Written by: Ignacio
Edited by: Megh
Visuals by: Sarah
Last week, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, passed away due to his deteriorating health. Having been married to Queen Elizabeth II since 1947, they had been the faces of the United Kingdom’s Royal Family for years. Their marriage has been the longest royal union in history; just as Queen Elizabeth has been the longest-serving British monarch, Prince Philip himself has been the longest-serving Royal Consort and is said to have provided vital support to the Queen’s duties. Although his death was felt by many, Prince Philip has had a long controversial history, known to be brusque to the public and comic relief to the generally serious Queen.
Prince Philip was acclaimed by his wife, she held him to very high regard, calling him her “strength and stay” during their 50th wedding anniversary, she also went on to say “this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know,” it believed the Prince was a grounding Consort to the Queen that for many years helped her perform her duties, despite the many hardships that come with them. Earlier in his life, the Prince gave up his position in the Royal navy in order to support the then Princess when her father fell ill, he then gave up his family name (to some dislike and argument) and became the Queen’s Consort in 1953. All in all, most seem to agree that the Prince did a good job as a Consort to the Queen, his support and role are acknowledged by many and even portrayed in “The Crown,” the Netflix TV show depicting the Queen’s life.
Now, Prince Philip wasn’t all good either, he was known to speak his mind, often resulting in controversy and criticism, at times, he came off as bigoted and racist, certain remarks as “Do you still throw spears at each other?” which was directed to a successful aboriginal Australian in 2002 or “if you stay here much longer you’ll be slitty eyed”, to a group of British students studying in China during the 1986 visit are just a few of the countless remarks that are remembered to this day. The Washington Post even questioned if he was anything more than, “a symbol of white male privilege” while Aljazeera believed he was a relic of his time, carrying the same ideals and thoughts carried when British imperialism was at its height.
His controversy does not seem to end with his death., Prince Philips’ funeral has also been a source argument, due to Covid 19, it was decided to make the funeral private to 30 invites, face masks and social distancing must be practiced throughout the event, and military uniforms are not to be worn by the men, in order to reportedly “not embarrass Prince Harry” (which is another story within itself). But this does go against his wishes as, true to his military beginnings, Prince Philip had already decided he’d like his funeral to be that of a military service rather than a state service as to avoid “all the fuss”.
Regardless of his controversies, Prince Philip was a unique historical figure not only due to the longevity of his position as Consort to the longest-reigning British monarch but because of his distinctive personality. A personality, which caused much controversy (and rightfully so) but also garnered much love. History will remember him as the patriarch of the Royal Family, a loyal husband, but most of all, a dedicated servant to his Queen and to his nation.
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