Prince Philip’s Life in 50 Photos
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, passed away at 99 years old on April 9, 2021. This royal lived quite the life—here’s a look back at an eventful 99 years.
Remembering Prince Philip
Editor’s Note: Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth II, has died at 99 years old.
In a statement on April 9, 2021, the Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
In light of this sad news, we’re taking a look back at the Prince’s long, incredible life.
The Duke of Edinburgh passed away at 99 years old on April 9, 2021. How much do you know about this royal, who spent decades upon decades traveling as an ambassador for the United Kingdom alongside his wife, Queen Elizabeth II? To look at Prince Philip’s photos throughout the years is to understand more about the man who helped keep the British monarchy alive, sometimes quietly and and, well, other times not so quietly. Check out these images that tell the story of Prince Philip’s life. Plus, here are some touching photos of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
If you aren’t familiar with this particular royal family member’s history, he was originally Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, and he was born on the Greek island of Corfu back in 1921, according to Encyclopedia Brittanica. The son of Prince Andrew and Princess Alice, he had an unconventional childhood marked with controversy. His family fled Greece when he was a baby, and his mother experienced mental health issues, which led her to become institutionalized (and not of her own choice). Looking at this early Prince Philip photo, taken in 1922 when he was just around just a year old, you’d never guess at the commotion surrounding him. Here are some surprising facts you probably didn’t know about Prince Philip.
Despite his tumultuous family life, early Prince Philip photos showcase a child who doesn’t look unlike many of his peers. When he reached school age, the young prince attended the MacJannet American School in Saint-Cloud, France (not far outside of Paris). Here, he engages in a round of archery with some classmates, appearing as though they are pretending to be Robin Hood. Can you spot the Queen’s future husband? Spoiler alert: He’s second from the left. It’s not all that surprising to see Philip engaging in sport at an early age, as he continued to participate in various games throughout his life. Learn these fascinating facts about Prince Philip.
As previously mentioned, before he was Prince Philip of Edinburgh, he was Prince Philip of Greece. He’s pictured here around the age of nine, wearing traditional Greek garb. While there isn’t any context surrounding this photo, it’s interesting that he is photographed in attire associated with the country that his family fled when he was a baby. Later in life, Prince Philip would shed his ties to Greece and assume his mother’s surname, Mountbatten. We’ve heard the Mountbatten name a lot more recently, as it is part of the last name given to Harry and Meghan’s son, Archie. Check out these rarely seen photos of Prince Philip over the years.
Who would have thought that Prince Philip was a man of the theater? Sure, we’ve seen the royal on many an occasion showing an appreciation for the arts, but apparently in his younger years (back in 1935, to be exact), he even took to the stage in a school production of Macbeth. Prince Philip would have been around 14 years old when this photo was taken of him wearing his costume and preparing to recite lines written by the Bard. Given the drama that has played out in the royal family over the years, learning the ins and outs of this tragedy may have been good preparation.
Macbeth wasn’t Prince Philip’s only turn on the stage. He also played the role of one of the Three Wise Men at the school he attended throughout his teenage years, Gordonstoun School, located in Moray, Scotland. Self-described as a “co-educational independent school for boarding and day pupils,” it was also the same educational institution that his eldest son, Prince Charles, later attended. According to Vanity Fair, Prince Philip was one of the first students to attend this school, as it opened in 1934. This Christmas pageant photo was taken in 1938. Confused by the royal family tree? This chart explains it all.
You might be wondering what Prince Philip did for work in between the time he graduated from high school and eventually met his wife, Queen Elizabeth (then a princess). After graduating from Gordonstoun, Philip enlisted as a cadet in the Royal Navy, according to Army Cadet History. After training at RNC Dartmouth, he went on to work as a midshipman on the HMS Ramillies in 1940. That stint was followed by time aboard the HMS Valiant, a battleship stationed in Alexandria. There are many Prince Philip photos of his time with the Royal Navy, but here he is pictured in 1947, giving a salute as Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. This was just a few months before he and Queen Elizabeth married.
