Prince Philip: The Duke of Edinburgh's 97 Years in 97 Pictures

Prince Philip in Pictures.Newsweek
Princess Elizabeth (future Queen Elizabeth II) and her fiancé Philip Mountbatten (also the Duke of Edinburgh) pose in the Buckingham Palace on July 9, 1947 in London, the day their engagement was officially announced.AFP

You might know Prince Philip best as the strapping young royal played by Matt Smith in the Netflix historical drama The Crown.

But the 97-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II has lead a far more interesting life than you might realize.

Though known for often off-color comments that seized the headlines, Philip has been by the Queen’s side throughout her 66 years on the throne and she has described him as “my strength and stay.”

He announced his retirement in May last year, after completing more than 22,000 solo appearances, spanning seven decades.

Both the Queen and Prince Philip have cut their workload in recent years, passing on many responsibilities to son and heir Prince Charles, and their grandsons, Princes William and Harry.

Philip was born with the title of Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, and had a lonely childhood. His mother left to join a religious order, and his father was also absent.

In 1939, he entered the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, excelling at naval training. During the World War II, he sailed around the world, giving him a life-long taste for travel.

Philip married Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey in 1947, and the couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last November.

Outspoken, irascible and intensely private, Philip developed a reputation for occasional brusque and sometimes politically incorrect comments at ceremonial events he attended.

A stray remark about “slitty eyes” during a visit to China in the 1980s became symbolic of his gruff and often unguarded manner.

Nonetheless, the Queen has described him as a crucial figure during her long reign. “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years,” Elizabeth said in a rare personal tribute to Philip made in a speech marking their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997.

To celebrate the Prince’s 97th birthday, we’ve collected 97 images of Philip, which tell his incredible life story.

—Reuters contributed to this report.

July 31 1947: Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten salutes as he resumes his attendance at the Royal Naval Officers' School.PNA Rota/Keystone/Getty Images
Getty Images
Princess Elizabeth and Philip The Duke of Edinburgh pose on their wedding day, November 20, 1947 in Buckingham Palace. AFP
Princess Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh walking in the grounds of Broadlands in southern England on their honeymoon, November 1947.Reuters
Elizabeth II, and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, with their two children, Charles, Prince of Wales (left) and Princess Anne (right), circa 1951. Getty Images
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, smiling as U.S. President Harry Truman gives a speech in Washington DC, November 5, 1951. Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by Prince Philip, waves to the crowd, June 2, 1953 after being crowned at Westminster Abbey in London.Getty Images
July 17, 1953: Members of the successful Everest expedition at a reception at Lancaster House, (from left) Conservative politician Lord Woolton, Sir Edmund Hillary, the Duke of Edinburgh, Sherpa Tensing and Sir John Hunt. Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh with the crew of the HMAS Australia battlecruiser, near Cairns, Queensland, March 13, 1954.Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip wave from an open Land Rover to a crowd of schoolchildren at a rally held at a racecourse in Ibadan, Nigeria, February 15, 1956. Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip leave Manchester by train, May 24, 1961. Getty Images
American President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy, pose with Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in London, June 15, 1961.Getty Images