15 Rarely Seen Photos of Prince Philip
Born in 1921, the Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving and oldest royal consort in British history. Here are some highlights from Prince Philip's amazingly colourful life.
When he was one
The bouncing baby boy in this photograph, aged 12 months, was born on June 10, 1921—on a kitchen table in Corfu, Greece as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, the nephew of the reigning King of Greece at the time.
When he was the same age as Princess Charlotte
When Prince Philip was still an infant, his uncle was deposed and his family exiled to France.
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A mop-top schoolboy in Paris
At the time of this photograph (which was taken around 1927), Philip was a schoolboy in suburban Paris at the MacJannet American School. Not long after—when Philip was eight years old, his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg (a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria via Victoria’s daughter, Princess Alice, which means Philip and Elizabeth are actually related), who had been born deaf, was institutionalized. Soon after that, his traumatized father went to live in the South of France with his mistress, leaving Philip essentially an orphan.
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Fun in the sun
Although times were tough for the young exiled prince, it wasn’t all bad. Here he’s seen in late summer 1928, vacationing in Mamaia, Romania with some of his European royal relatives, from left to right, Princess Feodora of Greece, King Michael of Romania (who had become king at age five one year prior), the Princesses Helen, Irene, and Marguerite of Greece, and Prince Paul of Greece (Prince Philip is between Marguerite and Paul).
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A dashing young man
This photo was taken the summer Philip turned 15. Philip is pictured with his cousins, Lady Tatiana Mountbatten and David, Earl of Medina. At this point, Philip was living in the United Kingdom with the Mountbatten family. “Mountbatten” is the anglicized version of “Battenberg,” which had been the name his mother had been born with, and which was changed due to anti-German sentiment in the United Kingdom following World War I.
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Meaningful eye contact?
At the wedding of Patricia Mountbatten in December 1946, Philip had the honour of being an usher. The women beside him? Princess Elizabeth of York, age 20, and her younger sister, Princess Margaret Rose of York. Elizabeth would one day become Her Majesty The Queen, but before that, she and Philip would fall in love and get married.
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Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip married on November 20, 1947. But at the time of the wedding, he was no longer Prince Philip, having renounced his European titles in order to marry his princess. The day before the wedding, his father-in-law-to-be, King George VI, gave Philip the title of Duke of Edinburgh. Philip was styled as a British prince after George’s death and Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne in 1952.
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A new dad
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is seen here arriving at the Royal Institute of Galleries in Piccadilly, London. It’s one of the very first photographs taken of Philip after he became a father to Prince Charles, who is expected to become king upon the death of his mother, the Queen.
The Queen and her Prince in kilts
On this day, September 4, 1952, it’s been seven months since the Queen ascended the throne. Here, she’s pictured with her husband of five years, Prince Philip, who wears a kilt (in the tartan of Balmoral), at the Games at the Braemar Highland Gathering. It was the first time in 54 years, since Queen Victoria was alive and ruling, that a reigning Queen attended the Games.
Arriving for the funeral of President John F. Kennedy
On November 24, 1963, the Prince arrived at Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. to pay his last respects to the late President John F. Kennedy at the November 25 funeral. The Prince is being shown the way to his car by Secretary of State Dean Rusk.
Greeting President Richard Nixon
This photo memorializes the time the Queen and Prince Philip enjoyed lunch with President Nixon on February 25, 1969, at Buckingham Palace.
Escorting First Lady Nancy Reagan
In this photo, taken in 1982, Prince Philip steers a horse-drawn carriage with First Lady Nancy Reagan as his passenger.
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The Prince, pondering
Prince Philip isn’t known for thinking before speaking, but he’s pictured here doing just that: pondering reporters’ questions during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo in March 1997.
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With Her Majesty in 2004
Here Prince Philip and the Queen are struck by a mutual case of the giggles during a visit from Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski in May 2004.
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At the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor
It wasn’t quite the royal wedding of the century, but the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor to Thomas Kingston on May 18, 2019, was nevertheless quite an event considering Lady Gabriella is the daughter of Prince Michael of Kent, who is Queen Elizabeth’s paternal first cousin.
Next, we look back at the life of Prince Philip in memoriam.