As gun salutes mark the Duke of Edinburgh’s 92nd birthday, we celebrate the best bits about the longest-serving royal consort in British history.
Gun salutes were fired today at a variety of locations, including Edinburgh Castle, the Tower of London and Hillsborough Castle in Co. Down, to mark the Duke of Edinburgh’s 92nd birthday.
Although currently in hospital recovering from an abdominal operation, Prince Philip has plenty to celebrate at the start of his 93rd year, not least his enduring stoicism – he has reportedly demanded that “no fuss” should be made of his hospital stay.
It’s this fighting form that Prince Philip is renowned for: he is the longest-serving royal consort in British history as well as being the eldest male in the Royal family. He is even said to perform a range of arduous military fitness exercises including sit-ups, on a daily basis.
Having given up a dazzling naval career to support his wife’s role as head of the British monarchy, his support to The Queen throughout their 66-year marriage has been tremendous. Her Majesty has paid tribute to her husband in the past, describing him fondly as her “strength and stay”.
At the weekend, before a garden party at Buckingham Palace, The Queen presented Prince Philip with New Zealand’s highest honour, making him an additional member of the Order of New Zealand. The award was announced last year as part of her birthday and Diamond Jubilee honours list.
But supporting his wife is just one of many ways Prince Philip has fulfilled his royal duty. He became patron of hundreds of charitable organisations, and his biggest social achievement is surely his eponymous Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which he founded in 1956.
The scheme sets physical and community challenges for young people, helping them to get fit and see the value in their local communities. The value of the participants’ voluntary work is worth over £19.3 million to local communities across the UK each year, although the scheme is also undertaken by young people in around 90 countries all over the world.
Prince Philip is also, of course, a family man. His pet name for his wife is apparently “Sausage”, an affection that shows a softer side to his stalwart persona. He also described his firstborn child, Prince Charles, as resembling a “plum pudding” shortly after he was born in 1948, just one of many indications of his easy, jovial sense of humour.
Here at BRITAIN, we wish the Duke of Edinburgh a happy birthday and a speedy recovery.