Saturday, February 17, 2018

Prince consort versus king consort

The recent death of Prince Henrik, consort of Denmark's Queen Margrethe II, has brought attention to an aspect of European royalty that has been addressed several times but often leaves confusion among those unfamiliar with royal protocol. For better or worse, the late Prince Henrik will definitely be known for his well-publicized annoyance with never having been made king consort. “My wife has decided that she would like to be Queen, and I’m very pleased with that,” he declared in a 2017 interview. “But as a person, she must know that if a man and a woman are married, then they are equal.”  

In many ways, it is difficult to argue with the prince's logic. The wife of a king is typically (barring exceptional circumstances) made queen consort, accompanied by holding the feminine equivalent of his title, the privilege of being addressed as "Your Majesty", and sharing equal ranking alongside him. For the husbands of reigning queens, however, this has not usually been the case. An official title such as Prince Consort might be granted, but these men have rarely been elevated to the rank of king, remain as "Your Royal Highness" rather than "Your Majesty", and are expected to walk one step behind their wives and bow to them as all other secondary members of the royal family do.  

Perhaps the best way to explain this is to consider the fact that historically, most monarchs have been male, and a man who holds the title of King has generally been considered to be the reigning monarch and thus in the position of power over all other members of his family. This would include a king's wife, even though she may be his equivalent by rank she nevertheless does not share his power. The argument could be made then that if a woman succeeds as a reigning Queen, and her husband were to be made King, it leaves the assumption that he holds the royal authority over his wife. The specification would have to be made, therefore, that he is King consort and not the reigning King. 

Surprisingly, there have been instances in history where the husband of a reigning queen has been made king. The best examples have taken place in Portugal and Spain. Only one man has ever been a consort to a reigning queen in Spain's history - Francis of Bourbon, Duke of Cadiz. He married Queen Isabella II, at which point he became His Majesty King Francis of Spain. He did not take on any constitutional responsibilities and did not share authority with his wife, but he was nevertheless made king. 

Portugal had two female monarchs in its history (both named Maria), and during the reigns of their wives both of their husbands were regarded as co-monarch alongside their queens. However, there were specifications for a male consort becoming king under Portuguese law. The queen's husband could only become king after his wife gave birth to a male heir. The first queen, Maria I, was in fact married to her uncle, Pedro, a Portuguese prince in his own right. They were already married and had a son before Maria ascended the throne, so he automatically became King Pedro and her co-monarch when she assumed the crown. The second Portuguese queen, Maria II, was already on the throne when she married her two husbands. Her first husband, Auguste de Beauharnais (a grandson of Napoleon Bonaparte's first wife, Josephine), was named prince consort upon their marriage but died before he and his wife could have children, thus never becoming king. Maria II married a second time to Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg, who was also created prince consort on marriage but became King Ferdinand upon the birth of their eldest son. 

The scenario of having a king consort actually occurred in English history once before. Queen Mary I, the eldest daughter of King Henry VIII, married King Philip II of Spain. Philip was technically her king consort though he was permitted to be regarded as co-monarch provided that all of his actions as king were performed jointly with the queen. The case of William of Orange, who became King William III and reigned jointly with his wife, Mary II, was an exceptional one in that he had been invited to take the throne by Parliament and continued to reign in his own right after his wife's death. Mary II's sister, Queen Anne, married Prince George of Denmark but he did not become king consort, instead remaining a prince and given the additional title of Duke of Cumberland. The husbands of Britain's next two female monarchs also remained princes during their wives' reigns - Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, was given the title of Prince Consort, while the present royal consort, Prince Philip, holds the additional title of Duke of Edinburgh. In the cases of Prince George, Prince Albert, and Prince Philip, neither of them held any constitutional responsibilities, neither of them could supercede their wives' authority, and neither of them were eligible to inherit the throne for themselves through their wives (though Prince Philip had in fact been very distantly in line for the British throne in his own right, as a descendant of Queen Victoria). 

