The remarkable life of Prince Philip

Constant support: Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth were married for 73 years.

Did he see more change than any of us will? Prince Philip died on Friday aged 99. The Queen’s husband had an incredible life and lived through some of the most important events in history.

What’s happening

At 12pm on Friday, Buckingham Palace released a statement: Prince Philip, the Queen’s husband, had died peacefully, aged 99.

News sites and social media filled with tributes. Flowers appeared outside UK palaces. And millions around the world looked back at the Prince’s extraordinary life.

Find out more

Prince Philip was born in 1921 on Corfu. His family were royals, but they were banished from Greece when he was just one year old.

Philip grew up in France, Germany and the UK. He went to school in Scotland where he was captain of the hockey and cricket teams. After school, he joined the Royal Navy and fought in World War Two.

He and Elizabeth were married in 1947. Over 200 million people listened to the service on the radio.

When Elizabeth’s father died, Philip gave up his job in the Navy to be by the new Queen’s side.

He stayed busy by taking part in sports and doing charity work. The Duke was head of the World Wildlife Fund for 15 years. He also set up the famous Duke of Edinburgh award.

Did he see more change than any of us will?

Some say…

Yes! When he was born, few people had cars or travelled by air. Women could not vote in many countries. There were no TVs, no microwaves, no credit cards. Many towns in the UK were still waiting for electricity. Kings and Queens still ruled most of the world. Prince Philip saw all of these things invented – and he fought in a world war.

Others think…

We can’t know for sure. In 1921, nobody could know we would have smart phones or reusable rockets. One hundred years from now, there could be people living on Mars or the Moon. We may get our energy in new ways. Climate change could affect the way whole countries look. Our whole way of life may be totally different!

You Decide

  1. Because of the pandemic, members of the public will not be able to go to the funeral. How can they pay their respects at home?

Activities

  1. Imagine you have travelled back in time to 1921, when Prince Philip was born. Write a story about a day spent in your home town 100 years ago.

Some People Say...

“He shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people… he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.”

Boris Johnson (1964 – ), British prime minister

What do you think?

Word Watch

Released a statement
Announced something or made information public.
Tributes
Something written or said to show respect or to remember somebody or something. Tributes are often paid to people who have died.
UK palaces
There are 26 royal estates in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. People have also been sending tributes from countries in the Commonwealth including New Zealand and Canada.
Extraordinary
Very unusual, different from what is ordinary.
Corfu
An island in Greece with a population of 109,537.
Banished
Forced to leave a country. Prince Philip’s uncle was the king of Greece. He was forced to abdicate – give up being king – after a war between Greece and Turkey. That meant that the whole family had to leave.
Father
King George VI became king in 1936 after his older brother abdicated. Elizabeth was next in line to the throne when he died suddenly in 1952.
Charity
Prince Philip was a patron of over 800 charities over 70 years.
Duke of Edinburgh award
An awards programme for young people in the UK that involves sport, outdoor activities and charity work.

Subjects

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