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PEOPLE Prince Philip

PEOPLE Prince Philip

PEOPLE Prince Philip
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With Prince Philip’s passing at age 99, People pays tribute to history’s longest-serving royal consort in a photo-filled commemorative edition. The day of Queen Elizabeth’s 1953 coronation, her husband, Philip Mountbatten, also took a vow: To stand by the monarch, who happened also to be the love of his life. With intimate family pictures and glorious historical moments, this special issue looks at Philip’s life, from his turbulent childhood through his decades of public duty to the Crown. The son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg served his adopted country first as a naval officer and then as the “strength and stay” of the queen, to whom he was wed for 73 years. Father to Princes Charles, Andrew and Edward and to Princess Anne, he was a grandfather to eight (including Princes William and Harry), and a great-grandfather of nine. Flinty and frank, he was known for the occasional verbal gaffe but also for being someone the queen “can have a laugh with,” according to an insider. People’s unparalleled royal coverage tells the story of a royal romance that weathered good years and bad. As a bridesmaid at their 1947 wedding told People when Elizabeth and Philip approached their platinum anniversary, “I can think of very few couples as united.”

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Meredith Corporation
Frequency:
One-off
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in this issue

3 min.
philip: love & duty

THE DAY HIS WIFE was formally crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, the Duke of Edinburgh also took a vow inside Westminster Abbey: He promised to be her “liege man of life and limb.” That is precisely how Prince Philip, 99, who died at Windsor Castle on the morning of April 9, spent his life. This only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg served his adopted country first as a naval officer and then as the “strength and stay” of Queen Elizabeth II, to whom he was married for more than 70 years. “I can think of very few couples as united,” Lady Pamela Hicks, a bridesmaid at their 1947 wedding, told People in 2016. Flinty and frank, he was also known for…

7 min.
philip, before elizabeth

THIS,” SAID A FAMILY FRIEND, introducing the tow-headed 4-year-old at his side to a stranger, “is Prince Philip. His grandfather is a king of Greece.” Indignant, the little boy shot back, “No! I’m Philip—just Philip, that’s all!” Prince Philippos of the royal house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg was born June 10, 1921, in Corfu, Greece. He didn’t have a drop of Hellenic blood—his paternal grandfather, King George I, was a Danish prince who had been installed on the Greek throne at age 17 and had eight children, including Philip’s father, Prince Andrew, a general in the Greek army. Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, was born in Windsor Castle, a great-granddaughter of Britain’s Queen Victoria. (Yes, that made Philip a distant cousin of his wife; see family tree, page 36.) Alice’s father, Admiral…

4 min.
a princess meets her future

TEN-YEAR-OLD PRINCESS Elizabeth was at home when she heard the cheers from the London streets below: Her uncle King Edward VIII had just given up the crown to be with “the woman I love,” and a crowd was hailing the new King—her father. Rushing upstairs, she told her younger sister the news. “Does that mean that you will have to be the next Queen?” asked Margaret. “Yes, someday,” Elizabeth replied. “Poor you,” concluded her sister, according to biographer Sally Bedell Smith in Elizabeth the Queen. The future Queen, however, accepted her fate in silence. At age 2, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary already had, in the words of Winston Churchill, “an air of authority and reflectiveness astonishing in an infant.” Yet until her father’s brother relinquished the throne, she grew up unburdened by…

5 min.
their secret romance

BY 1943 PHILIP, A FIRST LIEUTENANT, was second in command on HMS Wallace and distinguished himself by helping to save the ship from a German bomber. When the Christmas holidays came, having “nowhere particular to go,” as he later said, Philip accepted an invitation to spend them at Windsor Castle. Elizabeth, by then 17, confided to her governess that he was “the one,” and the King’s private secretary observed that the couple “frisked and capered away til near 1 a.m.” Philip sent a thank-you note to the Queen, saying he hoped she wouldn’t think it presumptuous if he added Windsor to his favorite places. The romance between the princess and the Royal Navy man remained a secret outside the palace. Elizabeth’s father, King George, wrote to his mother that Philip was…

5 min.
the first modern royal wedding

NOT YET RECOVERED FROM World War II, England in 1947 was a country in need of joy and beauty. On the gray morning of Nov. 20, the Windsors delivered. “This wedding, on a dark day of a troubled, distracted and most uncertain time, carried over six continents and seven seas a brightness so simple it was hard to understand,” Time wrote of the union of Princess Elizabeth, 21, and the newly titled Duke of Edinburgh, 26, whom one of the bridesmaids dubbed “God’s gift to girls.” To be sure, concessions were made in the name of austerity—the prime minister refused to declare a national holiday and insisted on keeping the wedding route to the minimum 1½ miles—but for the estimated half million who lined the London streets, many singing popular tunes…

4 min.
newlyweds to new parents

PENNING LETTERS BY THE FIRE ON their honeymoon in Scotland, the young marrieds couldn’t contain their happiness. “Cherish Lilibet? I wonder if that word is enough to express what is in me,” Philip wrote to his new mother-in-law. “Philip,” Elizabeth wrote to her, “is an angel…. Having him around all the time is just perfect.” Upon returning to London, however, all was not perfection. “Philip is terribly independent, and I quite understand the poor darling wanting to start off properly without everything being done for us,” Elizabeth had written to her mother, adding that her new husband needed to feel he’s the “boss in his own home.” But that wasn’t easy since the couple didn’t have a proper home of their own. Awaiting renovations on Clarence House, they moved into Buckingham Palace,…