His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was the husband of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Since their marriage on 20 November 1947, he has provided enormous and selfless support to Her Majesty in all her endeavours. He is the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest ever male member of the Royal Family. He is the third longest-lived member of the Royal Family, following Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. He retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, aged 96, having completed over 22,200 solo engagements since 1952 when The Queen ascended to the throne. Between 1996 and 2014, HRH visited Bristol on eleven occasions going to 28 locations. On three occasions he accompanied The Queen.
The Duke of Edinburgh has dedicated his life to the service of the country. He served as Chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh Awards, a programme he founded in 1956 for young people aged 14 to 24 designed to develop their skills and self-worth. He was the Patron, President or Member of more than 780 organisations during his lifetime. His principle interests were on the environment, industry, sport and education. Personally, he was a keen sportsman, having played polo, competed in carriage driving and sailed yachts.
Prince Philip was born into the Greek and Danish Royal Families and from birth was in the line of succession to both thrones. Like Queen Elizabeth II, is the great, great grandchild of Queen Victoria. He was born in Greece and, because his family were later exiled, he was educated in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Prior to marrying Princess Elizabeth, he ceased to use his Greek and Danish titles, became a naturalised British subject and adopted his maternal grandparents’ surname of Mountbatten. Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth have four children: The Prince of Wales prince Charles (the heir apparent), The Princess Royal Princess Anne, The Duke of York Prince Andrew and The Earl of Wessex Prince Edward. Their descendants without royal styles and titles use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.
Philips’ military service was exemplary and he quickly rose up the ranks. He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 aged 18 and, the following year, was graduated as the best cadet in his course. During World War II, he served in the British forces and was appointed midshipman in January 1940 and spent four months protecting convoys in the Indian Ocean. He was transferred from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean Fleet and, after a series of courses in Portsmouth, was appointed sub-lieutenant in 1941. The next year, he became one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy. As second in command, he masterminded a plan to enable HMS WALLACE to escape by distracting enemy bombers. He was moved to the Eastern front and was present in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese signed the instrument of surrender. He returned to the UK in 1946 and was posted to HMS ROYAL ARTHUR in Wiltshire where he was an instructor in the Petty Officers’ School.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will be no formal public observances of, or Books of Condolences for, the death of The Duke of Edinburgh in the City of Bristol. The Coffin will remain in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace until seven days after his death. There will be no lying in state. On the eighth day there will be a small state funeral within the walls of Windsor Castle with very little military ceremonial. However, for the most up to date information please go to www.royal.uk