Sunday, 12 June 2016

ABCs of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as he turned 95 this week …



Drama Persona in this post which might help a little:
His Royal Highness,
The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh and his wife, The Queen – need no introduction: I hope!

Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (1882 – 1944), was the Duke’s father and brother to the King of Greece, King Constantine – he married:

Princess Alice of Battenberg (1885 – 1969), later Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark.  She was a great granddaughter of Queen Victoria and had been born at Windsor Castle. 

Admiral of the Fleet Louis Mountbatten (1900 – 1979), known as Lord Mountbatten, was a great-grandson of Queen Victoria and had strong influence among the royals.

++ -- ++


Background to Prince Philip’s life …

Panoramic view of Old Town Corfu: it is on the
north western edge of Greece; the island is in the Ionian Sea
The Duke was born 10th June 1921 in Corfu (Greece) he became Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, Baron Greenwich and father of the heir to the British throne …


Mon Repos, where the Prince was born
Life didn’t start too badly in a lovely house in Corfu; his father, Prince Andrew, was in Athens to command an army division embroiled in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-22) … things went badly for Greece, and King Constantine was forced to abdicate.


A revolutionary court banished Prince Andrew from Greece for life … the family was evacuated, with Prince Philip being carried in a cot made from a fruit box – they went to France.


Prince Andrew in 1913
portrait by Philip Laszlo
(the Duke's father)
His parents’ marriage was disintegrating, and in 1933 aged 12 he was sent to Germany to the Schule Schloss Salem in Southern Germany …


He had watched while his parents’ lives unravelled … his mother turned to God, being incarcerated for some years with schizophrenia, while his father sank to the earthly solace of the gambling tables: the Duke did not have an easy childhood … his emotional abilities being severely curtailed.


Princess Alice in 1903
(the Duke's mother)


A member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families: now please study European history! – also don’t rely on me as being definitively correct!






Salem Abbey c 1765
Baden Wurttemberg
The educator Kurt Hahn, who started the Schule Schloss with support from Prince Maximilian of Baden in 1920 … was Jewish but under the Nazi regime was forced to emigrate to Scotland … founding the British Salem School of Gordonstoun – hence Prince Philip’s educative years were spent there … and then other members of the Royal family attended … some thrived in the Outward Bound type of school … others not so well.


Prince Maximilian’s son, Berthold, married Princess Theodora, daughter of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg.  Prince Berthold thus became the brother-in-law of the Duke of Edinburgh.


Windsor Castle and part of the Great Park

The Duke’s family, including his mother, Princess Alice, were now based in Britain on the Windsor estate … while other family members still lived in Denmark, Germany and Greece …  





His four elder sisters had married German noblemen, moved to Germany … complicating matters further …


Gordonstoun School logo
After leaving Gordonstoun in 1939, Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy, graduating the following year from the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, as the best cadet in his course.


During the 2nd World War he continued to serve in the British forces, while two of his brothers-in-law fought on the opposing German side.





Australians stoking boilers


He served valiantly and was acknowledged, yet duties of lesser glory also beckoned … including stoking the boilers of a troop ship. 







Prince Philip in naval uniform - when he was
resident in Malta 1949

He was an exceptional student … being promoted to Commander in 1952; he had completed his naval career in July 1951 – after King George VI, his father-in-law’s, death in February that year.





King Christian IX -
by Henrik Olrik


Prince Philip and the Queen are second cousins once removed through King Christian IX of Denmark and third cousins through Queen Victoria; while they had met in 1934 and 1937 at family ‘dooos’!






Naval College at Dartmouth

They met again at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in July 1939 – the Queen was 13, the Prince was 18 ... and they began to exchange letters.  The romance flourished – no doubt encouraged by Lord Mountbatten, who was very ambitious for himself, but also for his charge, his nephew – Philip.




Lord Mountbatten was known as His Serene Highness Prince Louis of Battenberg … his sister, Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark, who was the unfortunate lady banished from Greece with her husband (Prince Philip's parents).


Frogmore House



Lord Mountbatten was born at Frogmore House on the Windsor estate … where the family dropped their German styles and titles.   He was an uncle to Prince Philip, while also a second cousin once removed to Elizabeth II.




