Prince Philip: memorable moments and interesting facts about his extraordinary life

The former World Wildlife Fund (WWF) president The Duke of Edinburgh pictured presenting the president of Mexico, Dr. Ernesto Zedillo, with a WWF 'Gift to the Earth' award in 1998 after the Mexican wildfires. (Getty)
The former World Wildlife Fund (WWF) president The Duke of Edinburgh pictured presenting the president of Mexico, Dr. Ernesto Zedillo, with a WWF 'Gift to the Earth' award in 1998 after the Mexican wildfires. (Getty)

Prince Philip has died at the age of 99, just two months before his 100th birthday, it has been announced by Buckingham Palace.

As the country’s longest serving consort, the Duke of Edinburgh dedicated decades of his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch’s side.

Prince Philip was approaching 100 and had been married to Queen Elizabeth II since 1947.

Most Popular

    Here are some interesting facts and memorable moments about the Duke of Edinburgh you might not have heard.

    Early life

    Prince Philip was born at the villa Mon Repos, the summer retreat of the Greek royal family, on the island of Corfu in 1921, on 10 June.

    He was the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and his mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, which meant that he held the title of Prince of Greece and Denmark.

    Prince Philip left Greece at 18 months old, where he and his family escaped to Great Britain after political turmoil caused his uncle, King Constantine I of Greece, to abdicate the Greek throne.

    On 28 February 1947, Prince Philip renounced his right to the Greek and Danish thrones and took his mother’s surname, Mountbatten.

    His father’s family name had been Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.

    Royal Navy service

    In 1939, aged 17, Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy and served on a number of British warships in the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian and Pacific oceans during World War II.

    His first naval appointment was at age 18, as a midshipman to HMS Ramillies. He then joined HMS Valiant in the Mediterranean Fleet.

    Towards the end of World War II, Prince Philip served on the destroyer HMS Whelp in the Pacific, and was present in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender on 2 September 1945.

    His active naval career ended in July 1951.

    Queen Elizabeth II is his distant cousin

    In 1947, Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth announced their engagement. Four months later, on 20 November, they were married in Westminster Abbey.

    The two royals are actually third cousins – they both share the same bloodline and are directly related to Queen Victoria.

    Queen Elizabeth is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria on her father’s side, whereas Prince Philip is related to Queen Victoria via his mother’s side.

    He and Queen Elizabeth have four children – Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, born in 1948; Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, who was born in 1950; Prince Andrew, Duke of York, born in 1960; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, born in 1964.

    A qualified pilot

    Prince Philip has learned to fly all types of aircrafts. He gained his RAF wings in 1953, his helicopter wings in 1956 and his private pilot’s licence in 1959.

    His final flight was on 11 August 1997, from Carlisle to Islay.

    He was the first member of the royal family to ever fly out of Buckingham Palace Garden in a helicopter.

    Published author

    The Duke of Edinburgh is also a published writer on environmental, technological, equestrian and animal subjects.

    His books include Selected Speeches 1948 – 1955 (1967), Birds from Britannia (1962), Down to Earth (1988), Survival or Extinction: A Christian Attitude to the Environment (1989).

    His book Down to Earth was translated into Japanese.

    First televised interview

    Prince Philip was the first member of the royal family to be interviewed on TV, on 26 May 1961.

    He was interviewed by Richard Dimbleby and talked about the Commonwealth Technical Training Week.


    Prince Philip was the former first president of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - and was talking about the environment and the conservation of animals 70 years ago.

    He started the UK role in 1961, as the president of the British National Appeal, and spoke publicly about the need to preserve nature.

    He carried on in the same role, until 1982, and took on the international role as president for 15 years before he was given the honorary title of president Emeritus when he retired.

    The charity is the world’s leading conservation organization and works in nearly 100 countries.

    The WWF has said in a statement: “We express our condolences on the passing away today of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, president Emeritus of WWF International.

    "Prince Philip’s lifelong passion for the environmental cause will continue to guide us as we work to protect and restore nature for people and the planet.”