As you can probably imagine, Elizabeth and Philip had quite an elaborate celebration when they married on November 20, 1947. According to the official royal website, their wedding cake was a whopping nine feet tall, and 2,000 guests were invited to the ceremony. The service, performed at Westminster Abbey, aired on BBC Radio with an audience of 200 million people globally. Although their engagement was just four months long, Elizabeth and Philip had known each other for quite some time. They originally met at another royal wedding that took place in 1934, when Philip was a teenager. These 50 things you didn’t know about the royal family might shock you.
A true partnership
Ahead of the wedding, Prince Philip was given the title The Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London. Try to say that three times fast! His first cousin David Mountbatten served as the best man at the wedding. (Elizabeth, by the way, had eight bridesmaids.) The Duke added a loving touch to the engagement ring he gave to Elizabeth: It used diamonds from a tiara that belonged to his mother, Princess Alice. Needless to say, the platinum and diamond bauble, which was crafted by jeweler Philip Antrobus, is a stunner. By the way, this is the true story of how Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip fell in love.
The balcony wave
A royal wedding wouldn’t be complete without the iconic balcony wave. In this photo, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth (though at the time, still a princess) wave joyfully to the crowd of onlookers from the balcony at Buckingham Palace, just as we saw during the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Sadly, we didn’t get that great balcony moment with Harry and Meghan, who chose to marry at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor, as opposed to the Buckingham-accessible Westminster Abbey. For the record, Elizabeth’s dress was designed by Sir Norman Hartnell, who had to submit designs in order to be considered. Here are 13 things you probably never knew about this enduring royal marriage.
Choosing where to honeymoon after a wedding is difficult for any newlyweds, but it must be a real headache for royal couples, who will be swarmed wherever they go. Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth spent their wedding night at the home of Earl Mountbatten, Philip’s uncle. As with all royal abodes, this one has a name, Broadlands, and it’s located in Hampshire, England. The couple (along with Elizabeth’s pet corgi Susan) then set off for the rest of their honeymoon at Balmoral Estate. In this image, they’re shown taking a sweet walk through the Broadlands property.
The closest most of us have ever gotten to a coronation ceremony is watching the one that plays out for Queen Elsa in the animated movie Frozen. Princess Elizabeth had her coronation on June 2, 1953, forever changing her life and, in effect, that of Prince Philip. Here, they’re seen driving down Fulham Palace Road on the big day, touring northwest London to the delight of many revelers who wanted to be a part of this very important day in history. Although Prince Philip photos often show him in the Queen’s shadow, the royal worked diligently through the years and took his community duties as the Duke of Edinburgh very seriously. Can you guess the country Queen Elizabeth has traveled to the most?
The coronation continued
Prince Philip was allowed to congratulate (or as they put it, “pay homage”) to Queen Elizabeth at her coronation only after the bishops and archbishops had said their piece, according to the official royal website. Interestingly, should Prince William take the crown as king, Duchess Kate will be crowned as a queen consort. But when it’s a female monarch, her husband does not get to take the title of king, which is why Philip has always been considered either a prince or duke. “I thought I was going to have a career in the Navy, but it became obvious there was no hope.…There was no choice,” Biography.com quotes Philip as saying of Elizabeth’s early ascension to the throne. “It just happened. You have to make compromises. That’s life. I accepted it. I tried to make the best of it.”
The birth of Prince Charles
Before Elizabeth became Queen, she and Prince Philip welcomed their first child into the world. Prince Charles was born on November 14, 1948, almost a year to the date of his parents’ first wedding anniversary. He was actually born at Buckingham Palace (talk about a royal baby!) and weighed 7 pounds and 6 ounces at birth. He was later christened at the Palace on December 15 of the same year. There are rumors that have long swirled about tension between Prince Philip and Prince Charles, most notably around the Duke of Edinburgh’s decision to send Charles to his alma mater, Gordonstoun School, which Charles described as “hell on earth,” according to Express. Here’s what will happen when Prince Charles becomes king.
