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A to Z of Britain’s Prince Philip

An advertising billboard displays a picture in honour of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on April 9, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AFP

London Here is an A to Z of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip:

A for AWARD: Since 1956, millions of youths worldwide have completed The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which promotes community service and self-reliance through volunteering, physical, skill and expedition challenges.

B for BARBEQUE: Prince Philip was in charge of grilling duties at the royal Scottish retreat at Balmoral, sizzling up the steaks by the river, with Queen Elizabeth doing the washing up.

C for CARRIAGE DRIVING: The duke took up the sport in 1971 after giving up polo. He compiled its international competition rules and represented Britain. He was still driving horses into his 90s.

D for DANISH: Philip was born into the house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg and considered himself Danish by race.

E for ENGAGEMENTS: The prince conducted 22,219 solo engagements between 1952 and his retirement in 2017. He gave 5,496 speeches and 785 organisations had him as a patron, president or member.

Also read: Prince Philip’s death: Tributes pour in from around the world

F for FAMILY: The duke ran the royal family, deciding on his children’s schooling, modernising the running of the palaces and trying to keep his son Charles’s doomed marriage to Diana going.

G for GREECE: Born a prince of Greece and Denmark in Corfu in 1921, his family fled to exile in Paris within a year. He understands some Greek and signs his paintings with phi, the Greek letter P.

H for HMS MAGPIE: Philip commanded his own frigate from 1950 to 1952. The officer and his young bride spent two idyllic years stationed on Malta before King George VI died in 1952.

I for IRASCIBILITY: He is notoriously impatient and does not suffer fools gladly. Non-adherence to his “get on with it” approach is often likely to infuriate the hot-tempered prince.

J for JOKES: His off-the-cuff quips are designed to put the public at ease when meeting royalty but his politically-incorrect wisecracks have infamously come back to haunt him.

K for KURT HAHN: The Jewish educator heavily influenced the prince’s life with his self-reliance doctrine. Hahn taught him in Germany then at Gordonstoun in Scotland, the school that Hahn founded in 1934, having fled the Nazis.

L for LIEGE MAN: At the 1953 coronation, he swore to be his wife’s “liege man of life and limb” and to “live and die against all manner of folks”, before kissing her cheek.

M for MOUNTBATTEN: Needing a surname after giving up his Greek and Danish titles to marry in 1947, he chose his mother’s anglicised Battenburg family name. He was infuriated when told his children would be Windsors.

N for NATURE: An early activist for wildlife conservation, he spoke out on pollution in 1970 and was president of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) from 1981 to 1996, though he despised what he called green “bunny-huggers”.

O for OLDEST: He is the oldest-ever male member of the British royal family and the longest-serving consort.

P for PARENTS: Prince Andrew, the son of Greece’s king George I, left to live with his mistress on the French riviera, while Princess Alice was committed to a sanatorium. She is buried in Jerusalem.

Q for QUEEN: The couple met in 1939 when King George VI visited his naval college. They exchanged letters during World War II and he proposed in 1946. She described him as her “strength and stay”.

R for ROYAL NAVY: The duke loved his naval years and was tipped for the top before his wife became queen. In 2011, she gave him her title as lord high admiral, the titular head of the service.

S for SPORT: He captained his school cricket and hockey teams and opened the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. A keen yachtsman, he played polo and led the International Equestrian Federation from 1964 to 1986. He captained an England cricket XI in 1949.

T for TELEVISION: The pioneering prince presented his own show in 1957, gave the first royal TV interview in 1961 and let in the cameras for a 1969 documentary that transformed how the world saw the Windsors.

U for UNCLE LOUIS: Lord Mountbatten — the last viceroy of British-ruled India — was a formative influence on the prince in the absence of his father. He steered Philip into the navy and took credit for engineering his marriage to the future queen.

V for VANUATU: The prince is revered as a god in a village on the island of Tanna. The cult grew when he appeared in person in 1974. They have exchanged gifts and pictures.

W for WORLD WAR II: He was mentioned in despatches for his role in winning the 1941 Battle of Cape Matapan, Italy’s worst naval defeat. He was in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender.

X for XIAN: Prince Philip’s greatest diplomatic gaffe came at this Chinese university in 1986 when he warned British students against going “slitty-eyed”.

Y for YACHT: The Royal Yacht Britannia served the family for 50 years. He helped design the interiors and in 1956-1957 did a four-month world tour.

Z for ZAZA: Also known as a gin and Dubonnet. The royals’ preferred cocktail before lunch. Prime Minister Tony Blair described them as “true rocket fuel”.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 10:14:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/a-to-z-of-britains-prince-philip/article34282705.ece

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