Happy Birthday to the best-loved Greek in the UK

Prince Philip, Prince Consort of the UK and formerly Prince of Greece and Denmark celebrated his birthday on Wednesday in what is characteristically a low key affair. The plain-speaking royal, well known for his gaffes as for his skilled handling of the members of the British Royal Family, blew on 99 candles while in seclusion with his wife of 72 years at Windsor Castle due to the pandemic.

Prince Philip was born on the island of Corfu in Greece, on June 10, 1921. As members of Greek and Danish royalty, Philip and his family were banished from his native country when he was young, with the boy subsequently living in France, Germany and Britain. Philip married Princess Elizabeth before her ascension to the British throne in 1952. Their children include Prince Charles, heir apparent to the throne, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

Philip has served as the British royal consort for more than six decades. 

While not British, Philip does have family ties to England. Shortly after his birth, his maternal grandfather, Prince Louis of Battenberg, died in London. Louis was a naturalized British citizen who had renounced his German titles and adopted the surname Mountbatten, an anglicised version of Battengerg, during the First World War. Philip is also related to the British royal family as a descendant of Queen Victoria. 

The engagement of Prince Philip and the then Princess Elizabeth was announced to the public on July 10, 1947. They were married on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey, in a ceremony broadcast throughout the world by radio. On the morning of the wedding, Philip became the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich. Between 1947 and 1952, Prince Philip was stationed for some time in Malta as a naval officer.

Philip has remained the queen’s consort for more than six decades, having accompanied her in her official duties and appearances throughout the world. Additionally, he has participated in the work of many organizations, particularly favouring those focused on the environment, athletics and education. Philip launched the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award in the mid-1950s, with a focus on youth achievement. He played polo until 1971 and has competed in carriage and boat racing, with piloting aeroplanes, oil painting and art collecting also among his hobbies.