Lord Mountbatten’s role in the affairs of the Royals was quite extensive, especially as he was related and had a distinguished service career in the Navy and Governmental administration – being admired by some, not so keenly by others.


Lord Mountbatten

Mountbatten as Commander of the destroyer HMS Kelly in 1939 was at Dartmouth Navy College for the visit of King George VI and his family … asked the Duke of Edinburgh to escort and entertain the two princesses, while their parents were taken round the ship: the trap was set …


Elizabeth was hooked … and when she was 21 after the end of World War II, their engagement was announced.


It was a wee problem … Philip had no financial standing, he had been stateless after being exiled in his cot from Greece, was foreign-born (though a British subject, who had served in the Royal Navy), but had sisters married to German noblemen with Nazi links.


Newlyweds in 1947

He apparently was impeccably polite and the Queen Mother said that he was ‘an English gentleman’ … before the marriage he renounced his Greek and Danish titles, converted from Greek Orthodoxy to Anglicanism, and adopted the style Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten … taking the surname of his mother’s British family.




Just before the wedding in 1947 he was created Duke of Edinburgh and granted the style His Royal Highness. 


++ -- ++

Coronation 1952


A is for the Accession, on 6 February 1952, of his wife, then Her Royal Highness, The Princess Elizabeth, when she became Her Majesty The Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms.




In their film they had a good choice
of foods ... but cooked simply and
with salads etc ... 


B is for BBQ … the Duke loves to barbecue … stoking the coals readying for the actual cooking of whatever is on offer.  He loves his food and will eat anything … except oysters while on public duty.


C is for Childhood and Corfu … he finds it difficult to show loving emotion – something that goes back to that difficult childhood … for someone of Prince Philip’s background difficult to change and adjust to …



D is for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme … which was based on one of the schemes started by Kurt Hahn at Gordonstoun … to help youngsters from all walks of life achieve in all forms of activities – physical, life skills to expeditions - and to offer them hope for their future.


Taken for the Queen's 90th birthday
this year - at Windsor


D is for Dogs – or not … as the Duke really does not like the Queen’s Welsh corgis!




Loves his Event Riding



E is for the Equestrian Event of Carriage Driving … a sport the Duke took up after he gave up polo.  He began driving ponies, before progressing to Cleveland Bay horses.  He has been competing since 1973.



Old Elizabethan Recipes - whether he
would have this in his cookery library I'm
unsure - but definitely a Mrs Beeton, and a
Larousse - and probably BBQ books


F is for Food … he is fond of good food and has a large selection of cookery books in his library.  He enjoys a half of lager rather than wine.



G is for Greece and Gordonstoun … and the apes of Gibraltar – the terminology that he used to described the media!



H is for the Queen’s handbag, which contains only her specs and a lipstick, while the Duke carries a driving licence, credit cards and a passport.


and for Helicopters … he’s given up flying those, but will still take the fixed-wing aircraft up and bring it down when it’s time to land …

Rocks are building blocks


I is for Indefatigable, Intelligent, a man of Integrity, Industrious, Irascible, sometimes Intolerant … a mix of all things good for her Majesty – he is her rock.





J is for Joy … their marriage has been extremely successful – he’s had to adapt … and despite walking two steps behind his wife, as protocol requires … 


The Queen and her heirs - Prince Philip being the father,
grandfather and great-grandfather (and Prince Consort)
... has created many necessary projects for himself … overseeing the royal properties; setting up charities; touring and encouraging others.  

One man was ecstatic – Lord Mountbatten … the schemer, who was creating a dynasty through the marriage.

K is for not the King – the husband of a queen is known as a Prince consort …


L is for Laptop … during the journey in the aircraft under “H” above … he will retire to the back of the plane where he can work at his desk on his laptop.


... L is for Languages … the Duke speaks English and French, has a spattering of German, but very little Greek …


Battenberg Castle


M is for Mountbatten – which is the surname Prince Philip took from his mother’s family … in preparation for his marriage to the Queen.