Is it possible that the husband of a female monarch could be named king in the future? Certainly. The high number of female royal heirs means that, in a few decades, Europe's monarchical landscape will be dominated by reigning queens. Norway will one day have Queen Ingrid Alexandra, Sweden's next monarch will be Queen Victoria, followed by her daughter the future Queen Estelle, Belgium's next monarch will be Queen Elisabeth, Spain's next monarch will be Queen Leonor, and the Netherlands' next monarch will be Queen Catharina-Amalia. Who is to say that the future husbands of these upcoming queens regnant could not be kings consort? It only takes one for other monarchies to base precedent upon. 

HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark, 1934 - 2018

The Danish royal family is in mourning for the death of His Royal Highness Prince Henrik, the husband of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II. The consort passed away at the age of 83 on Tuesday, 13 February after having been hospitalized since January with a lung infection. His health deteriorated considerably in recent years, most significantly with the announcement in 2017 that he had been diagnosed with dementia. 

Prince Henrik's passing comes a year after the death of Prince Richard of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Burleburg, the husband of Queen Margrethe's second sister, Princess Benedikte. The only surviving husband of Denmark's trio of royal sisters is 77-year-old King Constantine II of Greece, the spouse of the youngest sister, Queen Anne-Marie. 

Denmark's first-ever male royal consort lived a life that was anything but ordinary. Born as Henri de Laborde de Monpezat in France, he spent part of his childhood in Vietnam, then part of French Indochina, and later returned to Asia as an adult to study. Service in the French army during the Algerian War preceded his work in the diplomatic service. Henri was posted to the French embassy in London when he met Princess Margrethe of Denmark, eldest daughter of King Frederick IX and heir to the Danish throne. They married in June 1967, at which point Henri changed his name to Henrik, was given the rank of a Danish prince, and changed his faith from Catholicism to Lutheranism. Prince Henrik and Princess Margrethe welcomed two sons within the next two years - Prince Frederik (born 1968) and Prince Joachim (born 1969) - and he became the royal consort with his wife's accession as queen in 1972. 

Henrik's Gallic temperament, artistic flair, and cosmopolitan tastes in many ways made him an ideal match for his wife, who is renowned for her artistic abilities and could arguably be regarded as Europe's best-educated monarch. Nevertheless, he found it difficult to fully acclimate himself within Danish society even five decades after marrying into its royal family. The Danish press took to lighthearted mocking of his prominent French accent, but more seriously were his numerous outbursts over his subordinate position to his wife. 

In 2002, he quite openly stropped off to his vacation home in southern France after the royal court chose his son, Crown Prince Frederik, to host a New Year's banquet in place of the indisposed queen. The prince consort took offense at being bypassed in favor of his son, venting his frustrations to the press from his self-imposed exile in a manner not often seen from royalty. He even refused to accompany his wife to the wedding of the future King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. Eventually he reneged and came back home to Denmark, but the incident marked the prince thereafter. His willingness to speak frankly about his unhappiness stands in marked contrast with his British counterpart, Prince Philip, who rarely if ever took to publicly expressing his well-known frustrations with being a male consort. 

Prince Henrik's behavior in recent years had attracted more unflattering attention. His wife's announcement that he would be stepping down from public duties in 2016 was followed by more public outbursts later that year, in which he derided the fact that he was never made "king consort" and claimed he was the subject of gender discrimination since the wives of male monarchs are made queen and he was stuck with remaining as simply a prince. Then Henrik declared that as a result of having been denied equal footing with her in life, he would not be buried beside the queen in Roksilde Cathedral, the traditional burial place of Danish monarchs and their consorts. Such behavior did not appeal to the unassuming Danes, and even Queen Margrethe often responded to her husband's rants with a roll of the eyes. 

The Danish people's considerable admiration for their queen, however, meant that there would always be some amount of respect for her husband, and in this sad time they have paid tribute to their widowed monarch and her late husband with a modest outpouring of affection that is typical of the country. Whatever their feelings towards him in life may have been, there can be no denying that Prince Henrik brought a considerable amount of flavor and zest to the Danish royal family. 

50th Birthday of HM The King of Spain

On 30 January, His Majesty King Felipe VI of Spain turned fifty years old. 

