17 key milestones in Prince Philip’s life – In pictures

17 key milestones in Prince Philip’s life – In pictures

Prince Philip’s “unwavering loyalty” to the Queen and his “courage, fortitude and faith” will be marked at his funeral following his death at the age of 99.

The Duke of Edinburgh was married to the Queen for 70 years and dedicated decades of his life to public service.

He passed away peacefully at their Windsor Castle home on April 9, just weeks after being discharged from hospital.

As the nation, and the world, prepares to bid farewell with his televised funeral, we have put together some snapshots of key milestones in the duke’s extraordinary life.

He may be gone, but he will never be forgotten.

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His birth

A young Prince Philip of Greece (left) rides with his cousin King Michael Of Romania (right) on the sands at Constanza, Romania

The duke was born on June 10, 1921 on the Greek island of Corfu, as the youngest of five children.

His parents were Princess Alice of Battenberg and Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, making him a prince of both nations.

In December 1922, an 18-month-old Philip was exiled from his homeland on a Royal Navy ship after the Greek king Constantine I was forced to abdicate.

In 1923, the family settled in the outskirts of Paris. But Princess Alice began to suffer serious mental health problems.

At the age of eight, the duke travelled to England to live with his grandmother and his uncle. In 1930, his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to a sanatorium in Switzerland for two years.

In 1933, Philip spent two terms in at Salem School in south Germany, run by Kurt Hahn, who inspired him to set up The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award 20 years later.

The following year he started school at Gordonstoun in Morayshire, where he became head boy and captain of hockey and cricket.

Wooing the Queen

The then Princess Elizabeth with her fiance Lieut. Philip Mountbatten, at Buckingham Palace

Philip and the Queen were distant cousins and both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria.

They attended some of the same events in their youth – a wedding in 1934 and King George VI’s coronation in 1937.

However, it was in 1939 that they had their first publicised meeting, when Philip was 18 and Princess Elizabeth was 13.

The princess’s parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, had taken her and her sister, Princess Margaret, to visit the naval college in Dartmouth and cadet Philip was assigned to entertain the princesses.

It was there that Elizabeth first fell for the tall, blond, athletic Philip when he amused her by jumping over tennis nets.

The pair wrote regular letters to one another and later met on numerous occasions, with Philip even spending Christmas with the royal family during the Second World War.

World War II

As a serving officer in the Royal Navy

Philip fought for Britain in the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

He saw active service from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean and, in 1942, became one of the youngest officers in the Royal Navy to be made First Lieutenant and second-in-command of a ship – HMS Wallace.

He was also awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour after spotting an unexpected enemy vessel during the Battle of Matapan in 1941.

On September 2, 1945 he was in Tokyo Bay as the Japanese surrendered to the Allied forces.

Becoming the Duke of Edinburgh

King George VI and the then Queen, with Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh (left) and Princess Margaret (right) on the balcony at Buckingham Palace

Philip renounced his Greek title and became a naturalised Briton in 1947, becoming Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten.

He chose his new surname Mountbatten – an Anglicised form of his mother’s maiden name Battenberg – rather than Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg – the family name of the Danish royal house from which his father was descended.

He was made the Duke of Edinburgh by Princess Elizabeth’s father, George VI, just before the pair’s wedding. The Queen later made him a prince of the UK.

The royal wedding

The happy couple on their wedding day

Philip and Elizabeth’s engagement was announced in July 1947 and the royal wedding took place on November 20 1947 in London’s Westminster Abbey.

Elizabeth was 21 and not yet Queen.

Five years after they married – in 1952 – George VI died and Elizabeth was crowned monarch.

Starting a family

Princess Anne in the arms of her mother as the Duke of Edinburgh holds Prince Charles

The duke became a father when Elizabeth gave birth to their first child, Prince Charles, on November 14, 1948.

The couple went on to have three more: Princess Anne (on August 15, 1950), Prince Andrew (on February 19, 1960) and Prince Edward (on March 10, 1964).

The Queen’s coronation

The newly crowned Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the coronation

King George VI died on February 6, 1952. Elizabeth discovered the news while in Kenya on a Commonwealth tour with Philip.