N is for Name … with the Queen’s accession, it seemed probable that the royal house would bear her husband’s name, becoming the House of Mountbatten, in line with the custom of a wife taking her husband’s surname on marriage.


Punch Cartoon 1917
"A Good Riddance" - sweeping away
the German titles held by the members
of his family

Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister, and the Queen’s grandmother, Queen Mary, favoured the retention of the House of Windsor – this was confirmed.  The House of Windsor had been founded by Queen Mary’s husband, King George V, in 1917 … when the King changed the name of the British Royal Family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to the English Windsor.




The Duke, perhaps understandably – as he hadn’t, at that stage, adjusted to all the protocols of royal life – complained, “I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children.”  Queen Mary died in 1953, and Churchill resigned in 1955 … the way was open for a change – in 1960 the surname Mountbatten-Windsor could be and has been used by some of the Queen’s children and grandchildren.


Prince Philip in one of
his studies

O is for Occupied … always occupied, always busy, always interested and always involved … he has a positive mental attitude, stays cognitively and physically active, which seems to have maintained him for his 95 years.



... O is for Outspoken and Opinionated … he may casually be outspoken and make controversial remarks … but they are usually made with a twinkle in his eye … with laughter following on …


P is for Patron … of over 800 organisations and serves as Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme for young people.


The Queen at breakfast
... P is for Professional … everything he does he approaches from a knowledge base, having briefed himself extremely well.


... P is for Painting Landscapes in oils … as he withdraws from ‘executive responsibilities’ he is finding more time for this hobby.


Having a good laugh



Q is for Her Majesty, ‘the Queen’ – his wife … ‘Lilibet’ as he calls her …






R is for Radio – their marriage ceremony was broadcast throughout the world by radio.  It was the Duke who insisted that the Coronation of the Queen should be broadcast over the new medium, that is television – and which in the 21st century has been digitally enhanced, so we can see it in colour: a forward thinking Duke.


Princess Anne with her father - she is a
chip off the old block (and the equestrian in the
family - while her daughter Zara is also an
accomplished horse-woman)

S is for Sports … the Duke loves his sports … he gave up polo in 1971, taking up carriage riding, which he continues to this day.  He also shoots grouse, preferring that to stalking, or fishing on the River Dee while in Balmoral.

S is for Science and Technology ... for Consorts of Queens apparently: Prince Albert also thought forward ... the same impulse for the future that 70 years later, the next Prince Consort embraced.


Prince Philip has been tireless in his promotion of British industry, British engineering and British Science.   He has always kept himself up to date with scientific progress ...



T is for Time Wasters – he cannot tolerate those … Princess Anne has the same tendencies …


U is for Upheaval of his early life, but U is for Union of the Queen and the Prince –that mutually comfortable couple.



This green van is in Copenhagen ... used for
sweeping up after the horses used in Parades


V is for Van – a little green electric one made for the Duke so he can be driven to his London engagements.  I think the Duke would be amazed at this particular van ... for sweeping up the horse droppings for the Danish Royal family and court.








W is for Windsor and the other estates: Sandringham and Balmoral … which Prince Philip runs. 



The edge of Balmoral Castle
Balmoral has recently been re-wired and re-plumbed; there are 7,500 acres of forestry that need constant management and a fold of 30 Highland cattle.  


The extensive kitchen garden grows flowers, fruit and vegetables for the house: whatever’s not used is frozen or made into jam at the end of the season.

… and W for Work – he never stops working … he is president or an honorary member of 850 organisations and attends more than 500 public functions every year.


Gordonstoun School's Yacht

X is for the unknown forward years … which have turned out well …



Y is for Yachts … Seamanship has been a main part of the curriculum since the school began – the Duke’s early sea days … leading to his ultimate title of Commodore ...


Zara Phillips - the Duke's granddaughter



Z is for Zara Phillips – the Duke’s daughter’s (Princess Anne's) child … Zara attended Gordonstoun School; when she married Mike Tindall … she wore the Meander tiara – the tiara belonged to her great-grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg.  






The happy couple


That is an ABC on His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh as we usually know him ... 


Her Majesty's Rock ... and I'm sure he is ... on hand at all times to help her, be with her, and share the things that make up life.



