Prince Philip celebrates his 98th birthday today. And while little is known of what bash the royal family has planned for him, one thing is certain - he has been inundated with best wishes from loving fans. The Duke of Edinburgh, who has officially won the title of longest-serving consort in British history, will have his birthday marked with a 41-gun salute at noon in London's Hyde Park.
It is also understood that the duke will indeed have a party of some sort to celebrate his special day, but it will be held in private. But whatever he ends up doing, the now-retired Prince can certainly count on one thing - the flurry of blessings sent to him by the public to mark his special day. One user wished him a happy birthday as he hailed the Duke as an "extraordinary man".
Another posted a black and white picture of the Queen and him laughing at a younger age. She pointed out how the Queen recently described Philip, to whom she has been married for 71 years, as her "strength and stay" before going on to say: "Wishing him good health and happiness in his 99th year."
One royal fan created a collage of pictures featuring black and white and sepia pictures of the duke as a baby. The prince was born on June 10, 1921, on the Greek island of Corfu from parents Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenburg.
Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, Clarence House and the Duke of York's official Twitter account marked his 98th birthday by sending birthday wishes to the royal patriarch. Clarence House posted an image of a two-year-old Prince Charles holding his father's hand after greeting him following his return home from a trip to Malta in 1951.
The youngest of five children and the only son, he, in 1922 moved with his family to Paris after his uncle, King Constantine I of Greece, was overthrown.
After his parents separated in 1930, Prince Philip moved to England for his studies and was raised by his maternal grandmother and uncle. He was only thirteen when he first set his eyes on his future spouse, Elizabeth, at the Royal Navy College in Dartmouth, when the two started exchanging love letters. By 1940 he had taken up his first posting as the midshipman on the HMS Ramillies of the Mediterranean Fleet. Two years later he gets appointed the first lieutenant in the British Royal Navy and participates in the Allied landings in Sicily during World War II.
Once back from the war he in 1946 got secretly engaged with his beloved. That was when he asked her father, King George VI, for her hand. The king agreed on condition they didn't get married before Elizabeth reached 21. The prince, sixth in line to the throne in Greece, renounced all claims to titles both in Greece and Denmark to become a naturalized British citizen under the name of Mountbatten - an English translation of his original name.
Once he married the Queen in 1947, his title changed to Lt. Philip Mountbatten to His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is remembered for being the awarded the Order of the Merit by the Queen, an honor reserved to only 24 members, being the first President of World Wildlife Fund UK and launching Duke of Edinburgh's Award - which recognizes children's achievements in personal development and community dedication. Despite some hiccups in their early days, Prince Philip and the Queen are the first royal couple to have celebrated a platinum wedding anniversary last year.Read More