Queen Elizabeth on Friday confirmed that her “beloved husband,” Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, had passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle two months and one day before his 100the birthday. During their 72 years of marriage, the prince became the first royal male consort since Queen Victoria and the longest running in British royal history.
Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born on the Greek island of Corfu to a dysfunctional branch of the Greek royal family. The outbreak of World War II found him in the Navy. He was sent the Indian Ocean and then to the Mediterranean where he served on HMS Valiant. When Elizabeth ascended the throne on the death of her father George VI, Philip gave up his naval career, took British citizenship and became her constant companion. The couple had four children: Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
The duke was committed to environmental issues and supported 800 different charities. But the royal consort also enjoyed relieving boring occasions by insulting members of the press. His gaffes were infamous. For instance, he called Beijing a “ghastly city” while on a royal visit there. He once asked a female navy cadet if she worked in a strip club. And he congratulated a British backpacker in Papua New Guinea for not being eaten.