A very happy birthday to the Prince on his 95th birthday on Friday 10 June ... and to many continued years together ... 

NB no post (phew you all say!) til the 26th ... when I might have connectivity or not - as the case may be after the move ... 
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

62 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

So many marriages founder without the additional burden of being constantly in the public eye. That theirs continues so strongly speaks very positively of them both.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Lord Mountbatten had a huge role in Indian history as well...The meeting and marriage of the Queen and her Consort is an A-star romance!

bazza said...

Hello Hilary. It seems as though you have had a privileged peep behind closed doors for this post! Thanks for all the research you have done on behalf of your readers; I learned a lot of new stuff from this. I was previously only vaguely aware of his early back ground; not anymore!
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s fabulous Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's funny he doesn't like the Queen's Corgis.
He had quite the journey before marrying Elizabeth, especially with family on the opposite side of the war.

Out on the prairie said...

Amazing he still keeps up with all his clubs. A rather bumpy start in life.The dog mess may be his problem, plus they shed really heavy.

Botanist said...

Another highly informative - and timely - post. With all the celebrations of the Queen's birthday I didn't realise Prince Philip also celebrated a milestone.

Patsy said...

The Queen and Prince Philip seem so right together it's quite a surprise to realise he wasn't the obvious choice of husband for her.

Jo said...

When we were kids in the Medway Towns area, we used to see Princess Elizabeth driving to the dockyards in Chatham to visit Phillip when he was docked there. They also used to say he was in love with Margaret, not Elizabeth. What a long time ago that was. Boys in our family went to Cheam and then Gordonstoun.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC - you've said it right - they got over things and have been amazingly strong together ...

@ Nila - yes I know Lord Mountbatten played a very big role in Indian history - but I couldn't include him in this post. Exactly - they are an A-star couple together ...

@ Bazza - thanks so much .. I managed to find interesting and different snippets to post - but putting the bit up about his early life taught me a few things too on history as well ...

@ Alex - I know - poor Corgis ... they get a rough ride! Apparently the Queen Mother and King George VI had Corgis that's where she got her love for the dogs from ....

Yes that period of history - with the Germans and the Brits having relations on both sides ... is really quite difficult to get one's head around ...

@ Steve - the D of E is amazing - keeps him young I guess. Yes a bumpy start to say the least ... I'm quite sure the dog-mess is under control ... I feel the Queen would have trained them well ... didn't know about the shedding though - that is irritating ...

@ Ian - I'd done quite a lot on the Queen and the children .. but wanted to write one up about the Duke - and his history ... let alone the fact they are still celebrating birthdays ...

@ Patsy - I don't think they'd thought of a husband probably - as the Queen seemed to get in early - aged 13 ... that this was the man she was hooked by ... also the War didn't help - she wasn't even 20 at the end of the War.

@ Jo - How interesting to know that ... you seem to be followed by Royalty ... The Queen and Prince Philip often used to write to each other - which I thought was interesting to know about ...

Cheers to you all - thanks ... it has been a foul day here - we had our street party for the Queen's birthday ... but it's been very misty! The British summer has arrived!! Hilary

D.G. Hudson said...

I learned a lot on this post, Hilary, and thanks for including all the detail. I knew about the Mountbattens and remember the news about Lord Mountbatten's yacht and his death. Enjoyed this British History lesson! I'm glad you posted. We look forward to your post. Length has never deterred me.

Janie Junebug said...

Since Prince Philip's mother was a direct descendant of Queen Victoria, then what about the gene for hemophilia? Has it died out/been bred out of the family? Which of Prince Philip's and Queen Elizabeth's children have taken the name Mountbatten-Windsor? I wasn't aware of that being allowed. Thank you for all of this interesting information, Hilary. I love this post.

Love,
Janie

Vallypee said...

How interesting, Hilary. You really are a fund of knowledge. Life must have been very complicated for his as a young man. I wonder how difficult that must have been to have members of your family on 'the other side' during the war. For one with his emotional background, that must have been even harder.

cleemckenzie said...

There's so much I don't know about in this world. Evidently one of them is Prince Philip. I had no idea he'd been born in Greece for one thing.

