Prince Philip

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921–) is the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. For over 65 years, he has served as the British royal consort (monarch’s spouse) supporting the Queen in her official duties and appearances worldwide. He is the longest-serving consort and oldest-ever male in the British royal family. As well as supporting the Queen, Philip is the patron of around 800 organisations! Learn more about the man regarded as the Queen’s ‘constant strength and guide’ and use our printable resources below to test your findings. Children can colour in our lovely picture of Prince Philip in full dress uniform or print out our fun poster. We also have a fun worksheet to help with some fact-finding, and even a tutorial to teach them how to draw their own portrait!

Prince Philip

Fun Facts

  • Philip and Elizabeth have been married for over 70 years – the longest marriage of any British monarch.
  • Philip and Elizabeth are also distant cousins, sharing a great-great-grandmother in Queen Victoria. They are second cousins (once removed) from their descent from King Christian IX of Denmark, and fourth cousins (once removed) from their descent from King George III.
  • On the remote island of Tanna (part of the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu), some villagers think Prince Philip is a god. They worship portraits of him and hold feasts on his birthday.

Quotes

Prince Philip is well-known for speaking plainly, and for making jokes!

  • “Dontopedalogy is the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it, a science which I have practised for a good many years.”
  • “Where did you get that hat?” Philip supposedly asked the Queen at her coronation.

A Short Biography of Prince Philip

Prince Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921, the youngest child of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, and his wife Princess Alice of Battenberg. Philip had four older sisters. He was the grandson of King George of Greece and the great-grandson of Christian IX of Denmark.

In 1922, when Philip was a baby, the Greek monarchy was overthrown by military force, following a war with Turkey. Philip’s uncle, King Constantine I of Greece, was forced to abdicate and Philip’s father was also arrested and banished from Greece for life. Philip’s family fled to Paris, France.

Philip started school in Paris, but at seven, was sent to school in the UK. He lived at Kensington Palace with his maternal grandmother, Victoria of Battenberg (Queen Victoria’s granddaughter). Philip didn’t have much contact with his parents for the rest of his childhood; his mother was frequently unwell and his father moved to Monaco. His parents had separated by the time he was ten.

Despite his family difficulties, Philip enjoyed school, especially sport. At 12, he was sent to a school in Germany (owned by his brother-in-law) but after two terms returned to Britain, because the school’s Jewish founder had fled Germany to start Gordonstoun School in Scotland. Many of Philip’s relatives stayed in Germany, and his sisters married into wealthy German families.

At Gordonstoun, Philip was captain of the hockey and cricket teams and also head of school. He enjoyed the school’s sailing expeditions and it was no surprise that, on leaving school in 1939, he joined the Royal Navy.

Philip excelled during his training at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and at 21 became one of the Navy’s youngest first lieutenants. After service in World War II, he became an instructor at a Royal Naval school. It was during his training that Philip also met his future wife. When King George VI and Queen Elizabeth toured the Royal Naval College in 1939, they asked Philip to escort their two daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret. Elizabeth was 13 at the time and she and Philip began to write letters to each other.

Seven years later, King George gave Philip permission to marry Elizabeth, provided they waited until her 21st birthday to make an announcement. In the meantime, Philip left his royal titles behind and took the surname Mountbatten, an English version of his mother’s maiden name. On marrying Elizabeth in 1947, he became His Royal Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh. The wedding at Westminster Abbey was broadcast on the radio to 200 million people worldwide. The newlyweds went to live at Clarence House and Philip returned to his naval duties. They went on to have four children together – Prince Charles (1948), Princess Anne (1950), Prince Andrew (1960) and Prince Edward (1964).

By 1950, Philip had gained promotion to lieutenant commander and, by the time he left the Navy in 1952, he’d reached the title of commander. Years later, on his 90th birthday, the Queen gave him the title Lord High Admiral, the highest title in the Royal Navy.

In February 1952, Elizabeth and Philip were in Kenya on a Commonwealth tour when they were informed that King George VI had died. On their immediate return, Elizabeth took up her new role as Queen. Five years later, Philip was given the title of Prince to become His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

A keen sportsman, Philip enjoyed sailing and playing polo in his younger days. He took flying lessons in aeroplanes and helicopters and by his 70th birthday, had flown over 5,000 pilot hours. He now also likes oil painting and art collecting.

One of Philip’s greatest passions is the training and education of the young. In 1956, he founded The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to help young people reach their full potential. For over 50 years, the scheme has helped 2.5 million 15- to 25-year-olds challenge themselves in a range of outdoor activities. Philip is also the patron of around 800 organisations supporting work in industry, education, the environment, health and sport. He was the first UK President of the World Wildlife Fund (1961–1982), for example, and has been patron of the British Heart Foundation for over 55 years.

Philip retired from his royal duties in 2017, aged 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements and 637 solo overseas visits since 1952. British Prime Minister Theresa May fittingly thanked him for ‘a remarkable lifetime of service’.

Our Prince Philip Resources

Buckingham Palace Poster

Buckingham Palace Poster

Here's a poster of Buckingham Palace, the official London residence of Queen Elizabeth II, for you to print and display.

Duke of Edinburgh Portrait Colouring Page

Duke of Edinburgh Portrait Colouring Page

This colouring page of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, or Prince Philip, comes complete with its own ornate gilt frame! It's certain to make an impact on display...

Learn to Draw Prince Philip

Learn to Draw Prince Philip

Have some fun with this step by step drawing tutorial and learn to draw Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh!

Prince Philip Mask

Prince Philip Mask

Rumour has it that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh likes a good joke, and I think that comes over in the twinkle of his eye on this fun printable mask!

Prince Philip Poster

Prince Philip Poster

Here's a simple illustrated poster of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth. Display in the classroom, hang from a banner with the other members of the Royal Family, or use it as the front page for a project!

Prince Philip Worksheet

Prince Philip Worksheet

Have some fun finding out the answers to fill in this worksheet on Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Royal Family Tree

Royal Family Tree

This fun printable shows the main members of the Royal Family. We have updated it to include Meghan and Prince Louis.

Royal Family Tree Cut and Stick Worksheet

Royal Family Tree Cut and Stick Worksheet

Here's a fun way for the kids to learn how the Royal Family fit together! On the first page we provide cartoon images for the kids to cut out and stick into the correct places in the blank grid on the second page. 

Another Member of the Royal Family

Prince William
Prince William

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