The King is Europe's most recently enthroned monarch, having accepted the crown on 19 June 2014 upon the abdication of his father, King Juan Carlos. Together with his glamorous wife, Queen Letizia, Felipe VI has worked hard at restoring the prestige of the Spanish monarchy. Though King Juan Carlos enjoyed widespread public approval for much of his thirty-nine-year reign, the last of his years on the throne were marred by scandal and accusations of corruption. It was hoped that Felipe's accession would revitalize the House of Bourbon and help clean up the royal family's tarnished image. By most accounts, it appears to be working. 

As part of the commemorations for this milestone birthday, King Felipe formally bestowed the ribbon and collar of Spain's highest order, the Order of the Golden Fleece, upon his eldest daughter and heir, Princess Leonor. The 12-year-old Princess of Asturias was invested into the Order back in 2015 on her tenth birthday, but this ceremony on her father's fiftieth was the first time she had actually received the order's corresponding regalia. It was also intended to mark the first step in formalizing the young princess's public role as heiress to the throne. 
King Felipe VI of Spain bestows his eldest daughter, HRH The Princess of Asturias, with the ribbon of the Order of the Golden Fleece on the occasion of his fiftieth birthday.

Leonor, Princess of Asturias curtsies to her father, HM The King of Spain.

Felipe was born on 30 January 1968 in Madrid, the third child and only son of Prince Juan Carlos of Spain (as he was known as then) and Princess Sophia of Greece and Denmark. His father was the elder son of Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona and Princess Maria Mercedes of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. His mother was the eldest child of King Paul of Greece and Princess Frederica of Hanover. He has two elder sisters, Infanta Elena and Infanta Cristina.
The names he received were reflective of Spanish royal history as well as his own family lineage - Felipe, in honor of King Philip V, who was the first Spanish king of the House of Bourbon; Juan, in honor of his paternal grandfather, Infante Juan, Count of Barcelona; Pablo, in honor of his maternal grandfather, King Paul of Greece; Alfonso, in honor of his great-grandfather, King Alfonso XIII, who was the last Spanish king to rule before the abolition of the monarchy back in 1931. Felipe's godparents were his grandfather, Juan, and his great-grandmother, Queen Victoria Eugenie of Spain (wife of Alfonso XIII), who was a granddaughter of England's Queen Victoria. 

At the time of Felipe's birth, Spain was still under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, though the following year, Franco formally declared that upon his death the Spanish monarchy would be restored with Juan Carlos as king. With his father's accession to the throne in 1975, Felipe became first in the line of succession and was granted the title Prince of Asturias. 

The handsome 6'6 prince attracted considerable media attention regarding his personal life, and the Spanish media linked to a number of women. Yet he surprised everyone when he announced his engagement to Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, a news anchorwoman. Not only was Letizia the first bride of a future Spanish king to be born a commoner, and the fact that she was divorced raised plenty of eyebrows. However, the Catholic Church in Spain reported that since Letizia's previous marriage was a civil union and did not take place within the church, she could marry the Prince of Asturias religiously and still receive the church's blessing. 

The wedding of the Prince and Princess of Asturias was held on 22 May 2004 at the Almuneda Cathedral in Madrid, the first royal wedding in the Spanish capital since the 1906 nuptials of Felipe's great-grandparents, King Alfonso XIII and Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg. That wedding had been marred by a terrorist's bomb which narrowly missed the bridal couple and could have potentially killed half of Europe's royalty. Luckily, this wedding ceremony was only marred by inclement weather. 

The Prince and Princess of Asturias had two daughters - Leonor and Sofia. Succession to the Spanish throne runs along the line of male-preference primogeniture, meaning males take priority over females, and female offspring of a Spanish monarch can succeed if they have no brothers to supersede them. Thus, their eldest daughter, Leonor, is first in the line of succession but would be displaced as heir to the throne if her parents were to have a son. 

In 2014, with his popularity declining along with his health, King Juan Carlos announced that he would be stepping down in favor of his son. Felipe ascended the throne on 19 June as King Felipe VI, with his wife becoming Spain's first queen consort to not be born into royalty. Their daughter Leonor thus became the Princess of Asturias and their younger daughter Sofia is second in line to the throne. 

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Funeral of King Michael

The funeral of His Majesty King Michael of Romania was held on Saturday 16 December 2017 in Bucharest, eleven days after the deposed monarch died in Switzerland at the age of 96.