Prince Philip’s photos showcasing his time in the Royal Navy prove just how much he enjoyed that part of his life. This photo, for example, was taken during his final cruise aboard the HMS Magpie before returning home. He and his fellow naval officers who worked in the Mediterranean really enjoyed waterskiing, and this particular picture was taken on a beach in Turkey. It’s one of those rare accounts showing the royal’s more casual side, a whimsical moment in time in August 1951 not long before Prince Philip decided to end his naval career to better focus on his familial duties.
The birth of Princess Anne
It was in 1950 that the Queen and Duke welcomed their second child, a baby girl whom they named Princess Anne. Coincidentally, Philip was promoted to a Royal Navy lieutenant-commander on the same day: August 15. It has been reported that Prince Philip and his daughter had a closer relationship than he did with Charles. In an interview with the Daily Mail, the wife of one of Philip’s close friends said, “[Philip] always had more fun with Anne. Charles is more like the Queen, while Anne is very like Prince Philip.” If you’ve ever wondered, this is why Princess Anne doesn’t shake hands with the public.
A career highlight for Prince Philip was when he qualified for his Royal Air Force wings in 1953. In this photo, the then-32-year-old is pictured in the single-engined Harvard, with which he made three flights at White Waltham in Berkshire. The RAF Museum notes that he was awarded those well-earned wings by the Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir William Dickson at Buckingham Palace during a private ceremony on May 4, 1953. Prince Philip’s grandson, Prince William, famously served as a pilot with the RAF before leaving to perform more royal duties.
It’s fair to say that Prince Philip didn’t spend a lot of time with his mother, Princess Alice of Greece, as she reportedly battled mental health issues throughout her life and was institutionalized at one point. However, he is pictured with her here at the wedding of Princess Margeritha of Baden and Prince Tomislavof of Yugoslavia in 1957. According to CNN, Princess Alice became the founder of the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary, an order of nuns, in 1949. Their primary goal was to care for the sick. Her nickname for Prince Philip? Bubbikins.
In terms of Prince Philip photos, we have to admit the best ones are those that seemingly depict him and his famous family in candid, casual moments. It’s naive to think that these photos weren’t staged, at least in some respect, but as Philip and Elizabeth look on at Balmoral Estate while a young Charles and Anne play on a makeshift teeter-totter (simply a piece of plywood atop a log), they almost look “normal.” The castle, one of the family’s many lavish residences, is situated in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. These are the 18 etiquette rules everyone in the royal family has to follow.
The birth of Prince Andrew
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth continued to expand their family, welcoming Prince Andrew in 1960. Here, the family sits atop a picnic blanket in front of Balmoral Castle for a perfectly picturesque image. As a father, Prince Philip is often referred to as a “disciplinarian” and has been accused of trying to help his eldest son, Charles, “toughen up.” However, this approach may not have been all bad. A Telegraph report in 2019 suggested that the Palace was struggling because Prince Philip (who retired in 2017) was less involved. “Many royal watchers have noted that it was [Charles’] father, as head of the family, who kept a firm grip on palace business, ruling over the younger generations with an iron fist until he stepped back from public life,” royal watcher Victoria Ward shared with The Telegraph.
And so it begins…the fateful day when Prince Philip brought Prince Charles to his first day as a student at Gordonstoun School. According to Vanity Fair, it was here that Charles experienced a great deal of bullying, but also became an avid polo player (much to his father’s joy) and developed a great interest in Shakespeare. Perhaps Philip’s attitude toward fatherhood had to do with trying to stay humble. “In the first years of the Queen’s reign, the level of adulation—you wouldn’t believe it,” he was quoted as saying in The Telegraph. “You really wouldn’t. It could have been corroding. It would have been very easy to play to the gallery, but I took a conscious decision not to do that. Safer not to be too popular. You can’t fall too far.” Read up on some interesting facts about Prince Charles.
