His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, also known as Prince Philip, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark in Corfu on June 10, 1921. He was the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg. Prince Philip had four older sisters: Princess Margarita (1905-1981), Princess Theodora (1906-1969), Princess Cécile (1911-1937) and Princess Sophie (1914-2001).
Early life and education
When the Greek monarchy was abolished in the early 1920s, the Duke's family was forced into exile. King George V ordered that a Royal Navy ship evacuate the family, and in December 1922, the 18-month-old prince was carried to safety in a cot made from an orange box.
The family settled in Paris, and Prince Philip went to schools in France, England and Germany.
After leaving school, Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy. He graduated in 1939 from the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, as the best cadet in his course.
Prince Philip served on the HMS Valiant during the Second World War and was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour. In July 1942, he was promoted to lieutenant, and appointed First lieutenant (second in command) of the destroyer HMS Wallace, which took part in the Allied landings in Sicily.
In 1952, His Royal Highness was promoted to Commander, but his naval career came to an end upon the death of his father-in-law, King George VI.
Marriage and family
At the age of 18, Prince Philip was introduced to British royal circles by his uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten. During this time, the young prince met the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth, his third cousin. Queen Victoria was great-great-grandmother to both of them.
When the Second World War began, Prince Philip departed the U.K. serving in the navy. On his return in 1946, he began courting the young princess. Their engagement was announced 18 months later, and their marriage took place in Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947.
The Queen of Canada and The Duke of Edinburgh have four children:
Charitable work and military appointments
The Duke of Edinburgh serves as patron or president of some 800 organizations. These reflect his interest in science and technology, sports, youth and conservation and the environment.
Forty four of these organizations are in Canada, and include the Canadian Curling Association, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and Outward Bound Trust - Canada.
The Duke of Edinburgh holds many honorary military positions. He is Colonel-in-Chief of the following units in Canada:
- The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa
- The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada
- The Royal Canadian Army Cadets
- The Royal Canadian Regiment
- The Royal Hamilton Light Infantry (Wentworth Regiment)
- The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
In 1956, His Royal Highness launched the Duke of Edinburgh's Award. This program encourages and supports the personal development of young people.
More than four million people in more than 60 countries have participated in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award challenge, making it one of the most successful youth programs in the world.
The Duke of Edinburgh serves as Patron and Chairman of Trustees, and he presents awards and meets participants and volunteers around the world.
Tours of Canada
The Queen of Canada and The Duke of Edinburgh first toured Canada in the fall of 1951. Since then, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness have maintained close ties with Canada. They have completed more than 20 royal tours in Canada since The Queen's accession to the Throne.
Canadian Heritage Resources
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