     The ceremonies began with the arrival of King Michael's coffin at Bucharest's Henri Coanada Airport, aboard a special flight of the Romanian Air Force. His body was transported to Peles Castle in the Carpathian Mountains. This was the summer home of the Romanian royal family and a part of the royal estate where Michael was born in 1921. His body lay in state here privately, where members of his family, members of the Romanian government, and other designated diplomats were permitted to come and pay their respects. The following day, the funeral cortege went to Bucharest, where it was to lie in state at the former Royal Palace, which today is the National Museum of Art. During this time, the general public was granted access to file past the coffin and pay their respects to the deceased monarch.

The funeral began on Saturday, 16 December with a religious ceremony in the Royal Palace, followed by an outdoor religious and military ceremony in the square outside of the Royal Palace, where King Michael's coffin was placed atop a catafalque. Members of foreign royal families joined Romanian politicians and the Romanian royal family for the services. 
As King Michael's coffin was lifted from the catafalque and placed on a gun carriage by Romanian soldiers, applause broke out among the spectators, and as the gun carriage paraded through the streets of Bucharest to the Patriarchal Cathedral, thousands of people applauded and chanted "Regele Mihai" (King Michael).

Afterward, the coffin was then transported by train to the town of Curtea de Arges, where members of the royal house have been buried in the city's cathedral. A burial service was held at the cathedral that evening, and His Majesty King Michael was laid to rest beside his wife, Queen Anne, who died in September 2016. 

The royal guests in attendance at the King's funeral included his immediate family and his relatives from many of Europe's royal houses. For the first time in years, all five of King Michael's daughters were reunited - Crown Princess Margareta, with her husband, Prince Radu; Princess Helen, with her husband, Alexander Nixon; Mrs. Irina Walker, formerly Princess Irina (she was deprived of her royal title following her 2014 conviction for operating an illegal cockfighting ring near her home in Oregon, USA); Princess Sophie, and Princess Maria. Two of King Michael's five grandchildren were in attendance - Nicholas Medforth-Mills (formerly Prince Nicholas of Romania) and his sister, Elisabeta-Karina Medforth-Mills, who are both the children of Michael's second daughter, Princess Helen. Nicholas was accompanied by his fiance, Alina Binder. It was a noteworthy appearance for Nicholas, as he had landed himself in the news recently due to a supposed quarrel with members of King Michael's household who blocked him from visiting his dying grandfather back in October after it was announced that the king's health had deteriorated. Two of King Michael's American-born grandchildren, Irina Walker's children Michael Kreuger and Angelica Knight - sent wreaths in memory of their grandfather, which were displayed on the gates outside of the Royal Palace. 

The British royal family was represented by HRH The Prince of Wales (Charles's father, Prince Philip, was a childhood playmate of King Michael as well as his first cousin once removed; Michael's mother, Helen, was Philip's first cousin). Belgium was represented by Princess Astrid and Prince Lorenz, Archduke of Austria-Este (Prince Lorenz is a member of the so-called "Crown Council" for the Romanian royal house). Princess Muna, the mother of King Abdullah II of Jordan, who has a close friendship with the Romania royals, was in attendance. HM Queen Anne-Marie of Greece represented her husband, King Constantine II, who is Michael's first cousin. The Greek royal party also consisted of Anne-Marie's son, Prince Nikolaos, and King Constantine's younger sister, Princess Irene. A former Greek princess, Queen Sofia of Spain, who is also Michael's first cousin, attended along with her husband, King Juan Carlos. The King and Queen of Sweden and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg were the reigning monarchs in attendance, along with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Yugoslavia, the Crown Prince of Albania, and the heads of the deposed House of Romanov and House of Hohenzollern. During the funeral procession, Prince Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia, walked alongside the Romanian royal family, ostensibly as the head of the House of Hohenzollern, from which the Romanian royal family descends.  

Monday, January 22, 2018

Another royal wedding in the UK

2018 is definitely going to be an exciting year for the House of Windsor. 

As everyone knows already, the wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and Meghan Markle in May will undoubtedly be the highlight of the royal calendar. The upcoming birth of a third child for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will also keep attention focused on the British royals, along with a second child for the Queen's granddaughter, Zara Tindall. Now, we have just received confirmation that a second royal wedding will be taking place later this year.

