Monday, 10 June 2013

Coronation – Prince Philip ... Happy 92nd Birthday ...Part 3/5

The Duke of Edinburgh – that King of Consorts ... who is the longest serving royal consort in British history ... now at over 61 years, as he stepped into the role on 6 February 1952 ... when the news reached the royal couple on safari in Kenya ... that King George VI had died.

There were troublesome times ... but the Queen had her eyes set on him since she was 13 ... though the sparks flew in the early days with life and the courtiers, they seem to have settled into what has to be one of the great royal marriages in British history.

They are lucky to have been together for so long ... and to respect each other’s roles.  The Queen has been exemplary in her duty ... while Prince Philip has adjusted to managing the household and family life, he has also carved out a very successful ‘career’ for himself with his charity and environmental work.

Coronation Portrait

He founded the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, getting involved with literally hundreds of organisations, from the National Playing Fields Association to the World Wide Fund for Nature.

 He has modernised the way the Palace operated and has been a great support to the Queen through the trials and tribulations that have touched the family ...

... the Windsor Castle fire, the Prince of Wales’s divorce, however letters to Diana, Princess of Wales, revealed the Duke to be more sympathetic and caring than he is often given credit for ... and he has a wicked and fun sense of humour, creating much laughter - a needed characteristic in all our lives ... 

Coat of Arms of Philip,
Duke of Edinburgh
Through all the troubles the Queen’s husband has been her rock, as she readily acknowledges.  The monarchy has been a success and I’m sure that’s in no small part to the Duke’s appreciation of human society and the way Britain has had to adapt to its history.

It’s interesting I read my post of a year ago, when the Prince had again been hospitalised, and mentioned that if I was his wife I would want to be at his bedside ... as I did with my mother and uncle.

Canada Gate entrance to
Green park
Having had a rethink or realignment of a think (!) ... I realised that from a patient’s point of view – it’s the trust you can put in your loved ones ... in my case – my mother knew I’d always be there, while I was able to ensure she had visits from healing therapists, whose visits she enjoyed – but when she was ill ... I’d be there, always. 

A great friend of my mother’s had said – she’s put her trust in you ... and actually that’s something for a mother to do with her daughter – the role reversal ... but it worked.  I had thought about how lucky, and knew that, I was in the circumstances ...

Prince Philip's painting of his wife
at breakfast (1957)

... then I thought about the Queen carrying on ‘as if nothing had happened’ while her husband was and once again is in hospital ... but it comes down to trust.

The Queen I’m sure would prefer to be there ... and will be visiting today, I understand, but in the meantime a member of the family, or trusted advisor will be ‘around’ ... and of course she will be kept informed.

So though it may seem odd to us lesser mortals – at times, when the trust is in place, it is unnecessary to be hovering ... as we all know as humans (bloggers and writers!) waiting around does us no good!!

London is going to get two gun salutes today ...

·        the first a 41-round Royal Salute by the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery in Green Park at noon ...

·        followed, an hour later, by a 62-round Salute by the Honourable Artillery Company at the Tower of London.

Green Park in Spring, with Buckingham Palace in the

Happy Birthday to a resting Prince ... it seems they needed to ensure some much needed rest was on the cards ... so I hope he’s having a few zizzes and recovering ...

Just hope he doesn’t get shocked awake by the Salutes taking place!!

My post on Prince Philip's birthday last year, our Jubilee year

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


Unknown said...

What a lovely post, Hilary. Happy birthday to a 'resting Prince'!

If it were my husband, I would have to be at the hospital. Fussing. :) I'd have to make sure that everything was being done as it should be. I'm sure the Queen would prefer to be there, but at least she knows that he's in the safest of hands.

Chase March said...

Long live the Queen and the Prince!

We don't have much in the way of contact over here but I appreciate the institution of The Monarchy and how we honour them here in Canada as well.


Bish Denham said...

I hope the Duke recovers quickly. Even as an American it is hard to picture England without him next to his queen.

Jo said...

Happy birthday Prince Phillip. It really is a great age isn't it? Lovely post Hilary. I hope he doesn't get startled by the salutes too. I used to work near Green Park, brought back a couple of memories.

JoJo said...

I had no idea that the Queen had her eyes on him at age 13! I've always thought Prince Philip was very handsome. Happy Birthday! I hope he's on the road to recovery.

TALON said...

He seems to be going through a real rough patch lately. I wish him the best and I hope the diagnostics help him to feel 100 percent. You can't really think of the Queen without her loyal Prince! :)

Bossy Betty said...

I have always thought he was classy!

Old Kitty said...