I loved the family picture with the generations together, and I really think Prince Philip's mother was lovely.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I saw the documentary on his mother. Absolutely fascinating. He is an interesting man. Glad they have each other in these golden years.

Janie Junebug said...

Hilary, I have a very silly post up about the celebration of the Queen's birthday. I wrote it because we've had such a tragedy here with the mass murder. I hope it makes people laugh for a few minutes, but I don't want to offend you with my irreverence. You might want to avoid my current post (Monday).

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ DG - many thanks DG - good to see you. Yes Mountbatten's yacht was blown up by the IRA killing him and his grandson. It's not easy to condense a period of history ... but I'm glad it satisfied you.

@ Janie - there's an article in Wikipedia about Haemophilia and the European royals: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haemophilia_in_European_royalty

Princess Alice was the great granddaughter of Queen Victoria ... but the last person to die of haemophilia in the royal family was Lord Leopold Mountbatten in 1922, who was a grandson of QV.

Eventually in 2009 they found out the specific change that occurs and causes the disease. So it's latent somewhere ... but seems to be in abeyance at the moment.

As I mentioned the Declaration occurred in 1960 and now that surname: Mountbatten-Windsor is used only by the descendants of the Queen at certain times ... again a link to Wiki elaborates further: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mountbatten-Windsor

Hope that helps ...

@ Val - many thanks - I just knew it was something I wanted to write up - my blog at times becomes my reference tool.

Prince Philip's background shows the difficulties encountered - and then the choices the various family members had to make re Germany or Britain. I expect his position in the British Navy would have helped hugely with his adjustment and showed his capabilities ... and getting older helps. Not at all easy though ...

@ Lee - I'm pleased I've written it up as it taught me a few things ... the Greek connection is interesting isn't it. His mother was offered a place in Buckingham Palace for the latter years of her life, when she left Greece, having gone back there.

@ Joylene - I haven't seen that documentary on Princess Alice - but that period of history is 'complicated' and difficult for us to understand ... the development of Europe as we know it today is really quite difficult to get my head round ...

Yes it's good they have each other and life has settled for them.

@ Janie - I saw the post and wasn't going to comment ... but I've been over and left, I hope, an appropriate note.

Thanks everyone ... Hilary

Nas said...

Thank you Hilary. I found this post interesting. I always found Prince Philip a fascinating person.

Keith's Ramblings said...

Unsurprisingly, the focus has been on the Queen over the past few days, so I was delighted to find you have come up with this wonderful mini-biography of the main man! Hard working, outspoken, humorous - even at 95 he is refreshing different from the other senior royals.

PS. To answer your question of last week - yes, I spent many years cheffing in my bistro in Eastbourne and pubs in surrounding villages!

Visit Keith's Ramblings

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

What an informative post, Hilary! I'd no idea that the Prince's early life was so unhappy, although I knew his mentor was *not* his father. I can imagine that would stunt him emotionally.

I don't think I was ever aware he even had sisters.

Ha! Especially didn't know he didn't care for the Queen's dogs!

Rhonda Albom said...

Lots of information here. I hadn't realized that I knew nothing about Prince Philip, even that he was from Greece.

Joanne said...

Happy Birthday. At 95 he is quite the class act. Excellent alphabet lesson. Thanks

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nas - glad the post has helped re understanding Prince Philip ...

@ Keith - exactly as you describe him and as you say refreshingly different from the other senior Royals - he's been a stalwart and an example for others I'd say ...

Thanks for letting us know about your cheffing talents in and around the Eastbourne area ... good to know ...

@ Elizabeth - many thanks .. he seems to miss out - though I think he realises his place, and is probably quite humble under the intelligent and robust exterior ...

Yes - and I don't think Mountbatten would have been easy either ... but they obviously got along well ...

... funny about the Corgis ...

@ Rhonda - the Duke does get lost in the detail of the Queen - understandably in the protocol stakes ... but I just thought I needed to write the post for me/us!

@ Joanne - many thanks ... so glad you enjoyed the ABCs ...