On Monday, 22 January 2018, Buckingham Palace announced that Her Royal Highness Princess Eugenie of York, the younger daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and his former wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, is engaged to marry her longtime boyfriend, Jack Brooksbank. Brooksbank is a 31-year-old nightclub manager and party fixer who has been dating the 27-year-old princess for the past six years. 

The official announcement was posted on the Royal Family's Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as the official website, 

HRH Princess Eugenie Victoria Helena of York was born 23 March 1990, the second of two daughters born to the Duke and Duchess of York. She is the sixth grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Her namesake is Princess Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria who became Queen of Spain and is the great-grandmother of the present Spanish king, Felipe VI, who is Eugenie's fifth cousin once removed. 

Princess Eugenie's wedding will be held in the autumn at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, the same venue where her cousin Prince Harry is getting married. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

HM King Michael of Romania, 1921-2017

His daughter once described him as "an amputated soul". His wife said that he lived a quiet life of mourning for his country. Indeed, King Michael of Romania's life was shaped by his country - the love he had for it, and the havoc wrought upon him when he was forced to leave it behind. If any comfort could be drawn from this colorful and often sad life, which came to a close on 5 December 2017, it could be that even though he never lived to see his throne returned to him, the old King was allowed to return to his beloved homeland and finally received the respect he deserved for the service he gave. As a young man in his early twenties, an age when most people are setting the stones for the foundations of their lives and still learning about who they are and what they want to become, King Michael was already thrust toward his destiny as well as carrying the destinies of an entire country on his tall shoulders. The Romanian throne had been a double-edged sword for him: it gave his life purpose, but it had robbed him of his childhood when he was forced to occupy it at the age of six. Michael's father, the wily Prince Carol, had turned his back on his duty, his country, and his family to pursue a scandalous affair with Magda Lupescu, carelessly leaving the mantle which he had been groomed his whole life to bear in the hands of his young son. Michael's mother, the stoic Princess Helen of Greece, did her best to keep the boy disciplined and grounded in spite of his exalted position. Yet she was ultimately powerless to stave off her former husband's damaging presence when he came waltzing back into Romania and usurped the crown from Michael. Michael never forgave his father for the humiliation levied upon his mother in the aftermath of their divorce, and refused to ever see him again after Carol was driven into permanent exile in 1940. 

During his second reign, which began when he was nineteen, Michael endured the dictatorship of his prime minister Marshal Ion Antonescu, who habitually undermined his monarchical authority and dragged Romania into the Second World War on the side of the Germans. The young king knew that Romania would sacrifice thousands of her soldiers for a cause that they had little to gain from, and he advantageously used Antonescu's dismissal of his abilities to perform what many regard as his most courageous deed. King Michael's Coup of 23 August 1944 removed Antonescu from power and transferred Romania's alliance from the Axis Powers to the Allies. This allowed Soviet troops to march through Romania and gain easier access to invade Germany, which most historians agree shortened the war in Europe by up to six months. The coup saved thousands of lives, and yet it left King Michael and his country vulnerable to Soviet encroachment. An agreement between Stalin and Churchill effectively sealed Romania's fate when it gave the Soviet Union the upper hand in influence over Romanian affairs. Just three years later, communist politicians with Soviet backing had infiltrated the Romanian government, and King Michael, at the age of 26, was sent packing into exile against his will. 

In many ways, Michael never truly recovered from the loss of his country. He had some joy in his personal life - he wed Princess Anne of Bourbon-Parma and, after producing five daughters together, they remained married for sixty-eight years until her death in 2016. Yet those close to him noticed a withdrawn, remote figure who seemed to nurse the pain of abdication and exile more intently than other deposed monarchs. His cousin, King Constantine II of Greece, for example, has said that he was grateful to have been a young man when he was driven into exile in 1967, for had he been older he would have found the change in his life more difficult to cope with. Yet King Michael certainly never adapted to life in exile in the way of his Greek relative. Perhaps Michael's stormy childhood left scars on him deeper than anyone could truly understand. Certainly the way Romania suffered under decades of brutal communist dictators after Michael's deposition filled him with enormous sorrow. Even his own children have said that he was a distant father at times, which perhaps explains at least partially the troubles his family endured over the years. All but one of his five daughters have been divorced. His third daughter, Irina, was arrested and convicted in the United States for running an illegal cockfighting ring. His grandson, Nicholas, who had been given the title of Prince in 2010 and was being groomed to one day take over leadership of the deposed royal house, was stripped of his title and cast out of the family for undisclosed reasons, which was later revealed to be his unwillingness to acknowledge that he had supposedly fathered a little girl out of wedlock. 

