Prince Philip (1921-2021): Lesser-known facts about the Duke of Edinburgh

Written By: Pragati Awasthi

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, passed away on April 9 at the age of 99. As the world mourns the death of the Queen’s husband, here are some lesser-known facts about the Duke of Edinburgh that you may not have known.


Born in Greece

He was born in Corfu in 1921 - the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg. However, the family was exiled during his childhood. Eventually, Philip moved to Britain to live with relatives, while his father went to Monaco and his mother to Switzerland.


Multilingual person

The Duke of Edinburgh was multilingual – he was Greek by nationality and has lived much of his life in Britain and could speak French fluently.


First royal TV interview

The pioneering prince presented his own show in 1957, gave the first royal TV interview in 1961 and let in the cameras for a 1969 documentary that transformed how the world saw the Windsors.


Revered as a god

The prince is revered as a god in a village on the island of Tanna. The cult grew when he appeared in person in 1974. They had exchanged gifts and pictures.


The Navy man

He was mentioned in despatches for his role in winning the 1941 Battle of Cape Matapan, Italy's worst naval defeat. He was in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender.



He captained his school cricket and hockey teams and opened the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. A keen yachtsman, he played polo and led the International Equestrian Federation from 1964 to 1986. He captained an England cricket XI in 1949.


Warning to Prince Charles

Prince Charles was given a stern word of warning from his father Philip before committing to marry Princess Diana. He warned his son that he should either propose to his girlfriend or end the relationship. 


A creative man

The Duke was a very creative man, especially when it comes to jewellery. He repurposed his mother’s tiara to create the Queen’s engagement ring and wedding bracelet.


Prolific author

Prince Philip was a prolific author and over the years had written several books on environmentalism, horses, and other animal subject. The long list includes, Selected Speeches 1948-1955 (1957); Birds from Britannia (1962); Down to Earth (1988); and Survival or Extinction: A Christian Attitude to the Environment (1989).


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