I think they make a super couple with a most enduring love story too!! Take care

cleemckenzie said...

What a beautiful tribute to Prince Phillip. I learned so much I didn't know about the man. And I'd really lost track of how old he is.

I was touched by what you said about your mother and trust. I'm in that situation now. It's such a difficult yet loving experience. Now I'm the one giving care and support to my mother.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

If their relationship is solid, then he understands she still has duties.

Inger said...

Hope the Prince feels better soon and that the Queen gets a chance to fuss over him a bit.

Linda said...

Hilary, thank you for that interesting insight into the Royal Family. A human element that is sometimes overlooked and rarely seen by the public.

Su-sieee! Mac said...

I'm glad I happened by today to read about Prince Phillip. Every time I see a photo of them, I've wondered what his and the Queen's relationship were like.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I really didn't know anything about Prince Phillip. Over here, we rarely hear anything about him.

Janie Junebug said...

I didn't know he painted. That's a really nice little portrait of the Queen.


Christine Rains said...

A lovely tribute. I wonder what their relationship was like too. It's admirable they've been together so long just like my grandparents whom I respect so much.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Well, how about that? I set my cap for my hubby at the age of thirteen, too. I had no idea I was as wise as your queen!

It must be very difficult for her not to be at his bedside. She may be a queen, but he's still her man. (It'd take all the king's horses and all the king's men to keep me away from my hubby if he were in the hospital.)

M Pax said...

They are both rocks. I'd be at the hospital, unable to think straight.

But I suppose royals are more used to putting other things first.

Theresa Milstein said...

What an interesting comparison. I guess it's hard for us to put ourselves in her royal shoes.

I'm glad you got to be with your mother.

Julia Hones said...

I've thought about this before: when we grow up we become the parents of our parents... One day my little daughter said to me: "When I grow up I will be your mother." There was some truth in her statement. LOL.
Interesting post. Your mother is lucky to have you. Hugs,

Chatty Crone said...

Gosh he is 92! They sure are living long. Which is a good thing. Hey he was so handsome when he was younger!
Sounds like he has been a great man.

scarlett clay said...

The whole 'royal family' thing is so fascinating to me and his role, especially, is an unusual one I think...I didn't realize he was that age but it's wonderful how he's honored and respected at an age when so many are cast aside. Enjoyed learning more about his history!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Shirley - lovely to see you back .. and as you say we'd all want to be with our man .. but all things being equal - I'm sure he's as safe as can be ..

@ Chase - good to see you too ... the Canadians have always been appreciative of their Queen and the monarchy.

@ Bish - it now appears he's going to take longer off .. i.e. a proper time away. Yes, they have both been there as our royal couple for so long ..

@ Jo - it's a wonderful age, and so many more achieve 90+ .. that's good that the memories came back .. London does that to me too ..

@ JoJo - yes it seems to be one of those love matches that we don't often see lived out in real life .. he is a handsome man.

@ Talon - illness as we get older is something that's difficult to keep at bay .. but as you say let's hope they have a few more years yet ..

@ Betty - that's a good word! Classy = yes!

@ Old Kitty - I do too .. and as you say with an enduring love story ..

@ Lee - I'm pleased I managed to get this written and slotted in with the Coronation posts ..

My perspective on end of life illness changed with my mother .. but I think we are lucky that we are on the journey with them (well I was) .. and though it's not an easy journey .. it's one that has many comforts that others won't get because of suddenness of death.

@ Alex - their relationship seems to have worked so well for them ..

@ Inger - I too hope he feels better, though he didn't really look ill - but obviously was/is .. and I'm sure the Queen will be there when needed. I don't think he'd want fuss either ...

@ Linda - so pleased you enjoyed the posting .. he's been an enlightened Duke .. bringing the Royals out into the open a little more ..

@ Su-siee - so pleased you came by then! It seems they have an appreciation of each other that is just wonderful to see ..

@ Diane - the Duke does an amazing job with his charities and he's really master-minded the estates so well ... they are well maintained, cared for .. and have lots of innovative ideas being employed to create an environmentally sound area.

@ Janie - I wondered where Charles got his love of painting from .. it's from his father .. also Queen Victoria was a great artist.

@ Christine - long marriages are wonderful to see aren't they - and I'm so pleased for all who last the course - how lovely your grandparents are still alive and able to share your and their great-grandson a little - that doesn't often happen ...

@ Susan - hey wise woman! I forgot to say he was 18 at the time and somewhat senior!

I'm sure it's not easy for them in this situation .. but there appears to be no serious news thankfully ..

