Philip’s life already began with honors and distinctions. When he was born on June 10, 1921, he already inherited the titles of Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark. Throughout his life, he definitely proved that he was worthy of the titles of his birthright. Since he was heroic during World War II, he became a prince of the people.
When Philip graduated from the Naval College of Dartmouth, he earned the distinction of being the first cadet in his course. In October 1941, Philip became the first lieutenant of the HMS Wallace at 21 years old. He was one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy.
Proudly taking the helm of his ship, during the Invasion of Sicily in July 1943, Philip took charge as second in command of the Wallace, and he saved his ship from a bomber attack. By using his military acumen, he launched a raft with smoke that made the Wallace undetected by the enemies. Philip’s life was defined by his heroic military service. This is just one example of Philip’s bravery and skill during his military career. He had many other successful combat missions.
Not only was Philip’s life defined by his military service and patriotism, Queen Elizabeth was the love of his life. Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth had a happy marriage that lasted a lifetime. Queen Elizabeth fell in love with Philip when she was just 13 years old. Since Elizabeth and Philip began corresponding after they met, they both shared mutual feelings of love.
When Prince Philip asked King George VI for Elizabeth’s hand in marriage, the king gave him his blessing but asked Philip to wait till she turned 21 years old. Philip became formally engaged to Elizabeth on her 21st birthday. He renounced his Greek and Danish titles in order to marry Elizabeth. When he became a naturalized British citizen, he adopted a new homeland. Philip married Elizabeth on November 20, 1947.
Since military duty was one of his passions, Philip still continued to serve, even after marrying Elizabeth. Having earned many distinctions during his flourishing military career, Philip reached the rank of commander. In 1951, Philip became a British prince.
When Elizabeth became Queen in 1952, Philip retired from his military service. Prince Philip dedicated his life to public service benefiting the English people and also acted like a goodwill ambassador establishing friendly relations worldwide. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an example of one of the many organizations that he founded to help young people be successful. From February 6, 1952 to April 9, 2021, Philip served as Consort of the British monarchy making him the longest serving consort of a reigning British monarchy.
With his gift of longevity, Philip was able to see most of his grandchildren get married. He was also fortunate to see his great-grandchildren. Philip was always faithful to Queen Elizabeth, to England and to his family. On their 70th wedding anniversary, Queen Elizabeth gave Prince Philip the following title: Knight Grand Cross (GCVO) of the Royal Victorian Order.
When Prince Philip passed away at age 99, his hearse was a Land Rover instead of a royal horse drawn carriage. He always drove Land Rovers and loved them, so it was only fitting that he would choose a Land Rover for his final journey. He decided to say farewell as a simple man showing that he was truly a prince of the people. Shakespeare would have certainly agreed: ” Good night, sweet prince…”