Historical story

Prince Philip. Who was the husband of the British Queen Elizabeth II?

On November 20, 1947, 21-year-old Princess Elizabeth, heir to the English throne, married 26-year-old Prince Philip. The young man did not seem to be a good candidate for a husband for the future monarch:he did not own land, he did not have a penny to spare, and his mother-in-law did not trust him.

The wedding in Westminster Abbey made the subjects happy - it was the first such joyful event in the country after the end of the bloody Second World War. Happiness was emanating from the newlyweds. The bride stared at the newly wedded spouse with loving eyes. As Elizabeth and Philip appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, the crowd cheered.

Dynasty of the doomed

Before marriage, Philip was called a Greek and Danish prince. His father was Prince Andrzej of Greece (1882–1944), son of the King of Greece, George I. The monarch was born in Denmark in 1845, where his father reigned. At that time his name was Wilhelm. In 1862 the Greeks chose him to rule over their country. The young man accepted the offer he could not refuse. He ascended the throne in 1863. And he changed his name to Jerzy, while remaining with his own religion - Lutheranism.

Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021

The new king was a bachelor and had to found a new dynasty. He chose the Grand Duchess Olga Konstantinovna, the granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas I, as his wife. It was a love relationship. At the same time, George I hoped that the Orthodox monarch would help in gaining the favor of his subjects who also professed this religion. The descendants of Olga and Jerzy were to be titled Greek and Danish princes and princesses.

Alicja (1884–1969), mother of Prince Philip, was born Princess Battenberg. On her mother's side, she was the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Her father was a descendant of Alexander, Prince of Hesse, and Polish Countess Julia Hauke. As it was a morganatic marriage (between persons of unequal status), the couple's children could not bear the title of Hessian princes. Instead, they got a new title - the Dukes of Battenberg.

Alicja (1884–1969), mother of Prince Philip, was born Princess Battenberg. On her mother's side, she was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

Philip's mother was a lovely and - it seemed - healthy child. Unfortunately over time it turned out that she had serious hearing problems . Parents did everything to make their daughter lead a normal life. Thanks to their efforts, Alicja learned to read lips in several languages:German, French and English. After she married Andrew, she also mastered Greek!

Love story without a happy ending

All the ruling families of Europe were basically one big family. This meant that their members knew each other, wrote to each other, and met at various ceremonies. Therefore, the meeting between Andrzej and Alicja seemed inevitable.

In 1902, King Edward VII, Alice's maternal uncle, announced the couple's engagement. On October 7, 1903 in Darmstadt - the bride's hometown - a grand wedding took place, for which Nicholas II came (his wife was Alice's aunt).

The spouses settled in Greece. In the years 1904–1914, the woman gave birth to four daughters:Margarita, Teodora, Cecylia and Sophie. The peaceful life of the couple was disturbed by the outbreak of World War I, during which Greece remained neutral. Unhappy with this solution, England and France discredited the then reigning monarch and in 1917 forced the entire Greek royal family to leave the country.

Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth in 1947.

Andrzej, Alicja and their children ended up in France. Emigrants lived a sad life there. In 1920, the king and his relatives managed to return to Greece, where Philip was born on June 10, 1921. The boy was baptized in the Orthodox Church.

In 1922, political events caused the representatives of the Greek ruling dynasty to emigrate again. The dramatic events left a mark on Alice's mental health, who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. She was placed in a closed psychiatric hospital. Prince Andrzej was not saddened by the fate of his wife - he quickly found a lover and moved to Monte Carlo, where he was addicted to playing roulette.


A few-year-old Filip was taken care of by his maternal grandmother, Duchess Victoria Battenberg, who lived in London, who changed her German title to a more English-sounding Mountbatten. His sisters were taken care of by their uncles and aunts.

When the boy reached school age, he was placed in a reputable boarding facility. During the holidays and holidays, he stayed with his grandmother, uncle Ludwik Mountbatten (later viceroy of India) or one of his friends or relatives. He didn't really have a home because he had never seen anyone to spend his free time with. He didn't even have a place to keep his things - so they traveled with him. “His childhood is packing his luggage all the time,” wrote Richard Hough.

Prince Philip with Elizabeth and son Prince Charles.

Though Philip was called a Greek and Danish prince, he actually grew up to be an English gentleman. That's why he participated in all the events at the British court - including the wedding of Marina Greek's cousin to Edward, Duke of Kent in 1934. It was there that he first saw his future wife - 8-year-old Elizabeth at the time.


Their love story did not begin until 1939, when 13-year-old Elizabeth met 18-year-old Filip at the house of his uncle Ludwik Mountbatten. She immediately fell in love with a handsome young man and began to correspond with him. This one, however, did not take the teen seriously. She - on the contrary. During World War II, Philip fought in the navy, which further strengthened his image of a hero in the mind of the heir to the throne.

Apparently, the initiator of the marriage between Elizabeth and Philip was Ludwik Mountbatten, who - seeing the princess' feelings - saw it as an opportunity for his nephew and himself. Anyway, over time, Elizabeth became a beautiful maiden, which did not escape Philip's attention. Was their relationship then just a marriage of convenience? Probably not.

Elżbieta and Filip after the coronation

In July 1947, the couple's engagement was announced. The heir to the throne had to move heaven and earth for her parents to consent to the wedding. Philip did not have money (apparently at the time of the engagement, his capital was a staggering £ 5), his own country, and to make matters worse, the husbands of his three sisters supported Hitler and even fought in the Wehrmacht. His future mother-in-law was particularly averse to Philip.

But Elizabeth got her way and married her prince, who, however, was not from a fairy tale. After the wedding, Filip did not say goodbye to his bachelor habits and spent time in exclusive nightclubs , often participating in stripped-down parties. In addition, he was burdened by the fact that his children bore the surname of their mother - Windsor. "I'm the only guy in the world who can't give his name to his own children," he complained. To ease her husband's frustration, in 1960 Elizabeth issued a decree that her and Philip's descendants, apart from the heir to the throne, bear the double surname of Mountbatten-Windsor.

Was the life of Elizabeth and Philip happy? It is not known because they followed the rule:"Never explain, never complain". The Duke of Edinburgh, Philip, died on April 9, 2021 in Windsor. He was 99 years old.