@ Mary - they are both rocks aren't they .. well I'm sure the Queen is anxious about her husband, to put it mildly ... but as you say they probably are used to putting other things first.

@ Theresa - it must be difficult for them both, but this highlights a challenging time for them.

Yes, I'm pleased I was able to be with my mother ...

@ Julia - my mother commented on the fact I was looking after her .. but who wouldn't in those circumstances. Your little girl seems to have it right (nearly!) .. so pleased for you - she's got her little mind set already!

@ Sandie - he is handsome and thankfully they seem to have long-living genes .. he is a character!

@ Scarlett - lovely to see you .. glad you enjoy reading about him and seeing a little more into royal life. They both are very respected .. and fortunately for us they seem to have been in relative robust health .. Glad you enjoyed this sort of overview of his history.

That casting aside of one's elderly relatives is very sad ...

Thanks everyone .. good to see you - cheers Hilary

Linens and Royals said...

Happy 92nd Birthday Prince Philip.
Get well soon.

Anonymous said...

I think the Queen and the Duke are both amazing and remember seeing that documentary when the Royal children were young,and wondering at the fact that the Queen could go shopping in a headscarf and look very like my mother. She is the same age as my mother and I once believed I was looking at my mother on television (I must have been very young at the time) but then, I thought that my mother's best friend was Julie Andrews!:-)

J.L. Murphey said...

61 years wed is no easy feat. Happy birthday Phillip.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

It's fascinating to get a glimpse of the royals from your point of view. I knew little or nothing about Prince Philip. Thanks for an informative post, Hilary!

Tina said...

As a wife, I sure would want to be there, but I think he understands, like Alex said, that she has to keep up her other duties. Lovely, personal post.
Tina @ Life is Good

Glynis Peters said...

I am sure he wouldn't want HRH sitting around. He knows she isn't that kind of woman, and it probably does him good to know life is going on as normal. A lovely post, and tribute to a wonderful couple. I never knew she was 13 when she set her cap, so to speak.

Sandy said...

Interesting post. I always assumed the pairing had been something neither of them had selected, that it was "taken care of" by other royals. Sad she couldn't be with him, know I wouldn't like that from either his perspective or hers, but I guess you get used to being 2nd fiddle. I don't know much about the royals lives, but was shocked but how negativity I saw regarding her. She didn't appear to be very well liked.

Oozing Out my Ears

Elise Fallson said...

If a loved one was in the hospital, I'd be there. There is something about needing physical presence during hard times that is innate within us. The fact that she was not at the hospital could be for security reasons, or maybe having her there sends the wrong message to the people about his condition and make the country worry. . .*shrugs shoulders* Either way, lovely post on Prince Philip and I hope he quickly recovers from surgery.

klahanie said...

Hi Hilary,

Such a story of love that has lasted for such an incredibly long time. Considering all the external pressures they must endure, that makes it an even more remarkable accomplishment. True love has no barriers.

Indeed, very good, " Happy Birthday to a resting Prince ... " I'm sure he'll back to his usual jovial self making some of his famous witticisms.

Thanks for this, Hilary.


A Lady's Life said...

This Queen was lucky to have been able to choose her love.
My Mom would yell at me if I left her alone in the hospital. They come at night you know. lol
But you had to sleep sometimes too and with kids its a different matter but with royalty I am sure the Duke can handle himself even at 92 and he must have security all around so not much can go wrong there.

Tammy Theriault said...

Gosh dang...he looks stellar. She was a lucky girl when they were together.

Empty Nest Insider said...

"Happy Birthday to a resting Prince," has a lovely ring to it Hilary! It's nice to learn more about the man behind the Queen! I agree that the Queen should make the time to be with her husband in the hospital.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Linens and Royals - good to see someone so dedicated to the royals!

@ Deborah - aren't they amazing and yes, that video of their early life, was the Duke's idea

The Queen in her scarf is just brilliant isn't it .. and it was 'leaked' recently that she wears a hair net sometimes to keep her hair in situ ... I'm sure many of us thought our mothers could be the Queen or aunt .. and muddled 'celebrities' up .. Julie Andrews is brilliant too isn't she ..

@ JL .. they've been wed for longer than that ... 66 years this coming November 20th ... this was her Coronation Anniversary ..

@ Susan - glad you enjoyed learning a little about the Queen's husband ..

@ Tina - I'm sure we would all want to be there, but as Elise says lower on .. for security reasons, and for the fact the media would read things into her visits .. I'm sure they're content with the arrangements ..

@ Glynis - I agree I don't think either them are fussers .. they get on with things - they know the lie of the land .. being the sovereign and consort ..