Cheers to you all - delighted you appreciate the post ... Hilary

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

I feel like my brain grows a little bit everything I'm here. :)

Mark Noce said...

Wow, I had no idea about his life, good for him at 95! :)

Liza said...

Well done. So much I never knew!

Shannon Lawrence said...

I hope the move goes well! Thorough post on Prince Philip. What an interesting guy, and his trek to ultimately marry the Queen was full.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My head is spinning trying to keep all that straight. Happy Birthday to the Prince Consort.

Janie Junebug said...

Thanks for answering my questions. I'm going to Google, Which member of the British royal family lived the longest? I wonder if it's the Queen Mother at 101. It's possible that Queen Elizabeth will break that record. She certainly looks good at 90.

Love,
Janie

dolorah said...

That was intriguing. What an impressive life he's lived.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Holly - I too felt like my brain grew like Topsy!

@ Mark - it's been a good post to write - I learnt quite a lot too ...

@ Liza - I'm happy you enjoyed it ...

@ Shannon - thanks re the move ... and the Prince's journey has been an interesting one ... I'm sure he's been stimulated by being in his position, and he's certain set lots of wheels in motion helping many ...

@ Susan - me too! Today they are off for more work! Ascot starts ... horse racing with pageantry ...

@ Janie - I expect you've found out by now .. Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester died in 2004 at the age of 102: here's some information on her:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/3165309.stm

None of us know the future ... but both the Prince and the Queen look in very good health and keep themselves fit ...

@ Donna - so pleased you enjoyed the post ...

Thanks everyone - so glad you've enjoyed reading about the Duke of Edinburgh ... cheers Hilary

Mason Canyon said...

There is so much about Prince Philip I didn't know. I think it says a lot about his character that he has to more or less stand in the shadows of his wife, the Queen, and seems to do it with such strength and dignity. I don't think I've ever heard any bad rumors about him. Thanks for the wonderful post, Hilary.

Lynn said...

What a lovely read! I've always been fascinated by the Royal Family and enjoyed this - although sorting out all those titles and relationships can be confusing.

I remember when Lord Mountbatten was killed by an IRA bomb, so many years ago. Sad.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

The Prince Consort has led quite the life, hasn't he? His granddaughter Zara is quite beautiful. How odd all the mechanations behind the throne, right?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Mason - I'm glad I was able to outline something of his life - and yes he has such a strong character - it must have hindered at times, yet as the years went on - he worked out where his strengths could be brought into play. He has been able to add an enormous amount to the work done for Britain.

@ Lynn - so happy you enjoyed it ... I know I hope I didn't muddle anyone with the titles - I tried to keep it simple, yet there's a lot of history to include from those royals and Europe.

I was in South Africa when Mountbatten was killed by the IRA - very sad for the family and the Duke and Prince Charles ...

@ Roland - good to see you - and the Prince Consort showed he always had things to offer. Yes - I had to put Zara in ... she is stunning, wearing the Prince's mother's family tiara.

You're right about the change in history in Europe during the 1800s ... a lot of history occurred then - let alone the noble families moving around so much due to those developments.

@ Dianne - who commented on the previous post ... I'm sure the Obamas were surprised to find Prince Philip chauffeuring them ... but there was plenty of room - it was in the Great Park ... we await their memoirs to find out what the Obamas actually felt ...

Thanks so much for visiting everyone ... cheers Hilary

beste barki said...

He was a fortunate man and had a great life.

Deniz Bevan said...

I find it amazing that anyone can keep track of all the cousins and titles and surnames. It's all so fascinating.

I had no idea about the wee green van!

Or that he was a painter -- I like the one you shared, of the Queen at breakfast.

It's amazing how many projects and awards and charities and things the Royal family is involved in. How on earth do they keep track of it all? It must be fun being secretary or organiser or calendar keeper or whatever it is to the Royal family. Or even working on one of the estates. They remind me of grand old style hotels. It must be such a satisfaction to work on one or run the place, and to see all the various parts, gardens and animals and kitchens and linens and so on, all ticking over and working smoothly.

Crystal Collier said...

