Brit Politics Logo

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 

The Duke of Edinburgh was born on 10 June 1921. He was born in Corfu as Prince of Greece and Denmark. He became the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947 shortly before he married Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Elizabeth at the time.


Prince Philip was the only son born to Prince Andrew of Greece and his paternal family is Danish as Prince Andrew was the grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark. His mother was Princess Alice of Battenburg, Alice was the eldest child of Prince Louis of Battenberg and a sister to Earl Mountbatten of Burma. In 1868 Prince Louis became a naturalised British subject and rose to become an Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy in 1914.

A Change to Mountbatten

Prince Louis decided to change the family name to Mountbatten during the First World War. He was also created Marquess of Milford Haven. Prince Philip took the name Mountbatten when he renounced his Royal title and became a naturalised British citizen in 1947.

Military Career

Prince Philip had a very distinguished military career after joining as a Royal Navy Cadet in 1939. After completing his initial training at Dartmouth, the Prince spent six months in the Indian Ocean on board HMS Ramillies. In January 1941 he joined HMS Valiant in Alexandria, Egypt. 

HRH Prince PhilipPrince Philip soon moved up the ranks, and became First Lieutenant of HMS Whelp a new fleet destroyer which was in Tokyo Bay the day the Japanese surrendered in world war two. 

Further ships followed and he rose to the rank of Commander in 1952. Prince Philip's naval career ended on the death of King George VI and the ascension of Princess Elizabeth to the throne.

Becoming the Duke of Edinburgh & Marriage

The engagement of Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten to Princess Elizabeth was announced in July 1947. Shortly before the wedding, Prince Philip was created Duke of Edinburgh with the additional titles of Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, he also became a HRH and was appointed a Knight of the Garter by Elizabeth's father, King George VI.

The wedding took place in Westminster Abbey on 20 November with great post-war street celebrations in London and across the country. You can view the footage below.

Prince Louis married one of Queen Victoria's granddaughters. Therefore, The Queen and Prince Philip both have Queen Victoria as a great-great-grandmother. They are also related through his father's side. His paternal grandfather, King George I of Greece, was Queen Alexandra's brother.

The Queen and Prince Philip went on to have four children. Prince Charles and Princess Anne were born before the coronation and Prince Andrew and Prince Edward after Princess Elizabeth had become Queen.

Public Service

The Duke of Edinburgh is patron or president of over 800 organisations. Prince Philip has a keen interest in industry and the environment and accompanies the Queen on state visits at home, the Commonwealth and wider overseas. 

Prince PhilipIn 1956 The Duke of Edinburgh Award was launched. 

Initially it was aimed at supporting boys between 14-18 to bridge the gap between leaving school and national service. 

 Since its inception the award has gone from strength to strength and is now operating in over 140.

With the Prince now into his nineties continued to be heavily involved in the scheme and awards ceremonies.  


On 4th May 2017, Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Philip would be retiring from public life. The Prince, turning 96 on 10th June, would with the Queen's full support no longer attend functions and royal duties.

The duke carried out 110 days of engagements in 2016, making him the fifth busiest member of the royal family, according to Court Circular listings.

On the date of the announcement, the duke had:
  • Carried out 22,191 solo engagements
  • Taken part in 637 solo overseas visits
  • Given 5,493 speeches
  • Authored 14 books