Philip, duke of Edinburgh, in full Prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh, earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, also called Philip Mountbatten, original name Philip, prince of Greece and Denmark, (born June 10, 1921, Corfu, Greece), husband of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
Philip’s father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (1882–1944), a younger son of King George I of the Hellenes (originally Prince William of Denmark). His mother was Princess Alice (1885–1969), who was the eldest daughter of Louis Alexander Mountbatten, 1st marquess of Milford Haven, and Princess Victoria of Hesse and the Rhine, granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Reared chiefly in Great Britain, Philip was educated at Gordonstoun School, near Elgin, Moray, Scotland, and at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, Devon, England. From January 1940 to the end of World War II, he served with the Royal Navy in combat in the Mediterranean and the Pacific.
On February 28, 1947, Philip became a British subject, renouncing his right to the Greek and Danish thrones and taking his mother’s surname, Mountbatten. (His father’s family name had been Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg.) His marriage to his distant cousin Princess Elizabeth took place in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. On the eve of his wedding, he was designated a royal highness and was created a Knight of the Garter, Baron Greenwich, earl of Merioneth, and duke of Edinburgh. The couple’s first child, Charles Philip Arthur George, was born in 1948. He was joined by Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise (born 1950), Andrew Albert Christian Edward (born 1960), and Edward Anthony Richard Louis (born 1964).
While much of his time was spent fulfilling the duties of his station, Philip engaged in a variety of philanthropic endeavours. He served as president of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) from 1981 to 1996, and his International Award program allowed more than six million young adults to engage in community service, leadership development, and physical fitness activities. In 2011, to mark his 90th birthday, Elizabeth conferred on him the title and office of lord high admiral, the titular head of the Royal Navy. In May 2017 it was announced that Philip—who was one of the busiest royals, with more than 22,000 solo appearances over the years—would stop carrying out public engagements in August. His last solo event took place on August 2, 2017.
Mother, Siblings and Family Tree
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, was also known as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, was the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. He had four older sisters: Cecilie, Sophie, Margarita and Theodora.
While not British, Philip had family ties to England. Shortly after his birth, his maternal grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg, died in London. Louis was a naturalized British citizen who had renounced his German titles and adopted the surname Mountbatten during the First World War. Philip was also related to the British royal family as a descendant of Queen Victoria.
Marriage to Queen Elizabeth II
In 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen Mother Elizabeth) toured the Royal Naval College. Philip escorted their two young daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret, who were distant cousins of Philip’s through Queen Victoria. The 13-year-old Elizabeth developed a crush on Philip during the trip. Elizabeth and Philip began to exchange letters, which would continue for the next several years.