Prince Philip loved sports and, according to Polo Weekly, gifted his son Prince Charles with a polo mallet at the age of 15 (he picked up the sport while going to school in Scotland). In fact, the Duke of Edinburgh is responsible for founding England’s Windsor Park polo team, as well as Guards Polo Club. In this photo, taken in 1975, Prince Philip talks to Charles before a polo match at Windsor. It’s said that Philip competed in sports well into his 50s.
For an entire year in 1969, Philip and Elizabeth’s brood was filmed for a BBC documentary appropriately titled Royal Family. It was broadcast on both BBC One and ITV, and while the still photos, like this one of Prince Philip painting, are all kinds of fascinating, the doc was widely panned by audiences and critics alike. According to History.com, the film was produced in an effort to make the Queen appear more personable (stars are just like us, right?), but it backfired. Still, we wouldn’t mind watching the documentary today with a modern-day perspective. These are 13 of the most bizarre true stories that became documentaries.
In his younger days, Prince Philip did a lot of traveling with the Queen. In fact, he rarely stopped moving until he finally decided to retire from public life in 2017. In another snap from the Royal Family documentary, we see Philip and Elizabeth in flight, returning from a visit to Yorkshire. Many of the official royal visits you now see William and Kate or Charles and Camilla make are the same sorts of tours that the Queen and the Duke made previously, before health concerns made it more difficult for them to shuffle about as frequently.
If the name Frogmore Cottage sounds familiar, it’s because the home that was given to Harry and Meghan upon their marriage that created such a ruckus, with rumors of lavish renovations and ridiculous demands surrounding the cutesy-sounding estate. Take a look at Frogmore Cottage way back when, as the Queen, Prince Philip, and the kiddos hang out on the lush grass outside. This is where Elizabeth celebrated her 39th birthday, with teenaged Charles and Anne, plus little ones Andrew and Edward. What does the royal family actually do? Find out.
We’re back on the polo field! One common bond Prince Philip and Prince Charles share is their love for polo. In 1967, the father-son duo were victorious when they won the Junior County Championship alongside their Windsor Park team. The match, which took place in Little Bidworth, Cheshire, ended with a three-point victory over the opposing team, Cowdrey. To make the whole thing even sweeter, it was Charles who scored the winning goal. This photo was taken while Prince Philip was getting in some last-minute practice before the big competition.
Just your average, run-of-the-mill royal family hanging out at one of their many palatial estates. No big deal! Here, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth share some family time with the kids in the drawing-room at Sandringham House in Norfolk. We’d love to know what Edward is pointing out to his father in the newspaper. And what’s the deal with Prince Andrew and the bow and arrow indoors? Meanwhile, Princess Anne is just looking adoringly at her mother. If only we could have been a fly on one of those expensive walls. You’ll love these rarely seen royal family Christmas photos.
The Queen and the Duke were married for a long time. A really long time, in fact. Here, they take a portrait with their children in the Belgian Suite of Buckingham Palace as they celebrated their Silver Wedding Anniversary in 1972. The silver anniversary marks 25 years of marriage, and, boy, did this couple experience a lot in those 25 years alone. Between the Queen’s coronation just five years after they were wed and the birth of their four kids in the ensuing years, they lived a lifetime in their first two-and-a-half decades as husband and wife.
Princess Anne’s wedding
The world loves a royal wedding, so it was exciting indeed when Princess Anne married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973. The two met five years earlier and bonded over a shared love of horses. The wedding, held at Westminster Abbey, was, of course, televised, and the couple went on to have two children together, Zara and Peter. Sadly their relationship ended in divorce by 1989. Princess Anne went on to marry Sir Timothy Laurence in 1992, not long after her divorce from Phillips was finalized, according to Harper’s Bazaar. At the time, the Church of England didn’t allow second marriages, so the couple wed in Scotland instead. Royal or not, these are the wedding etiquette rules you really ought to follow.
