On April 9, local time, Buckingham Palace announced that the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Philip, had passed away at the age of 99.
Since Queen Elizabeth II was officially crowned as Queen of England in 1953, Prince Philip has assisted his wife in fulfilling the role of “king man”. Although he is sometimes grumpy and venomous, he has also helped the British royal family to truly enter the modern side.
April 21 this year is the 95th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II, and June 10 is Prince Philip’s 100th birthday. Unfortunately, he passed away before the two birthdays, leaving the elderly wife alone to face a bunch of things. The thorny question-whether the Crown Prince Charles, who is on “long standby”, can win the hearts of the people like his mother, whether Prince Harry and his wife can reconcile with the royal family as before, and how the gossip scandals of other royal family members will not be the most important thing for the people to talk after dinner. Yes, how can the modern royal family maintain a sense of mystery and presence at the same time, both majestic and close to the people, such a measure cannot be accurately handled by a virtual head, but requires the unity of the entire royal family.
In a sense, the death of Prince Philip also heralded the end of an era for the British royal family.
The prestige of Prince Philip and his life is affirmed by the international community.
Condolences from all walks of life around the world
After Buckingham Palace announced the death of Prince Philip, politicians from all walks of life around the world expressed their condolences.
On April 10, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan also sent a telegram of condolences to Queen Elizabeth II, expressing their deep condolences to the death of Prince Philip, and sincere condolences to the Queen and her family.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that Prince Philip was a “great man dedicated to others.” He pointed out that Prince Philip is “a patron of more than 40 organizations in Canada, including the Canadian Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.”
Australian Prime Minister Morrison said in a statement: “Prince Philip has been serving his royal honor, his country and the Commonwealth for nearly 80 years.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted praised Prince Philip’s life’s achievements, stating that “he has made outstanding contributions in the military and is a pioneer in many community service initiatives.”
On April 10, the Royal Cavalry Artillery Regiment fired 41 shots to commemorate Prince Philip.
United Nations Secretary-General Guterres issued a statement through a spokesperson, praising the Duke of Edinburgh’s active work to improve mankind. The statement stated that as a member of the royal family, the Duke of Edinburgh has supported the work of the Queen for more than 60 years and has become a patron of about 800 organizations dedicated to charity, especially those focusing on the environment, industry, sports and education.
In a statement, US President Biden described the many achievements of Prince Philip in his life, stating: “His legacy will not only be passed on through his family, but also through all the charities he has done.” Biden He is expected to visit Buckingham Palace in June as part of the itinerary of the G7 summit. This will be his first international visit since he assumed the presidency of the United States.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement on Twitter: “I feel very sad about the death of Prince Philip. His friendship, straightforward character and sense of responsibility with Germany will not be forgotten.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin called Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and pointed out that Prince Philip received due respect in the United Kingdom and enjoyed international prestige.
It is not difficult to see from these messages and statements of condolences from global dignitaries that the international community has affirmed Prince Philip’s prestige and his life.
British “low-key” mourning
On the British mainland, the whole country seems to be plunged into an atmosphere of grief. However, due to the restrictions on the new crown epidemic, the mourning activities were conducted in a “low-key” state.
On April 9th, Buckingham Palace, the British Royal Palace, was at half-mast, and Britain immediately entered a state of silence. All government departments’ social activities on television, radio, and the Internet were cancelled.
Many Londoners spontaneously went to Buckingham Palace to mourn, placing flowers in front of the gate fence. Buckingham Palace subsequently discouraged the mourning crowd from gathering, fearing that a large number of people would continue to come to the detriment of the new crown prevention and control. Mounted police and the royal housekeeper kept order outside the door, reminding the crowd to maintain a two-meter social distance. The announcement board of Prince Philip’s death was also withdrawn an hour after it was displayed. At the same time, the British royal family issued an announcement, asking people not to gather in the royal residence, and suggested that instead of placing flowers, it is better to consider donating to charities. An online condolence book has been opened on the royal family website.
On April 9, British Prime Minister Johnson paid tribute to Prince Philip in a speech, praising his life’s support for Queen Elizabeth II, and added that he “won the support of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and generations of people around the world. favorite”. Johnson also said that as a country, we are grateful to Prince Philip for his life.
On April 10, the British royal family announced that, with the final approval of the Queen, the funeral ceremony will be “substantially reduced in scale” in accordance with government public health guidelines and will be held on April 17 (Saturday) in St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The original plan was to invite about 800 mourners. Countries around the world, including leaders of the Commonwealth, celebrities and representatives from all walks of life, will attend the funeral. Now in addition to clergy and coffin bearers, the Queen will attend the funeral together with about 30 major family members.
Johnson stated on April 10 that he himself would not attend the funeral of Prince Philip, in order to ensure that as many members of the royal family as possible attended the social restrictions of the new crown epidemic.
Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, would fly back to Britain by private jet from the United States to attend the funeral. His wife Meghan Markle was inconvenient to go to the funeral because of her second child. The outside world speculated that in an interview with the American celebrity Oprah by Prince Harry and his wife more than a month ago, Meghan accused the British royal family of racism and other remarks that annoyed Buckingham Palace. There are even reports that at the same time that Prince Philip was confirmed to be admitted to the hospital in February this year, Columbia Television announced the news that Harry and Meghan had accepted Oprah’s interviews, and said that the couple will talk about their “pain” in the royal family in the interview. “Life experience” was a publicity stunt for the show. At that time, fans of the royal family were angry and worried about whether the broadcast of the show would affect the prince’s body. Now, Megan does not attend the funeral, avoiding each other’s embarrassment.
It is reported that according to different levels, there are roughly two funeral standards for members of the British royal family. One is the highest level of state funerals, generally only applicable to monarchs. The funeral that was held for King George VI, the father of Elizabeth II in 1952, was of this level. When the national hero Churchill died in 1965, with the approval of the Queen and the Parliament, he was also treated as a state funeral.
According to reports, in Prince Philip’s last wish, he humbled that he did not make such a high contribution to the country. He chose a lower-level royal ceremonial funeral, which is the same funeral level as the Queen’s mother and Princess Diana. After the funeral ceremony, Prince Philip will be buried in the royal tomb of Windsor Castle.
Although only 30 people attended Prince Philip’s funeral, the funeral will be broadcast live on television to commemorate Prince Philip’s “great contribution and lasting legacy.” A one-minute national silence will be held before the funeral. Prince Philip’s body will be transported by a Land Rover designed by him. The spokesperson of the British royal family said, “This ceremonial funeral of the royal family realized the prince’s personal wishes that he did not care about the relevant etiquette during his lifetime.”
In June 1962, Prince Philip and Elizabeth II participated in a public event.
Promoters of British royal reform
In his 99-year-old life, Prince Philip always seemed to be a royal “alternative” who didn’t care about etiquette. This may have something to do with his tumultuous childhood.
Prince Philip was born in a Greek royal family in 1921 and is the distant cousin of Elizabeth II. His father is Prince Andreas, the fourth son of King George I of Greece, and his mother is the princess of Hessen-Batenberg, