Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, to retire
95 years old Prince Philip, husband of England's Queen Elizabeth II, will step down from public life in September'17. The Queen, 91, has also gradually scaled back her public commitments, but will continue her duties. This came after the Queen met PM Theresa May to mark the dissolution of the parliament. On the occasion, we chart the intriguing life of the Duke of Edinburgh.
"Prince Philip will attend previously-scheduled engagements (till) August, both individually and accompanying The Queen. Thereafter, The Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time," the Buckingham Palace said.
Prince Philip was born on June 10, 1921, to Prince Andrew and Princess Alice. But when he was 10, his mother was sent to a psychiatric institution, and his exiled father moved to France. Six years later, his sister died in a plane crash immediately after delivering her child. Left alone, he learnt to fend for himself and his cousins; duty became all-important.
When war broke out in 1939, Prince Philip, despite being Greek and having German relatives, fought for England's Royal Navy, where he was undergoing naval training. He and Elizabeth, distant cousins, started getting close when they met at Windsor Castle at Christmas, 1943. He is believed to have proposed about three years later. They were finally married in November 1947, after overcoming some objection.
After becoming the Duke of Edinburgh, he eventually became the Prince in 1957. Throughout the years, he supported the queen in her duties, accompanied her on visits, founded the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, and remained patron of 800 organizations, including the WWF and Britain-Australia Society.
Prince Philip has been known for his often embarrassing one-liners; once he asked about Madonna's singing, "Are we going to need ear plugs?" Another time, he asked Cate Blanchett to repair his DVD player as she worked "in the film industry". He didn't spare his children either; about his daughter Princess Anne, he said, "If it doesn't fart or eat hay, she isn't interested."
Unknown to many, the prince is an avid sports enthusiast. He represented Britain in competitive horse carriage driving, and has tried his hand at polo too. The Prince enjoys talking about UFOs and science, painting, and even has his own London taxi!
Despite controversies (he once supported elephant culling in Africa in contrary to the WWF's position), the Prince has remained the longest-serving member of the British royal family. The oldest-living great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria is now surrounded by the Queen and four children: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.