Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Queen Elizabeth II, has passed away on Friday. He was 99.
The Duke and the Queen have been married for more than 70 years. However, before his relationship with the Queen, he had served in the British Navy. The Duke of Edinburgh started his Navy career in 1939, at the beginning of World War II.
He first served on board the HMS Ramillies, then moved on to the HMS Valiant soon after. He served on HMS Wallas as well. Prince Philip worked as a searchlight control officer, which is considered to be a significant role against the Italian forces at the time.
Prince Philip: A Husband and Well-Decorated Military Man
The Prince helped find many enemy crafts, saving the vessels where he was on board. He also received praise due to his contributions to the Battle of Cape Matapan. During the said battle, the allied forces managed to sink 5 enemy vessels and kill around 2,000 enemy officers. The allies only lost four seamen and four light vessels in the said engagement.
The Duke quickly rose through the ranks. By 1942, he earned the rank of first lieutenant following the Battle of Crete. In September 1945, Philip was also at the signing of Tokyo’s surrender.
The Duke was a heavily decorated military man, having earned medals for his service during the war. However, his service goes beyond the Navy.
On his 90th birthday, Prince Philip revealed that he felt frustrated at his diminished role, saying he struggled to find one for himself.
He also said he “naturally” felt disappointed to give up his military career. Philip said it was especially hard as he just earned the rank of commander at that time.
However, he said that when he stopped to think about it, as the Queen’s husband, his first duty was to serve her “in the best way.”
According to Reuters, courtiers said he was the only person who treated the Queen as a human being. He remained a supportive husband to Queen Elizabeth II throughout their marriage.
The Queen even described the Duke as her “strength and stay all these years.”