PHILIP PRINCE, DUKE OF EDINBURGH (1921-2021)
A member of the British royal family. Consort of Her Majesty Elizabeth II.
DS – Document Signed. Portion of a royal grant to the dignity of additional officer of the Order of the British Empire. Dated 2 July 1957, the sixth year of Philip’s resign as Grand Master. Issued to Lieutenant-Colonel Desmond Ralph Yearsley of the Royal Corps of Signals. Boldly signed by Prince Philip but not Elizabeth II (that portion removed from document).
Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families. He was born in Greece, but his family was exiled from the country when he was 18 months old. After being educated in France, Germany and Great Britain, he joined the Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the 13 year old Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934. During WWII he served with distinction in the British Mediterranean and Pacific fleets.
After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish titles and styles, became a naturalized British subject, and adopted his maternal grandparents’ surname Mountbatten. He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, he was granted the style His Royal Highness and created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by the King. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, and was made a British prince in 1957. Philip had four children with Elizabeth: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the couple not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which has also been used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Anne, Andrew and Edward.
A sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving. He was a patron, president or member of over 780 organizations, and he served as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a self-improvement program for young people aged 14 to 24. He was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the longest-lived male member of the British royal family. He retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, aged 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements and 5,493 speeches since 1952. He died on 9 April 2021, two months short of his 100th birthday.