21. After this, he was also made the Admiral of the Fleet in 1953.
To commemorate his 90th birthday in 2011, he was given the title of Lord High Admiral of the Navy by the Queen
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