Here’s another super relaxed Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip photo at their Balmoral home. It makes you wonder if these two ever had a chance to wear stretchy pants and T-shirts for a truly comfortable at-home experience. And who is Prince Philip talking to? This snap, taken on September 26, 1976, leaves us with more questions than answers about day-to-day royal life. But we do love that Philip is lovingly petting their dorgi (a corgi and dachshund mix). The family has been known to have corgis as pets for decades, but from 1976 on, they’ve been spotted as pet parents to the dorgi mix, reports Woman’s World.
Charles and Diana’s wedding
It was 1981 when the world couldn’t get enough of Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s seemingly fairy-tale wedding at St. Paul’s Cathedral. For the big day, Prince Philip rode to the ceremony alongside Diana’s mother, Mrs. Shand Kydd. Though Charles and Diana’s marriage ended in divorce, letters released by The Telegraph between Prince Philip and his former daughter-in-law appear to prove they remained good friends despite no longer being family. In one letter, Philip wrote, “I will always do my utmost to help you and Charles to the best of my ability.” These so-called facts about Princess Diana simply aren’t true.
As his polo-playing days began to dwindle, Prince Philip wanted to maintain his love of both horses and sport, so he began competing in the Carriage Driving portion of the Windsor Horse Show. Here he is in 1982, taking his newfound hobby very seriously, with a top hat and all. He was spotted driving around the grounds of Windsor Castle as recently as 2019, reported the Daily Mail. Clearly the elder royal tried to remain active and continue to enjoy some of his favorite pastimes. He had much more time on his hands to do so after retiring from public life in 2017.
He may have left the Royal Navy behind him decades earlier, but in 1982 Prince Philip returned to the waterways by participating in the Queen’s Cup at the Cowes Regatta. The royal sailed using his Yeoman classic yacht (as one does). You’d think as the husband of the actual Queen, you’d be a shoo-in to win something called the Queen’s Cup, but we’re assuming Elizabeth isn’t one to play favorites when a competition of sport is involved. Still, it’s not about winning—it’s about having fun, right? Right? If you’re up for some spooky stories on the high seas, check out these ghost ship mysteries that can’t be explained.
Trooping the Colour
Each year, the Queen’s birthday is celebrated with a grandiose event called Trooping the Colour. According to the royal family’s official website, it has marked the birthday of the reigning monarch for more than 260 years. It’s also a truly fun opportunity to see the family merrily gathered together on a balcony. In 1982, Princess Diana was very pregnant with her first child (that would be Prince William), hence the maternity dress. According to The Telegraph’s release of their private letters, Diana used to refer to Prince Philip as “Pa.” This particular Trooping the Colour would have marked the Queen’s 56th birthday. Don’t miss these 19 vintage photos of the Queen’s annual parade.
Prince William’s christening
When the future King was born, it was a really big deal. After all, as the firstborn grandchild to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, William will one day take over the throne. The little boy was christened in August 1982. In this picture, doting grandfather Philip looks on as Princess Diana tries to quiet the crying baby while the family sits for a portrait in the White Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace. The Palace has 17 staterooms, but the White Drawing Room is considered to be among the most intimate. Even better, it has a hidden door disguised as a mirror. Love the little royals? Here are some details you may have missed about Prince Louis’ christening gown.
Queen Elizabeth’s birthday
When you play second fiddle to the Queen, you’re going to have to accept that her birthday is a much bigger deal than your own. This is something Philip seemed to take in stride. “I think the main lesson we have learnt is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient in any happy marriage,” he said during a toast to his wife on their golden wedding anniversary, per Harper’s Bazaar. “You can take it from me, the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance.” Well said, Prince Philip.
