The Royal Family is officially in mourning following the passing of Prince Philip this morning at the age of 99.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, was the longest serving consort of a reigning monarch. Prince Philip married Princess Elizabeth, heiress presumptive to the British throne, on 20 November 1944. During their Golden Wedding Anniversary banquet in 1997, the Queen described her husband as her ‘strength and stay’. Born Prince of Greece and Denmark Prince Philip, was also descended in direct female line from Queen Victoria. His marriage into the British royal family represents one of the last great inter-dynastic royal marriages.
Prince Philip experienced more changes in name and style than most men of his generation. At birth he was named Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark but following his engagement to Princess Elizabeth he renounced his rights to the throne of Greece and was naturalised a British subject, taking the surname Mountbatten. He was granted the title, style and attribute of Royal Highness the day before his wedding in 1947 and the following day was named Baron Greenwich, of Greenwich, Earl of Merioneth and Duke of Edinburgh in the peerage of the United Kingdom.
On February 22nd 1957, he was granted the style and titular dignity of a Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
A Debrett’s spokesperson said, “The Duke of Edinburgh has not only served the Queen as a husband, he has left a lasting legacy for the entire nation.”
Prince Philip has spent much of his life accompanying the Queen on her official visits in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. By the time of his retirement in 2017, he had undertaken 22,191 solo engagements, given 5,493 speeches, and was associated with more than 780 organisations.
Prince Philip launched the Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1956. Since then, millions of young participants worldwide have benefited from the programme.
The title of Duke of Edinburgh will not go to Prince Charles, who will remain the Prince of Wales, but is expected to go to Edward, Earl of Wessex, in time.
A spokesperson for Debrett’s said: ’When the Earl of Wessex married in 1999, it was announced that he would be honoured with the title of Duke of Edinburgh in due course, once the title eventually reverts back to the Crown. No specific time limit was given, and it would be unwise to speculate when or if the official announcement will be made on any decision as to the future of the Dukedom.’