Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip: the strength behind the crown

Mamos Media

In this file photo taken on October 12, 2018 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) wait for the carriage carrying Princess Eugenie of York and her husband Jack Brooksbank to pass at the start of the procession after their wedding ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor, on October 12, 2018. AFP PHOTO

By AFP

He often grabbed headlines for his gaffes, but Prince Philip was portrayed by royalists as the silent stalwart, who shelved his personal ambitions to support Queen Elizabeth II over seven decades.
Born into the Greek royal family – although he preferred to be thought of as a Danish prince – the Duke of Edinburgh never wore a crown himself.

Yet he was a permanent public presence at the queen’s side, who called him her “strength and stay”.
Like her, his life was ruled by duty and tradition, putting his considerable energy behind numerous charities and carrying out 22,219 solo public engagements since Elizabeth rose to the throne in 1952. 
But Philip regularly got into hot water for what were politely referred to as “politically incorrect” off-the-cuff remarks – quips that from anyone else would be seen as downright racist.

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In this photo taken on March 16, 2021 Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh leaves King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London.

“You managed not to get eaten, then?” he remarked to a British student who had trekked in Papua New Guinea in 1998. 
And on a historic state visit to China in 1986, the self-described “cantankerous old sod” warned a group of British students: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.”
There was also his reputation as a womaniser, something that worried the royal family even before he and queen married.

They reportedly found the young naval officer “rough, ill-mannered and uneducated” and worried he “would probably not be faithful”. 
The man the queen’s formidable mother privately referred to as “The Hun” because of his German Battenberg blood, was quickly suspected of a string of affairs, which would later be resurrected in the hit Netflix series “The Crown”.
But Philip laughed off talk of philandering — with Sarah, the Duchess of York’s mother often cited as one of his former lovers.

“For the last 40 years I have never moved anywhere without a policeman accompanying me. So how the hell could I get away with anything like that?” he said.
At home, the duke had a reputation for being cold towards his four children, Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.
But many observers considered Philip to be the glue that held together the royal family.
And in a rarely seen softer side, it emerged the late princess Diana addressed him as “Dearest Pa” in letters in which he offered solace over her deteriorating marriage to his eldest son Charles.

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