I will admit, I was mostly ignorant. With enough American dignitaries and historical figures to learn about, I'm woefully under-educated in the realm of other governments. I found this super fascinating though and now feel so much more informed. Thank you!

M Pax said...

An interesting life he's led! Happy Birthday to the Prince!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Beste - after a very rocky start things looked up for him ... but being in the spotlight 24 hours a day must be difficult ...

@ Deniz - I had trouble writing the post and trying to not make mistake - they had big families and were married into different ruling/noble families.

I didn't know about the wee green van - but amused me ... glad it did you too ...

I did know he was a painter - as that's where Charles gets it from ...

Yes the number of staff etc they need to keep everything ticking must be many and varied ... and you'd need to be very good ... I have a cousin's wife who worked at Buckingham Palace - unfortunately she's not local so we rarely get to see each other ... tough job I'd say - very satisfying if you could do it ...

@ Crystal - just glad the post was sufficiently enlightening to help your understanding ... I think we all struggle with other country's leaders etc so quite understand ...

@ Mary - he's had some varied situations ... but has come through unscathed ...

Thanks so much - I hope the two nonagenarians have had some time for quiet and peace - there's a lot going on at this time of year for them ... cheers Hilary

Juliet Batten said...

Wow, a marathon post Hilary, and jam-packed full of information. I knew so little about the Duke's origins and complex family life. This is all so fascinating, thank you.

Caramella said...

Fantastic post, so many interesting facts!! :)

Sherry Ellis said...

Thanks for sharing all of these interesting facts. Prince Philip seems like the perfect gentleman.

Chrys Fey said...

I never knew much about Prince Philip. Thanks for these facts.

A Cuban In London said...

Well, I hope you were able to catch your breath back after that well-researched post. :-)

Greetings from London.

Deborah Weber said...

Your posts are seriously amazing Hilary. What an interesting life Prince Philip has led. And of course I'm always delighted to see your abecedariums. Got lucky with the Z didn't you. :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Juliet - there just was a lot of information to let you know about ... and this seemed the easiest way to give an overview of his life and its history ...

@ Caramella - many thanks - good to see you ...

@ Sherry - so glad you enjoyed them ... I believe he is the perfect gentleman - probably not suffering fools gladly though!

@ Chrys - I'm happy to have given you a flavour of the Prince's life ...

@ ACIL - thanks so much .. I actually enjoyed it - almost lost the plot with all the 1800s and 1900s relatives in the morass of Europe before it became the Europe we know today ...

@ Deborah - thanks so much - I enjoy doing the ABCs if a person has an interesting enough life to warrant it - and importantly all 'my' readers may well be interested to read it up ... yes - the Z may have swung it for the type of post!! But I liked the Meander Tiara - another bit of the Duke's family history ...

Cheers to you all - have happy and peaceful weekends - Hilary

Elsie Amata said...

So sad his mom had schizophrenia. Such a terrible disease, especially back then when they had no idea how to treat it. How could he not like Corgi's?

Happy Birthday, Prince!

Christine Rains said...

An amazing history lesson. I knew so little about him. I do think Lord Mountbatten looks a lot like my maternal grandfather!

Romance Reader said...

This Prince has an interesting life. Thanks for sharing Hilary!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Elsie - yes Schizophrenia is such a challenging illness - she did do a lot for others in Greece, before she came to live with her son at Buckingham Palace for the last years of her life.

@ Christine - thanks very much ... I did have to set it all out like a history lesson .. couldn't easily do otherwise. How funny that Lord Mountbatten looks a little like your maternal grandfather ...

@ Nas - pleasure - glad you enjoyed the interesting read ..

Cheers to you all - thanks for coming over - Hilary

DMS said...

What an interesting post. I am always intrigued when I see all the ways that royalty are connected. I did not know as much about Prince Phillip as I did about the Queen. Loved seeing all the pictures you included too. Thanks for sharing! :)
~Jess

jabblog said...

