On April 9th, 2021, news broke around the world that the 99 year old Duke of Edinburgh was dead, just two months shy of his 100th birthday. There’s never been a more appropriate time to look back on his life, so without further ado, here are some of the most incredible events he lived through.
1. World War II → In 1939 at age 18, Philip joined the Royal Navy. During that same year, he began corresponding with 13 year-old future Queen Elizabeth II after having previously met her in 1934. Once the war was finished, it only took a few months for Prince Philip to ask her father, King George VI, for permission to marry her. The rest, as they say, was history.
2. Winston Churchill → Okay, this one definitely ties into WWII but it's just too
good not to list by itself. I mean, I learned about Churchill in my history classes. That makes him old, right? The fact that there is a generation that grew up with Churchill–people that even met him–out there still blows my mind. Does it make sense that 99 year-old Prince Philip had spent time with the famous Prime Minister during his lifetime? Yes. Does it still freak me out while simultaneously amazing me? Also yes.
3. The 80s → I know, I know. Obviously a man that just passed away at 99 was alive during this decade. But I think what’s really incredible about this era is the fact that Prince Philip attended his son Prince Charles’ wedding to Princess Diana. Yes, it ended in tragedy, but it was iconic because it gave the world Princess Di. Also, no one can convince me that Prince Philip didn’t listen to 80s pop artists like
Madonna and that thought is hilarious, so you’re welcome. In fact, here’s a picture of the two together which feels so wrong after seeing him in a photo with Winston Churchill.
4. One Direction Madness → While we’re on the topic of music, how weird is it that Prince Philip met the boys of One Direction?! This feels like some secret, forbidden knowledge. I have to say I envy him–he got to live through Beatlemania and the One Direction hysteria. AND he got to meet them all. I searched the internet high and low for photo evidence and couldn’t find it. BUT I did find this short clip of Niall Horan meeting the Queen and you can see Prince Philip’s head peeking in the background. If that’s all the evidence that exists, then so be it.
There are plenty of other events but I feel like these highlights show the funny, the bad and the plain awesomeness of Prince Philip’s long life. You can view his funeral procession here and also read about the hearse Prince Philip spent 18 long years designing for his own funeral. But no matter your opinion on the man, there’s one undeniable thing about him–he lived a long fulfilling life and was witness to some of the most insane events ever.