On June 2 the following year she was crowned Queen in an elaborate ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

The Duke of Edinburgh swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and was the first layman to pay tender homage to the newly crowned monarch.

Becoming a granddad

The royal family at Prince William’s christening

Philip and the Queen welcomed their first grandchild with the birth of Peter Phillips – son of Princess Anne – on November 15, 1977.

He was followed by his sister, now Zara Tindall, four years later on 15 May 1981.

On June 21, 1982, the second in line to the throne – Prince William – was born to Prince Charles and his then wife Diana, Princess of Wales.

Harry – who is now sixth in the line of succession – came two years later on September 15, 1984.

Death of Diana

The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, the Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk behind the funeral cortege

In the early hours of August 31, 1997, Diana died following a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris alongside her partner Dodi Fayed.

Her funeral, which took place on September 6, saw her coffin carried from Kensington Palace along Hyde Park to St James’s Place.

It was there that Philip, Prince Charles, his two sons and their uncle the Earl Spencer joined the procession, walking solemnly behind the funeral cortege in a now profoundly symbolic image.

Diamond wedding anniversary

The loving couple celebrated 60 years together in 2007

The Queen and Philip marked their diamond wedding anniversary on November 19, 2007.

After celebrating the 60-year milestone at home, they jetted off to Malta to revive golden memories of their newlywed youth.

Officially the longest-serving consort

A happy-looking Philip in 2009

In 2009, the duke became the longest-serving royal consort in British history, overtaking the record of 57 years and 70 days set by Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III.

The husband of a reigning Queen, unlike a Queen consort, is not crowned nor anointed at a coronation, hence why he remained the Duke of Edinburgh, not King Philip.

Becoming a great-granddad

The duke looks happily at his great-grandchildren Charlotte and George in June 2017

The Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen became great-grandparents for the first time on December 29, 2010, with the birth of Savannah Phillips to their son Peter.

She was followed by sister Isla and then, on 22 July 2013, Prince George was born – becoming the third in line to the throne.

He was then followed by Mia Tindall, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Lena Tindall, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, August Brooksbank, and Lucas Tindall.

Sadly, the duke didn’t get a chance to meet his eleventh great-grandchild, who is due in the summer to parents the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Philip smiles as he chats to well wishers at Chester Zoo as part of a tour of the North West with the Queen on May 17, 2012

The Queen celebrated 60 years on the throne in 2012 with a string of celebrations and tours around the UK.

These included a pageant of 1,000 boats on the River Thames and culminated in a four-day public holiday between June 2 and 5.

The duke was forced to miss most of the festivities after falling ill with a bladder infection, but still managed to make a few public appearances to mark the occasion.

Last public engagement

The Duke of Edinburgh, in his role as Captain General, Royal Marines, conducts his final individual public engagement

On August 2, 2017, Philip carried out his final official public duty.

In a ceremony at Buckingham palace, the duke met with Royal Marines who had completed the 1664 Global Challenge.

That infamous car crash

The duke was left shaken but unscathed by the crash

The duke was left shocked and shaken but unscathed following a serious car crash on January 17, 2019.

The Land Rover Freelander he was driving flipped over after crashing into another car as he pulled out of the Sandringham estate on to a busy A-road.

He decided to voluntarily surrender his driving licence in light of the incident. Fve days later, the Crown Prosecution Service announced he would face no further action.

Hospital stay

The duke leaves the King Edward VII hospital in west London following an earlier stay on December 24, 2019

On February 17, 2021, Philip was admitted to hospital to be treated for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.

After 28 nights of being cared for by doctors, nurses and specialists at St Bartholomew’s and King Edward VII hospitals the duke was discharged and returned to Windsor Castle on March 16.

Buckingham Palace issued a statement saying he “wished to thank” medical staff at both sites, and “everyone who has sent their good wishes”.


This photo was shared from the Royal Family’s official Twitter account to mark the duke’s passing

Buckingham Palace announced, with “deep sorrow”, the duke’s death on April 9, 2021.

A statement read: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

“Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

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