@ Sandy - this one was a love match .. and yes there's been ups and downs with a royal life - some of us love them and what they represent, others would like a country full of grey suits!? They are highly respected thankfully ..

@ Elise - you've said it right .. and I couldn't agree more about wanting to be there with your spouse, or parent, or child .. but security, media interpretation .. must make life difficult and they seem quite practical about it ..

@ Gary - it is a story of love isn't it. They must have had some turbulent times - but appear very very settled, which is lovely to see ..

I hope he'll be back to his acerbic self - he provides some laughs for us lesser mortals - glad you enjoyed it ..

@ A Lady's Life - I agree she was lucky and she chose well ..

Thankfully my mother was practical and realised I was there for her and would always be .. But as you say at 92, Prince Philip is still in control of his mind and wits .. with security and family around, even if not his wife ...

@ Tammy - he does look stellar doesn't he .. and they've had a good life, especially in their latter years ..

@ Julie - I think they are happy with the arrangement .. they are both so practical .. and obviously very happy with each other and life as they have it ..

Let's hope all will be well with her Prince .. cheers to you all .. thanks for visiting .. Hilary

Gina Gao said...

This is such a great post! Happy birthday to him.

Patsy said...

It hadn't occurred to me that he's the longest serving consort, but of course you're right. The pair of them have certainly put in a lot of time!

loverofwords said...

I did not know that Philip was a water-colorist. But then, a classical education always included art lessons, and art appreciation (according to my dad). Thank you for your post. I especially was glad to know that Prince Philip was sympathetic to Princess Diana in letters.

Laura Eno said...

It's nice to know about the softer side of Philip - and his humor. :)
I would imagine it's hard to be both Queen and wife at a time like this. Maybe Elizabeth can't be seen hovering over her husband - she seems more stoic than that to me.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Gina - lovely to see you - thank you.

@ Patsy - they've been married 66 years - that was in 1947. They've done well - haven't they ..

@ Tasha - your father sounds as though he had a very good education ... Prince Philip had an eclectic one - fairly unsettled .. but he'd have met lots of interesting educated people. I think Prince Philip might well have empathised quite a lot of with Diana .. he struggled early on in life and could have seen the challenges her entry into the royal family would have given her.

@ Laura - he is certainly full of laughter and enjoys life, while as you say he seems to have understood more situations than he's given credit for .. as we only see the royal line (understandably).

I think as Elise said it .. the fact she doesn't go to the hospital that often would be a security aspect, as well as sending the media a signal .. I'm sure if it becomes serious she'd be there very quickly.

Thanks to you all .. Hilary

Juliet said...

Keep calm and carry on! I guess she's learned over the years not to panic.

my daily london said...

What an interesting story.
Happy birthday to him.

Thanks for this, Hilary.


Mason Canyon said...

What a wonderful post and lovely tribute to Prince Phillip. While reading your post, I realized he has been a type of 'stay-at-home' dad that other men should aspire to be more like.

Thoughts in Progress

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Juliet - you may well be right there .. the Queen and the Prince seem quite stoic ..

@ MyDailyLondon - thanks for coming by and glad you enjoyed the post.

@ Mason - you're right about him being stay at home .. yet he's travelled for wildlife, and for his Trusts ... so he's aware of the world ... he's very knowledgeable.

Many men could look up to him .. and that's one of the reasons for the Duke of Edinburgh award .. where the youngsters can meet him and like-minded leaders .. interesting point though - and he is a stay at home Dad of sorts!!

Cheers to you three - appreciate the comments .. Hilary

Vallypee said...

I had no idea he was so old now! Goodness! He was very handsome as a young man. What a lovely couple they must have been.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Val .. he was handsome wasn't he .. and they did and do look very happy with their lives - thanks Hilary

Billy Blue Eyes said...

Met hime a few years ago when the Queen opend Diamond where I work. He was a really nice guy

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bill - good to know he's so nice in real life .. he always seems to be very intelligent and knowledgeable .. also interested in life itself - doesn't tolerate fools gladly.

Thanks for letting us know .. cheers Hilary

Theresa Milstein said...

Amazing how long these two have been in their roles.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I admire their lives together and obvious devotion to each other, too. Prince Phillip seems like a calm and kind man.

Soon there will be a new prince or princess. :) Exciting.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Theresa .. they really have done so well and now are obviously very settled ...

@ Teresa - I agree they are devoted to each other .. the Prince has a mind of his own!! But he enjoys making everyone laugh and doesn't suffer fools gladly or at all!!

I know - new baby very shortly ... and it will be exciting and interesting to say the least ..

Cheers to the two "Ts"!! Hilary