Princess Diana’s funeral
When Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car crash involving paparazzi in 1997, the world mourned. Despite the fact that she was no longer a member of the royal family, they wanted to honor her with a funeral fit for a princess. According to The Sun, Prince Philip, while always supposed to attend the ceremony, was not supposed to walk behind her coffin with Prince Harry and Prince William. However, extremely heartbroken, William said he didn’t want to walk. The only thing that would convince him to make the walk behind the coffin was if his grandfather, with whom he is reportedly very close, walked with him. Hence, the appearance of Philip in the procession. Mourners around the world paid tribute to “the People’s Princess,” and this is what Kensington Palace looked like right after Diana’s death.
Prince Philip performed many state visits alongside Queen Elizabeth over the years, like this one to Norway in 2001. Here, they are seen at a Boltelokka School in the capital of Oslo, where children performed songs for the couple. The visits are meant to act as a way to bridge relationships between England and other countries with the sharing of culture and other important information, helping to achieve a better understanding of the similarities and differences between them. In turn, monarchs, presidents, and prime ministers are also invited to visit the Queen in London.
There are so many royal events, it’s hard to keep up. But the Golden Jubilee is celebrated in England to mark the 50th anniversary of the accession of the king—or, in this case, the queen. In laymen’s turns: In 2002, it was the 50th anniversary of when Queen Elizabeth II took over. For the celebration, the Queen and Prince Philip rode in a cavalcade along the mall to wave to revelers sharing in the excitement of this special moment in time. With so many other royal marriages ending in divorce, it’s sweet to see that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh’s marriage lasted the rest of his life. Here are some other unusual royal traditions you may not know about.
Charles and Camilla’s wedding
When Prince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles in April 2005, Prince Philip was obviously in attendance. This photo of the updated royal family also included Prince William, Prince Harry, and Queen Elizabeth, as well as Camilla’s children, Laura and Tom Parker-Bowles, and her father, Bruce Shand. It was a happy occasion for the reunited lovebirds, who had previously dated before Charles found himself in a relationship with Princess Diana. In fact, when Prince Charles sought counsel from Philip about marrying Diana because he was not in love with her, the patriarch had some ideas. “My father-in-law said to my husband, ‘If your marriage doesn’t work out, you can always go back to her after five years,'” Princess Diana shared in a private conversation, which was revealed in a documentary that aired 20 years after her death. “Which is exactly—I mean, for real I knew that it had happened after five—I knew something was happening before that, but the fifth year I had confirmation.” Check out these 20 things you didn’t know about Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
The Queen’s honor
In 1956, Prince Philip started what the British refer to as an “awards scheme” to help young people discover new interests and skills and be recognized for their achievements. To earn the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, participants must complete four sections, which involve community, fitness, and personal challenges; competitions are open to youths “regardless of ability, gender, background or location.” In 2006, the Duke accepted a Royal Charter from his wife, the Queen, for his own efforts, honoring the 50th anniversary of the organization’s founding. The ceremony took place at Buckingham Palace.
In 2007, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth celebrated their very impressive diamond anniversary—that’s 60 years of marriage. During a ceremony at Westminster Abbey, Archbishop Rowan Williams said, “Every marriage is a public event, but some couples have to live more than others in the full light of publicity. We are probably more aware than ever these days of the pressures this brings. But it also means that we can give special thanks for the very public character of the witness and the sign offered to us by this marriage, and what it has meant to nation and Commonwealth over the decades.” Did you know that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are actually related?
The State Opening of Parliament
Though the British royal family doesn’t actually govern modern-day England, the Queen still opens Parliament each year, and there is a lot of pomp and circumstance attached to this ceremony. According to Royal.UK, “The Queen travels to the Palace of Westminster in a State coach, escorted by the Household Cavalry. The Imperial State Crown and regalia travels in front of the Queen in a carriage of its own.” From there, she puts on her royal robes and takes the throne. She sat alongside Prince Philip in 2016, but since then, Prince Charles has taken his special seat.
Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday
When the Queen of England turns 90, it’s time to party. For this particular occasion in 2016, Prince Philip accompanied his bride to the Patrons Lunch on the Mall in London. Though the Queen turned 90 in April, the event was held in June with a whopping 10,000 guests. In fact, there was an entire weekend of events to mark the major milestone. The luncheon didn’t only honor Queen Elizabeth; it also gave a nod to the more than 600 non-profits and organizations she supports. Look at how sweetly Philip supports her back as they wave to onlookers. Prince Philip’s pet name for Queen Elizabeth will melt your heart.
Leave it to the Order of the British Empire to one-up the Queen. Forget 90th birthdays—Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Order of the British Empire in 2017 at St. Paul’s Cathedral. The empire was crafted in 1917 by her father, King George V, to mark civilian achievement at varying degrees. Twice a year, Queen Elizabeth provides lists of the people she would like to honor. There are different rankings, like Knight or Dame Commander of the Order and Officer of the Order. Think along the lines of someone like Dame Helen Mirren, who was honored by the Queen.
For years, it has been customary for the royals to descend upon Sandringham to attend a Christmas church service. The mass is held at St. Mary Magdalene Church, close to the royal estate, and it’s typically a big to-do to watch the family walk there. In 2017, we could even spy Meghan Markle making the trek behind the Queen and Prince Philip after becoming engaged to Prince Harry. In 2019, Prince Philip fell ill over the holidays and was unable to make this tradition, much to the concern and dismay of royal watchers. Speaking of the big day, here are 10 royal family holiday traditions you’ll want to steal.
Portrait of a prince
In 2017, Prince Philip announced that he was taking a step by from public life as a royal. The same year, this stunning painting of him standing in the halls of Buckingham Palace was released. According to Sky News, the Duke of Edinburgh had carried out 22,191 single engagements since his wife’s coronation in 1952. That doesn’t include the countless events he performed alongside Queen Elizabeth. The fact that he acknowledged this was the right move for him, personally, makes a huge statement to his desire to maintain his health as best he possibly could.
Harry and Meghan’s wedding
Stepping back from public work doesn’t mean Prince Philip had any intention of missing his family’s major life events. He was a happy participant at the May 2018 wedding of his grandson Harry to Meghan Markle, which took place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. The nuptials marked a modernizing change to the royal family, and as with so many of England’s historical events of the last 90 years, Philip was front and center to witness it. Here are 18 tiny details you might have missed at Harry and Meghan’s wedding.
Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding
It was wedding fever for the royals in 2018. Less than six months after Harry and Meghan’s big day, Princess Eugenie married her longtime love, Jack Brooksbank. The wedding also took place at St. George’s Chapel, with Prince Philip escorting the Queen to the family affair. Eugenie is the daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, who divorced in May 1996. Their other daughter, Princess Beatrice, married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in a private ceremony in July 2020, which Prince Philip attended as well. Get a look at these 20 iconic royal wedding photos throughout history.
More wedded bliss
And here was yet another blessed occasion for Prince Philip to attend. This photo shows him back at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston. Gabriella is the daughter of Prince Michael of Kent, the Queen’s cousin. The wedding, which happened in May 2019, shows Prince Philip in seemingly good spirits. Several months later, he was hospitalized over the winter holidays in an abundance of caution after falling ill. He remained there for several days before returning home.
Prince Philip’s near 100-year life
There aren’t many recent Prince Philip photos. He wasn’t publicly photographed in 2020, as he and the Queen remained home, isolating together during the coronavirus pandemic. Express reports that the couple shared a quiet lunch on his birthday, June 10, but, as was his usual request, Philip didn’t want a major fuss made about his big day. Ninety-nine years is a pretty incredible life. He passed on April 9, 2021, about two months shy of his 100th birthday, peacefully in Windsor Castle. Next, check out these rarely seen photos of the British royal family through the years.