Despite these issues, what King Michael will be remembered for is his steadfastness, his bravery, and his wholehearted devotion to his country. When he returned to Romania in 1997, after previous visits triggered unseemly squabbling among Romanian politicians, the enormous crowds that had jammed the streets to cheer him left him so moved that, struggling to maintain his composure, all he could say to them was a simple "I love you". He was not lying; he never has. No other figure in the last century has stood as a champion of the dignity and welfare of the Romanian people than their last king, and no other figure in the last century is more worthy of having his memory preserved as such in death. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Retirement Portrait of Prince Philip

A new portrait of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has been put on display to commemorate his official retirement from public duties in 2017. The 96-year-old consort, who has been married to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for seventy years, is the longest-serving British royal consort in history, and is the longest-living male member of the British royal family ever, performed his last public engagement in August. Though he will still appear at family functions (including the wedding of his grandson, Prince Harry, in just a few months) and will appear alongside the Queen at state functions and the occasional public engagement, he will no longer perform solo engagements and has stepped down from his active involvement in numerous charities and organizations.

The portrait was done by Australian artist Ralph Heimans. It is a remarkable one, for it emphasizes a number of elements related to Prince Philip's family background.

The painting depicts the Duke at Windsor Castle. At the end of the corridor behind him is the entrance to the Tapestry Room, where his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, was born in 1885 in the presence of her great-grandmother, Queen Victoria. Though many people over the years regarded Philip as a European foreigner, there are those who forget that he has close ties to the British royal family. An anecdote tells us that not long after his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, Philip was forced to endure a tour of Windsor Castle by a courtier who operated under the belief that the place was entirely foreign to him. Exasperated, Philip interrupted the man and said "Yes, yes, I know all this; my mother was born here after all". Painting the Duke standing before the very birthplace of his mother not only adds a sentimental touch, but also nicely emphasizes the fact that he is more connected to Britain than many people give him credit for.

Another remarkable element of this portrait can be found in the sash the Duke is wearing. He is depicted here wearing the sash of the Order of the Elephant, which is the highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Denmark  (note the elephant medallion at the bottom of the sash). This emphasizes the fact that the Duke is a descendant of the Danish royal family.

"But wait," you might be asking if you know enough about Philip's background. "Wasn't he from Greece originally?" Yes, Prince Philip was a Greek prince by birth, but we must not forget that the Greek royal family themselves descend from the Danish monarchy. Philip's grandfather, King George I of Greece, was born a Danish prince, the second son of King Christian IX of Denmark. He accepted the offer to become king of Greece in 1863 and arrived in his new kingdom at the age of seventeen, having changed his name, his nationality, and his destiny. All dynastic members of the Greek royal house bore the title Prince/Princess of Greece and Denmark, and the Greek royal family is considered to be part of the extended Danish royal family. Depicting the Duke of Edinburgh with the Order of the Elephant serves as a reminder of the prince's origins and also emphasizes his connection with what is actually Europe's oldest monarchy.

Too many times over the course of Prince Philip's married life have his origins and personal history been obscured or glossed over. He renounced his title as a prince of Greece and Denmark before his engagement to Elizabeth in an effort to make him appear less "foreign" to the British people. He adopted his mother's family name, Mountbatten, which he had no real connection with (it was a name his mother never used for herself, as she had already been married into the Greek royal family by the time her father chose to renounce the Battenberg name). Every effort was made to make Philip appear as naturally British as possible so that his wife's subjects and the British establishment could "stomach" him better. It is therefore heartening to see this portrait and how it prominently displays elements that draw attention to Prince Philip's background and family origins, as he is more than deserving of the respect and gratitude of his adopted country in which he has resided for well over seven decades now.