Happy Birthday Prince Philip!

Today, June 10, 2011, is the 90th birthday of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain.

He is one of my favorite British royal family members because of his sense of humor and very outspoken personality.

He is a breather in a family that brought up in a world of rigidity and stiffness, conforming to the old and unwritten rule of monarchy to maintain secrecy. Prince Philip is one royal who is not afraid to speak what's on his mind. 

Born His Royal Highness, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, the Duke of Edinburgh is one of the grandsons of King George I of Greece. Philip was sixth in line of succession to the Greek throne in 1947 but he voluntarily gave up his Greek royal status to marry the future British Queen.

In 1923, before he turned two years old, his father, Prince Andrew, was sentenced to death when he was found guilty of treason for abandoning his post during Greek and Turkish war (Andrew served as General in the military during the reign of his brother, King Constantine I). He escaped death when his first cousin, George V of Great Britain (grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II), dispatched a Royal Navy to save him. He and his family were taken to England and settled first in Kensington Palace then moved to St. Cloud in Paris, France.

Later, the Greek royal couple separated and Princess Alice, Philip's mother, suffered a nervous breakdown. Philip was taken to England and lived with his maternal grandmother, Princess Victoria, one of the granddaughters of Queen Victoria of England. His maternal uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten, became his father figure.

Philip joined the Royal Navy and quickly rose to rank of a Lieutenant and served Britain during World War II. He married then Princess Elizabeth in November 20, 1947 at Westminster Abbey and was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl Merionith and Baron Greenwich by his father-in-law, King George VI. He became a Prince Consort in 1952 when Elizabeth ascended the throne.

At 90, Prince Philip is the longest-surviving Prince Consort in British history and the longest surviving great-great grandson of Queen Victoria of England. Read the details in my ROYALS OF EUROPE blog.

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