Friday, April 9, 2021

Prince Philip. Duke of Edinburgh aged 99, passes away !!

Prince Philip. Duke of Edinburgh aged 99,  passes away at Windsor Castle

The Queen today announced with 'deep sorrow' the death of her husband Prince Philip at the age of 99, her 'strength and guide' throughout their 73-year marriage and her 69-year reign. The Duke of Edinburgh spent his final days at Windsor Castle with his wife after a 28-night stay in hospital having been admitted in mid-February for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition. Her Majesty announced her husband's death at midday as the Union Flag was lowered to half-mast outside Buckingham Palace and on public buildings across the UK and Commonwealth.



          Philip, born in June 1921, was a Prince of Greece but with no Greek blood and in fact had complex background.  His Family fled Corfu in December 1922 after father, in Greek army, was arrested and charged with high treason. Evacuated on a British warship, he was carried into exile in a makeshift cot made from an old orange box. After fleeing Corfu, Philip's family finally arrived in Paris, and were dependent on relatives for financial help . 

To understand History better, there were Emperors of India.  George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 1895 – 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death in 1952. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.  Though he lived between 1895 to 1952, he was Emperor of India for the period 11.12.1936 till 22.6.1948 i.e., for a period slightly over 11 years 6 months.  For the records,  there were only 5 Emperors : Queen Victoria,    Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII and George VI.

In September 1939, the British Empire and Commonwealth—but not Ireland—declared war on Nazi Germany. War with the Kingdom of Italy and the Empire of Japan followed in 1940 and 1941, respectively. George was seen as sharing the hardships of the common people and his popularity soared. Buckingham Palace was bombed during the Blitz while the King and Queen were there, and his younger brother, the Duke of Kent, was killed on active service. George became known as a symbol of British determination to win the war.   George relinquished the title of Emperor of India in June 1948 and instead adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth. He was beset by smoking-related health problems in the later years of his reign and died of coronary thrombosis in 1952. He was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth II.  

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (10 June 1921 – 9 April 2021) was a member of the British royal family as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.  After being educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18.  During the Second World War he served with distinction in the 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 naturalised British subject, and adopted his maternal grandparents' surname Mountbatten. He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947.  



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 organisations, 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.   

The day before the wedding, King George VI bestowed the style of Royal Highness on Philip and, on the morning of the wedding, 20 November 1947, he was made the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London.  Philip and Elizabeth were married in a ceremony at Westminster Abbey, recorded and broadcast by BBC radio to 200 million people around the world.  Philip was introduced to the House of Lords on 21 July 1948, immediately before his uncle Louis Mountbatten, who had been made Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

Elizabeth II (here being referred as wife of Philip) was born in 1926 – and is   Queen of the United Kingdom and 15 other Commonwealth realms. Her father ascended the throne on the abdication of his brother King Edward VIII in 1936, from which time she was the heir presumptive.  

Homage to Mr Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
9.4.2021

  

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