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The Shipbuilder and his Wife (1633)
June 10, 2014
Prince Philip’s 93rd birthday: 15 facts about a remarkable life
A naval officer and a gentleman known for his mischievous sense of humour, Prince Philip celebrates his 93rd birthday on Tuesday 10 June.
- His pet name for the Queen is reportedly “sausage”.
- He gave up smoking the day before his marriage.
- When he married he had the equivalent of 12 pence in the bank.
- He designed a bracelet as his wedding present to the Queen. The stones came from a tiara owned by his mother.
- n 1952, in Kenya, he broke the news to his wife that her father George VI had died and she was now Queen.
- He spent the hours waiting for Prince Charles’ birth in 1948 playing squash with his prviate secretary. He said of his first child: “He looks like a plum pudding!”
- When Princess Diana died in 1997, William and Harry were anxious about walking behind her coffin.
Their grandfather thought they would regret it later if they didn’t and told the young Princes: “If you like, I’ll walk with you”.
- GQ magazine named him the 33rd best dressed man in the UK.
- In 2008 he asked his Savile Row tailor to alter a pair of trousers he first wore 52 years ago.
- Every day Prince Philip performs Canadian Air Force exercises, including sit-ups and stomach crunches.
- As a child, Prince Philip spent seven years in France living near Paris with his uncle. On a state visit in 2008, then French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy marvelled at his ‘impeccable French’.
- Since he founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme in 1956, more than four million young people from over 90 countries have taken part, testing their physical fitness and meeting community challenges.
- Prince Philip has visited more than 170 countries, made more than 5,000 speeches and today is patron, president or member of around 780 charities and organisations.
- It has been reported that he has turned down a state funeral, and wants a smaller service with a military theme at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. He will be buried at Frogmore House, where Victoria and Albert are interred.
- He first met the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and the Duke of Kent in 1934. For her, aged only eight, it was the beginning of what would become the love of her life.