Remembering Prince Philip's Life in Photos
The longest-serving British consort stood by the Queen's side for 73 years
Born into royal lineage on June 10, 1921, Philip was the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, and a descendant of England’s Queen Victoria. Though born in Greece, he was raised primarily in England.
As a teen, Philip joined the British Royal Navy, where he served during World War II. It was while at the Royal Naval College in 1939 that an 18-year-old Philip met his 13-year-old distant cousin, Princess Elizabeth. The young daughter of the King of England was smitten and struck up a correspondence with Philip that blossomed into love.
On November 20, 1947, the pair married in a spectacular ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey. To wed Elizabeth, Philip gave up his Greek and Danish titles — and any claim to foreign thrones — and became a British citizen, adopting the surname Mountbatten from his mother’s family.
One year later, the couple welcomed their first son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles.
Elizabeth and Philip spent around two years from 1949 to 1951 living in Malta while Philip was based there in the Navy. She announced she was pregnant with daughter Princess Anne while there, in April 1950, and headed home to Clarence House in order to give birth in August that year.
According to his website, Philip was a patron, president or member of more than 750 organizations in his time. He most notably founded the Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1956; a program to support youth worldwide.
After the death of King George VI in 1952, Elizabeth and Philip were thrust into the spotlight, and him into the role he would play for the rest of his life: the consort to the Queen of England. (In 1957 Elizabeth granted him the title of prince that he had given up to marry her.)
Here, the couple arrives to the White House for a meeting with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife Mamie in 1957.
Eventually, the royal couple's family grew (and grew!) with the additions of sons Prince Andrew (1960) and Prince Edward (1964).
Although he always knew his place — specifically, several public steps behind the Queen — the outspoken Philip seemed to chafe at the confines of royal duty at times. However, he had many passions outside the monarchy, including polo, flying planes and driving sports cars.
Philip spent his later years focused primarily on supporting the Queen.
“Regardless of whether my grandfather seems to be doing his own thing, sort of wandering off like a fish down the river, the fact that he’s there — personally, I don’t think that she could do it without him,” Prince Harry told the BBC in 2012.
After a string of hospitalizations, Philip — the longest-serving British consort— announced his retirement from royal duties in April 2017. He and the Queen were rarely apart, with Philip by her side throughout her record-breaking reign.
On their golden wedding anniversary in 1997, Queen Elizabeth offered a rare glimpse of her tightly-held heart. “He has quite simply been my strength and stay all these years,” she said. “I owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim.”
In their later years, the royals continued their interest in wildlife paintings, which they enjoyed collecting together, horse racing, gardening, their growing family (they have eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren) and their beloved dogs.
"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," a royal communications statement read Friday.
"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
"Further announcements will be made in due course.
"The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."