Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark Canadian Heritage; Daily Telegraph; Hello Magazine; Sky News; Website of the Royal Family, all retrieved 10 June 2011 on 10 June 1921) is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. He is the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest-ever male member of the British royal family. A member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families. He was born in Greece but his family was exiled from the country when he was still an infant. After being educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, at the age of 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth (his third cousin through Queen Victoria and second cousin once removed through Christian IX of Denmark), whom he had first met in 1934. During World War II he served with the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets. After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement, he abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles and became a naturalised British subject, adopting the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents. After an engagement of five months, he married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, the King granted him the style of His Royal Highness and the title Duke of Edinburgh. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became Queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander. His wife made him a prince of the United Kingdom in 1957. Philip has four children with Elizabeth: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward. He has eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of Philip and Elizabeth not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which has also been used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Charles and Anne. A keen sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving. He is a patron of over 800 organisations and serves as chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme for people aged 14 to 24.

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