Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth for 74 years and the longest-serving consort in British history, has died. Philip, 99, passed away on April 9, 2021, according to Buckingham Palace. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was born on June 10, 1921, as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. He was born on the island of Corfu.
At the age of 17, in 1939, he fought in World War II. He joined the Royal Navy and sailed with the HMS Valiant. While serving, Philip made national headlines as a member of royalty who was fighting in the war. He met Princess Elizabeth in 1939 while visiting Dartmouth Naval College. On November 20, 1947, the two were married at Westminster Abbey.
Their wedding, just two years after the end of the Second World War, was considered by many to be a sign of changing times and growing optimism. The massive, royal affair was international news, with many considering it a turning point for the attitude of Europe after the war.
The couple went on to have four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
As the country’s longest-serving consort, Prince Philip was prolific in his public life and image until he retired from public appearances a few years ago. The Duke of Edinburgh was reportedly passionate about equestrian sports, and loved to play polo and go horseback riding. He’s also credited with turning the pastime of carriage driving into a British sport.
As a member of the royal family, Philip had a large public profile and often engaged in solo outings for the cameras. According to palace historians, Prince Philip had over 22,000 solo engagements at Buckingham and traveled to foreign countries over 600 times to deliver speeches. His final public appearance was in August of 2020, when he joined the parade signifying the close of the Royal Marines 1664 Global Challenge.
In the middle of this active public life, Philip also authored 14 books. Philip and Elizabeth celebrated 70 years of marriage in 2017, marking one of the longest active marriages among royals in the world.
According to the World Wildlife Fund’s Director-General, Marco Lambertini, Philip was pivotal in the early conservation movement. The Prince “played a role, broadly speaking, in shaping the thinking of the conservation movement at the time. He was definitely, personally, deeply and genuinely passionate about nature. And also, he was also a tireless champion for the environment … He was a true visionary.”