Sometimes considered brusque and erratic, he has always played the most important role excellently: he was a devoted and loyal companion of Queen Elizabeth II for over 70 years, becoming the longest-serving prince consort in the history of Great Britain. Philip Mountbatten, Duke of Edinburgh, he left at 99. This was announced by the English royal house, in the late morning of today, April 9, 2021: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”
«His Royal Highness died peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle», The official statement continues, «The royal family joins people from all over the world in mourning for his loss ”. Prince Philip he had spent 28 days in the hospital, due to an unspecified infection and heart surgery that went well. The resignation last March 16, when we saw him in the car – for once, sitting in the back seat and not driving – he left King Edward VII’s Hospital in London.
Born (in Corfu) prince of Greece and Denmark, he had married the future queen on November 20, 1947, together they had four children: Carlo, Anna, Andrea and Edoardo. The royal chronicles have told it restless, decisive and pungent, at times cynical e prone to faux pas, which over the years have become his trademark, helping to make it more “human”. In 2017 he had withdrawn from public life. After 70 years I always spent three steps behind Her Majesty. “I think I’ve done my part”was his comment. The Queen, who has always maintained the habit of starting any conversation with “my husband and I”, has often called it “my strength and my support”.
Philip had been exiled at 10 months, and by the age of 10 he no longer had a home. Upon joining the British royal family, her four sisters were all married to German princes, some of whom were staunch Nazis. Very attached to military career, Philip had to sacrifice her to best fill the role of prince consort. He and “Lilibet” together have spanned a century. From black and white to color photos. They visited every corner of the former colonies and beyond, met the most important leaders on the planet, took part in any type of inauguration or sporting event. She faithful to the suits in pastel tones, he frequently in full uniform, very elegant on every occasion.
I’m a fan of The Crown, albeit in a fictionalized version, they learned to know him better episode after episode, discovering alleged escapades, a restless temperament, an attitude to command, unwillingly concealed, but in the end an absolute devotion towards Elizabeth. Infinite are the honors he has received from his wife over the years, perhaps as an attempt at reward for that surname (Mountbatten) never passed on – despite himself – to his children. That was, it seems, the only time he really got angry: “I’m an amoeba! I am the only man in the kingdom who is not allowed his children to bear his name! ».
Time then knew how to extinguish resentments and misunderstandings, and their union has emerged as one of the most solid (as well as long-lived) ever. Together they went through the much talked about divorces of their children, the death, in 1997, of Princess Diana, and the evolution of a nation. For Filippo, a royal insider said some time ago, “the Queen is balance. He admires her for this ». For His Majesty, however, the duke has always had «lto the ability and the freedom to be explicit and straightforward in a way that she has never granted to herself, for both institutional and congenital reasons “.
Already during the wedding dinner, in 1947, King George VI had said: “Our daughter is marrying the man she loves.” The first meeting between Elizabeth and Philip, great-grandson of Queen Victoria, he had been as children. Then, in 1939, she, 13, accompanied her parents to the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, where 18-year-old Philip was a cadet. From that moment the two had started a busy exchange of letters, always endorsed by Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten, the first supporter of their union. But things would only get serious after the war. When Philip was invited to Balmoral in the summer of 1946, it was immediately clear that Elizabeth was fallen in love. The rest is history.
“I can’t imagine anything worse than living up to a hundred years”, Philip had said when the Queen Mother arrived in 2000 to the century of life. Adding, “I’m already falling apart now.” Ironic, pungent and cynical, right up to the end.