Friday, June 10, 2011

90th Birthday of Prince Philip

On June 10, 2011, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, celebrated his 90th birthday. It is a notable milestone in an extraordinary life - he is already the oldest living spouse of a reigning British monarch and the longest-serving royal consort in British history.

Prince Philip and Buckingham Palace officials insisted that his birthday would not be marked by any formal celebration, but his wife the Queen did bestow him a special birthday gift by creating him Lord High Admiral of the British Navy.

Philip was born Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark on June 10, 1921 on the Greek island of Corfu. He was the fifth child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. His family were exiled from Greece when he was just a year old, and he had an often nomadic childhood after his mother was sent to a mental institution and his father went to live in southern France.

Philip met his future wife, Princess Elizabeth, daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, around 1939, when the British royal family were given a tour of Dartmouth naval college by Philip's uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten. Philip and Elizabeth are third cousins through their mutual lineage from Queen Victoria, and second cousins once-removed through their mutual lineage from King Christian IX of Denmark. They married in November 1947 and have four children, eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

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