Fabulous post, Hilary - I learnt a lot from it. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have set a standard that will be difficult to follow. I just wish the succession could skip a generation and go straight to William and Kate - is that wicked? (and also be careful what you wish for . . . )

TexWisGirl said...

bless him. it doesn't sound like an easy life at all. i, for one, would never want to be part of the royal family. too much scrutiny. too much 'prim and proper'. too much paparrazzi.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jess - it seems (inevitably) that Prince Philip mostly gets left out of the popular mix of articles. But I'm glad the post helped a little with those royal connections ...

@ Janice - thanks so much - I learnt a lot too. It's difficult for Charles - I feel for him ... as he is very sensitive and his upbringing can't have been that easy ... similar to his father's emotionally. I hope the succession goes through as it is now - giving William and Kate time with their children ...

@ Theresa - exactly - he's a survivor ... but I too wouldn't like to be scrutinised so much - especially in this day and age - the paparazzi aren't much fun are they?

Good to see the three of you - cheers Hilary

Karen Lange said...

How interesting! I had no idea he was born in Greece, and all the other details. I always admired him, thought it must have been an interesting role to fill all those years. Thanks so much for filling in these wonderful details, Hilary. I learned many new things today. :) Happy Birthday to the Prince!

Bish Denham said...

What an interesting and difficult early life Prince Philip had. The inter-twinings of royal marriages is rather like a Gordian knot. It's also rather fascinating.

Terra Hangen said...

This post is absolutely fascinating and I read the whole thing. I like your Royals and Prince Philip is more accomplished than I had realized. His efforts make him very hard working and at age 95, wow. Competing in carriage driving sounds fun to me.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

What an interesting and complicated story, Hilary. That you for sharing. The granddaughter is quite pretty. I hadn't heard about her.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

I have finally arrived to leave a comment. It's always fascinating to get further introduction to the Royal's, in general. My knowledge of them is not very much at all.

It's such a complicated mixture and shows that you don't have to be born in Britain to become part of the British monarchy.

Interesting how you have continued on with the alphabet theme. I was surprised that Prince Philip is not exactly a fan of the Queen's corgis.

Despite my dismay over some of his rather inappropriate utterances over the years, I've got to admire a man of 95 still out there and being somewhat in the public eye. I feel slightly sorry for the Queen and Prince Philip for still going to some functions which they would probably rather stay well clear of.

Thank you for your usual in-depth articulation, Hilary.

Gary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Karen - thanks .. I thought many people wouldn't know much - and I learnt too. He was the right man for the job - apart from obviously falling in love with his beloved Queen ... he must be a boon to royal life.

@ Bish - yes you understand his early life well .. and that Gordian knot of royal marriages -not so obvious now .. but that is (definitely) a good thing re the gene pool.

@ Terra - many thanks .. I'm happy you enjoyed the read ... yes, Prince Philip deserves more credit than he gets. I know carrying on working at 95 - but I'm sure it keeps him going ... two members of our family drive carriages - one competes and one for Riding for the Disabled ...

@ Monti - many thanks - it's a complicated life ... but it was interesting for me to write it up ... and Z for Zara made my life simple!

@ Gary - good to see you. I sort of knew the convoluted state via the marriages ... but writing this up has helped put a bit of flesh on my skeletal knowledge. Certainly - many non-Brits have joined the Royals over the centuries ...

I thought it was the easiest way to do a write up on Prince Philip - without getting myself bogged down in trying to connect everything. I felt I needed to do the background history ... but add the snippets via the ABC format - it seemed to work ...

Yes - he's been outspoken and I'm sure like many of us ... wants, on occasions, to swallow his words after he's uttered them ...

Re the 'keeping going' - as long as they are 'fit' and can cope .. it probably helps - otherwise they'd be like many of us - wondering what we're doing in life, after a holiday, or after a major change - just slumping and having to pull ourselves back into normal life. I don't think they could get off the bandwagon easily ... and won't in fact ...

Many thanks for being here to comment - it's good to see you all .. cheers Hilary

Jeffrey Scott said...

Learned so much more about him with this post. Lost of good information. Wow, how does he keep himself so busy? Thanks for the A-Z compilation. I'm sure there was a lot of work that went into this. It's much appreciated.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Jeffrey - sometimes comments don't come in to email - so I don't pick them up til later ... I enjoyed writing it up - taught me a lot too .. cheers Hilary