6 Things You Didn’t Know About Prince Philip

He may be best known as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and the father of Prince Charles, but Prince Philip (officially The Duke Of Edinburgh) has a fascinating story of his own that goes well beyond being the husband of the head of the Royal Family.

Prince Philip’s paternal grandfather was Prince William of Denmark (until he was elected as King George I of Greece), and King George’s sister eventually married the future King Edward VII. Before marrying Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip was sixth in line to the throne of Greece until he renounced his Greek royal title and became a naturalised British subject.

But that’s not all. Here are six additional facts about The Duke Of Edinburgh that you may or may not have known:

1. He was born in Corfu

The Duke of Edinburgh was born as Prince Philip of Greece on the island of Corfu, and his family home was the country residence of the British High Commissioner for the Ionian Islands. His family was forced to leave the island when the Prince was just 18 months old after the Royal Family in Greece was exiled in 1922.

Prince Philip Queen Elizabeth
Photo credit: Library And Archives Canada

2. He renounced his Greek royal title in 1947

Philip decided to become a naturalized British citizen after meeting the then Princess Elizabeth, and changed his surname to Mountbatten (his mother’s maiden name).

3. He is a direct descendant of Queen Victoria

Both Queen Elizabeth II and The Duke of Edinburgh are great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria, and the Prince is also Queen Victoria’s oldest living great-great-grandchild. While the Queen is the direct descendant of Victoria’s oldest son (King Edward VII), The Duke is descended from Queen Victoria’s second daughter (Princess Alice).

Prince Philip
Photo credit: Gregory Williams

4. He is a painter and an author

Prince Philip may seem like the boring, quiet type, but he’s actually a very artistic person and enjoys painting and writing during his spare time. He’s particularly interested in painting landscapes with oils, which he decided to take up after he met the famous English artist Edward Seago. Prince Philip has also written written books on birds, the environment, carriage driving, and a variety of other subjects.

5. He collects royal cartoons

Believe it or not, Prince Philip is actually a passionate collector of original political and royal cartoons, (including several drawn by Carl Giles), and The Duke proudly displays all of his cartoons at his Sandringham residence.

6. He has made over 5,000 speeches during his lifetime

According to recent calculations, Prince Philip has made on average about eight official speeches per month for the past 58 years; (roughly over 5,000 speeches during his entire life). Word on the street is that his collected speeches can span over a yard of shelf space.

Prince Philip Queen Elizabeth
Photo credit: Library and Archives Canada