Happy Birthday to the Duke of Edinburgh, who turns 96 today. Born Prince Phillip of Greece to Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg, he was the only brother of Princess Margarita of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Princess Theodora, Margravine of Baden, Grand Duchess Cecile of Hesse, and Princess Sophie of Hanover, and a grandson of King George I of Greece. Exiled from Greece at an early age, he grew up in France, Germany, and Britain, where he was taken under the wing of his maternal uncle, later Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Serving in the Royal Navy during WWII, he gave up his title to become a British Citizen, becoming Phillip Mountbatten, by taking the name of his maternal family. In 1947, he married the then Princess Elizabeth, Heiress Presumptive to the British Throne. The couple have four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward, and will celebrate their 70th Anniversary this year. In 1952, she succeeded to the Throne as Queen Elizabeth II upon the sudden death of her father, while they was on tour of Kenya. Initially finding it difficult to adjust as Prince Consort, he established himself in the role, founding the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. Known for his mischievous humour and ‘gaffes’, the Duke is one of the best loved members of the royal family and one of my personal favourites. I wish HRH a very Happy Birthday and Many Happy Returns!
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