Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, on June 10, 1921), was the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. He was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the longest-lived male member of the British royal family.
Prince Philip: Quick Biography
- Full Name: Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark; upon marriage, he became Philip Mountbatten and was later bestowed with the title The Duke of Edinburgh.
- Born: June 10, 1921, on the Greek island of Corfu.
- Died: April 9, 2021, at Windsor Castle, England.
- Parents: Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg.
- Early Life:
- Born into both Greek and Danish royal families, Prince Philip and his family were exiled from Greece when he was an infant.
- He was educated in Germany and the United Kingdom; he attended Schule Schloss Salem and later Gordonstoun School.
- Military Service:
- He joined the British Royal Navy in 1939 and served during World War II. His service included the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, and he was present in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender in 1945.
- Married Princess Elizabeth on November 20, 1947. Upon marriage, he was granted the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich.
- They had four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Princess Anne, The Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.
- Duties as Consort:
- As the consort to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip undertook thousands of royal engagements and state functions. He was known for his candor and his dedicated service to the UK and the Commonwealth.
- He was involved in numerous charitable activities and founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in 1956, a youth program aimed at fostering personal development and achievement.
- Prince Philip retired from his official duties in August 2017, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.
- Prince Philip passed away on April 9, 2021, just two months before his 100th birthday. He was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch.
Early Life and Marriage:
Prince Philip was born on the island of Corfu in Greece. He was part of both the Greek and Danish royal families. In his early years, due to political upheavals, his family had to leave Greece. He eventually settled in the UK and attended the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.
During World War II, he served with distinction in the British Royal Navy. It was during this time that he met Princess Elizabeth, whom he would marry in 1947 after renouncing his Greek and Danish royal titles and becoming a naturalized British subject. Upon his marriage, he was granted the title of Duke of Edinburgh by King George VI.
Throughout his public life, Prince Philip was known for his dedication to duty and for undertaking thousands of royal engagements. He had a straightforward and sometimes forthright manner, which was often reflected in his public comments. These remarks, sometimes controversial, added to his colorful image.
Prince Philip was also known for his wide-ranging interests, including conservation, sport, and industry. He founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in 1956, a youth awards program that has since expanded to many countries around the world. This program is designed to help young people develop skills, get physically active, and engage in community service.
Later Years and Death:
Prince Philip retired from public duties in August 2017, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952. He passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle on April 9, 2021, at the age of 99, just two months before his 100th birthday.
His death marked the end of an era in the British royal family, as he had been by Queen Elizabeth II’s side for over 73 years of their marriage, providing her with steadfast support throughout her long reign. He was laid to rest in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, in a ceremony that reflected both his royal status and his naval service.
Who Was Prince Philip?
Prince Philip was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in 1921. His family was exiled from Greece when he was an infant, and he spent much of his childhood moving between France, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
In 1928, Philip was sent to the Cheam Preparatory School in England. He later spent two years at Schule Schloss Salem in Germany before enrolling at Gordonstoun School in Scotland. Gordonstoun was an academy that emphasized character building and community service. Philip thrived in this environment.
Where Did Prince Philip Go To School?
While Prince Philip did not attend college or university, he received excellent schooling in his youth. Here is an overview of his early education:
Cheam Preparatory School
From 1928-1930, Philip attended Cheam Prep School in Surrey, England. This boarding school prepared boys for acceptance into elite secondary schools. Philip excelled in sports at Cheam.
Schule Schloss Salem
In 1933, Philip enrolled at Schule Schloss Salem in Germany for two years. This was a Protestant boarding school with a philosophy of shaping model citizens through spiritual, intellectual, and physical development.
From 1934-1939, Philip studied at Gordonstoun in Scotland. This school focused on character development and community involvement. Philip thrived under the school’s system of self-governance and became Head Boy. He graduated from Gordonstoun in 1939.
Why Didn’t Prince Philip Go To College?
After graduating from Gordonstoun, Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy rather than attending university. There were a few key reasons for this choice:
- As a Prince of Greece and Denmark, Philip did not have British citizenship and could not attend a British university unless he renounced his foreign royal titles.
- World War II was underway, and Philip wanted to serve in the military effort like his cousins. He had trained in the naval cadet program at Gordonstoun.
- Attending university simply wasn’t a priority or expectation for Philip as a royal prince. His path was expected to lead towards military service and royal duties.
Prince Philip served with distinction in the Royal Navy from 1939-1952, seeing active duty throughout World War II and earning promotions to lieutenant and lieutenant commander. He became a British citizen in 1947 when he married Princess Elizabeth and renounced his Greek and Danish titles.
Follow Prince Philip on Social Media
As the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip did not have personal public social media accounts. However, his royal activities were documented through the British royal family’s official accounts:
- The Royal Family on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube
- The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube
FAQs About Prince Philip’s Education and Early Life
Q: Did Prince Philip go to college?
A: No, after graduating from Gordonstoun School in 1939, Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy instead of attending university.
Q: What schools did Prince Philip attend as a child?
A: Prince Philip attended Cheam Prep School in England, Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, and Gordonstoun School in Scotland during his childhood.
Q: Why didn’t Prince Philip go to a British university?
A: Prince Philip was not a British citizen after secondary school. As a prince of Greece and Denmark, he would have had to renounce his foreign royal titles to enroll in a British university.
Q: When did Prince Philip become a British citizen?
A: In 1947, when he married Princess Elizabeth, Prince Philip became a naturalized British citizen. At this time, he renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles and assumed the title Duke of Edinburgh.
Q: What did Prince Philip do after finishing school?
A: Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy upon completing his education at Gordonstoun in 1939. He continued his service until 1952.
Q: Did Prince Philip serve in the military?
A: Yes, Prince Philip served in the Royal Navy from 1939 to 1952. During World War II, he saw active duty and reached the rank of lieutenant commander.