The Duke of Edinburgh: A lifetime of service

Duke of Edinburgh recovers in Windsor after leaving hospital

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has died.

The 99-year-old passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

Born in Corfu on June 10, 1921, he was the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg, giving him the title of Prince of Greece and Denmark, and later moved to Britain.

He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939, and served on various battleships, becoming a Sub-Lieutenant, First Lieutenant and later a Commander.

While his active naval career ended in 1951, he remained closely connected to the Armed Forces, becoming Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps, Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Cadet Force and Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Air Training Corps, then later Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal and Marshal of the Royal Air Force.

In July 1947 he became engaged to the Princess Elizabeth, his third cousin through Queen Victoria, and they married at Westminster Abbey in London on November 20 the same year.

Upon the death of his father-in-law King George VI in 1952, his wife ascended the throne to become Queen Elizabeth II.

The couple have four children; Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; Princess Anne, the Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. They have eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

The Duke of Edinburgh at the Mayor's Civic Ball at the Magnet Leisure Centre in 1976.

In 2009 he became the longest-serving British consort.

The Duke’s interests included carriage-driving, which he could often be seen doing in Windsor Great Park, polo, and sailing. He was also a qualified pilot.

In 1956 he founded the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, and he was patron or president of some 800 organisations. Locally these included Guards Polo Club, the Prince Philip Trust Fund for the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, the Rotary Clubs of Windsor and Eton and Windsor St George and Royal Windsor Horse Show. He was also the Ranger of Windsor Great Park.

In 1995, he was made an Honorary Freeman of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for his contributions to the local area.

The Duke marked his 95th birthday on Friday, June 10 2016 when he attended a service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London to celebrate the life of the Queen, who turned 90 the same year.

In August 2017, The Duke retired from official public duties at the age of 96 but still made occasional public appearances.

In 2019, he joined the Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse show to cheer on his granddaughter, Lady Louise Windsor, as she competed in carriage riding.

In April 2020, he issued his first statement since his retirement to praise the 'vital and urgent' work of frontline workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

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