Prince Philip of Great Britain dies, age 99

| April 9, 2021

Prince Philip

Another of The Greatest Generation has passed. Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, has passed at age 99. Having been married to Elizabeth for more than 70 years, he was first a Royal Navy officer during World War II.

Born into royalty in Greece (his uncle was King), Philip’s father would be banished from Greece for life after being blamed for failures during the Greco-Turkish War immediately after World War I. With family ties to France, Britain, Denmark, and even Germany, Philip’s family left Greece when he was an infant.

After his formal education, Philip had been living in England since the age of seven (with a brief stay in Greece with his mother in 1939), he joined the military and was appointed a midshipman in the British Royal Navy in 1940. He saw fleet service in the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean, and the Pacific throughout the war.

Among his awards for his wartime service Philip received the 1939-1945 Star, Africa Star, Atlantic Star, Burma Star w/ Pacific clasp, Italy Star, War Medal 1939-1945 w/ Mention in Despatches (analogous to an American Bronze Star for valor), the Greek War Cross (at the time the country’s second highest award for combat bravery), and French Croix de Guerre w/ Palm (indicating a citation at the army-level, again analogous to an American Bronze Star for valor). He also received the Royal Family Order of Saints George and Constantine in 1941, the second highest honor of Greece.

After the war he and Elizabeth were married in 1947. He continued his military service until 1952, with a final rank of commander. With Elizabeth’s father King George VI in ill health the young married couple assumed much of his royal duties. George VI died a short time later with Elizabeth ascending to the throne. The rest has already been written in the history books.

Philip and Elizabeth II’s marriage is the longest of any British monarch. Philip had been the longest serving British royal consort (spouse of the monarch) since 2009. His complete list of awards and honors is absurdly long.

He’s entitled to a full state funeral, but his wishes were to have minimal “fuss.”

Category: Navy, UK and Commonwealth Awards

Comments (26)

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  1. cowpill says:

    A great full life and a heck of a sailor, Fair winds and calm seas sir.

  2. Only Army Mom says:

    Whatever one thinks of Royals, the fact is this man was the husband and partner of his wife for more than 70 years. It won’t be a surprise if his wife passes soon.

    • Graybeard says:

      Sadly true.

      He appears to have been an excellent husband. I don’t know where Charles went sour. But being husband to Queen Elizabeth is a task few could fulfill with the dignity and poise that man had.

      Every husband should be the strength and support of his wife.

  3. Ex-PH2 says:

    His wife drove an ambulance while London was being bombed. He’ll be waiting for her when it’s her time.

    Fair winds and following seas….

  4. AW1Ed says:

    I could mention the stark contrast with the current crop of Royals, but will refrain from further remarks and echo cowpill and Ex’s comment.
    Fair winds and following seas, Lord High Admiral and Duke of Edinburgh.

  5. Sapper3307 says:

    Loved his sense of humor.

  6. Sparks says:

    Rest in peace. My gosh, you deserve it Sir.

  7. The Other Whitey says:

    His Mention in Despatches was for his actions aboard the battleship HMS Valiant at the Battle of Cape Matapan. For those unfamiliar, Matapan was a night action in which the British Mediterranean Fleet under Cunningham stomped the absolute dogshit out of the Italians in a close-range gunfight, sinking three cruisers and two destroyers at the cost of just 3 KIA. Even the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable took the opportunity to sneak into the gun line (Cunningham immediately ordered the carrier to back off and not expose herself to incoming fire, but not before her 4.5-inch guns got a few salvoes in).

    If I remember correctly, Philip was the officer directing Valiant’s searchlights, illuminating targets for the battleship’s gun directors, and came under fire from Italian antiaircraft guns aiming for the lights, but remained at his post on the open platform and kept illuminating targets (which the 15-inch guns fucked up in short order). No question, he had balls of steel.

    I also read that he would’ve made admiral on his own merits had he not given up his career for the Queen, and that she eventually appointed him Lord High Admiral of the Royal Navy (a ceremonial post normally held by the current monarch) in recognition of this.

    • David says:

      Mention in Despatches if the equivalent to a Bronze Star with V, isn’t it?

      • Mainer in Oklahoma says:

        It can be for more, I do not believe there is a standard equivalent. My Grandfather was mentioned in dispatches for actions at Dunkirk and received the Distinguished Service Cross.

  8. Mason says:

    Roughly. The MiD requires a citation in orders from higher command just as a BSM w/ V would.

    British awards and decorations are complicated. Those complications were at their highest during and after WWII.

    This is also our 1 millionth comment!!! So close. As has happened to many a man/woman/gender non-specific human here on the Weekend Open Thread, KoB stole it from me! This is correctly our 1,000,001st comment.

    The actual 1 millionth message can be found here.

    • KoB says:

      Serially? Cereally? Honest and for sure? The King of Battle, THE King of FIRST(in the Hearts, Minds, and Dreams of Adorable Deplorables everywhere) actually beat out Air Force while beating up on Navy?

      Army Artillery…King of Battle and Winner of Wars…Bringing Dignity to what would otherwise be considered a vulgar brawl. Long Live The King!

  9. 5JC says:

    Character and class we likely will never see again. That generation is almost gone now.

    Strange facts, there is actually a small religious sect in Vanuatu that worships him as a divine being.

  10. KoB says:

    Godspeed and Rest Easy your Lordship! I’m sure that the Lads are lining up to treat you to a pint. That Duke was not scared of any Hazzard. He will be awaiting the arrival of his “Daisy”.

  11. OWB says:

    Well done, sir. Thank you.

  12. Docduracoat says:

    The British have the best names for their ships.
    “Formidable” and “Valiant” are good ones

    • Hate_me says:

      What!? Are you suggesting names like USNS Harvey Milk and USS Gabrielle Giffords don’t sound sufficiently badass?

  13. Slow Joe says:

    We all have to go at some point. At least he lived a full live, and had the opportunity to prove himself in combat, which he passed with flying colors.

    Most of us are not going to live that long. I doubt I am gonna see 60, with all the smoke from burning garbage pits, the Anthrax shots, the bad alcohol, and the CLP on my hands from cleaning my tools of war.

    The saddest part is that you guys are right. The greatest generation is almost gone, the people that shaped our present and fought for what was right without asking for safe spaces or “likes” for their opinions, which were always straightforward and anchored in an understanding of reality, on what was really important, that seems to scape most of the younger generations.