Born and raised in a time when men believed to have a clear ancestry over women, Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, got used to living in the shade, even walking a few steps behind the British monarch .
Longest husband in UK history, he died on Friday (9) at Windsor Castle at the age of 99. The official cause has not yet been released, but the prince has had heart surgeries in recent months.
“It is with deep sadness that Her Majesty The Queen announces the passing of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
“Her Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join people around the world in mourning their loss.”
Philip was born in 1921, on the Greek island of Corfu, in a house marked by misfortune.
His grandfather, King George 1 of Greece, was assassinated. The cousin, King Alexander, died at age 27 of infection after being bitten by a monkey.
Still linked to the Danish Crown, Philip’s family were forced into exile as a baby after a military uprising. He left Greece in a makeshift fruit box as a cradle. The deaf mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Philip passed through France and eventually went to live in England with his maternal grandmother, who was also the granddaughter of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) – making him a distant cousin of Elizabeth.
In English territory, the fortune of the young Greek would begin to change. He studied in the country and joined the navy.
In 1939, he met Elizabeth during a visit by the Princess to the British Naval Academy, where the then student was named co-founder of the Heir to the Throne. They began to exchange correspondence.
He fought in World War II in the Mediterranean and the Pacific. In 1943, he saved his own life and that of his companions by building a fake ship that would attract the attention of a German air attack, allowing the destroyer HMS Wallace, where the British were located, to escape.
It was not without resistance that the proud soldier, formed within the aristocracy of the British Empire in the first half of the 20th century, resigned himself to a secondary role.
When he married Elizabeth in 1947, Philip became a British citizen, converted to the Anglican faith, and abdicated his rights to foreign thrones. He became Duke of Edinburgh, the main of his many titles.
With Elizabeth’s accession to the throne, Philip retired from naval activities. At the woman’s coronation ceremony, which was broadcast live in 1953, he knelt down and declared himself her vassal, promising to support and worship her.
He began to devote the following decades to overseas tours, official events, and philanthropic activities, many of which were boring. He has chaired hundreds of these entities.
In May, Buckingham Palace announced that the prince would retire from public life, retiring in September 2017.
One of its setbacks as an accessory to the throne was the decision that the royal household would not have its last name, Mountbatten, still Windsor, from the family of Elizabeth.
“I’m just a fucking amoeba. I am the only man in the country who cannot give his name to his children, ”the prince lamented at the time.
In 1960, he suffered partial reprisals thanks to a new rule which created the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, applicable to part of the family.
The prince also had a certain loathing for the heir Charles, criticized by his sporting father for his lack of competence and introspection.
Philip leaves behind three other children – Anne, Andrew and Edward – grandchildren and great grandchildren.
During the seven decades of dedication to the monarchical agenda, the Duke of Edinburgh has drawn controversy upon himself.
Reports of bad comments and disagreements on their part towards the culture and society of other countries have piled up, many of which are estates or former colonies of the UK.
When he saw a Nigerian president in typical clothes, he joked that the African seemed ready to sleep.
During the royal couple’s only visit to Brazil in 1968, Philip asked an admiral full of medals on his chest if he was the commander of Paranoá, an artificial lake that bathes Brasilia.
When he discovered a Brazilian gin produced under a British license, the prince complained: “I can’t wait for this authorization to be canceled”.
“I’m rude and rude and I say a lot of things that I later realize that must have hurt someone. Then I get remorseful and try to fix it, ”he once said.
Seen years ago with the reservations of many Brits, Philip’s way of being has gained more enemies around the world thanks to Netflix. In the series “The Crown”, he’s a stubborn and resentful Philip who often acts like a villain in the absence of wars or a relevant Republican movement shaking the plot.
With the death of the Queen’s husband, new male husbands are far on the British horizon, except for abdications or tragedies.
The line of succession to the throne has Charles, 68; William, 35; and George, 3. It is a possible firstborn of the little prince today that the prospects of a new husband fall to accompany the Queen of England.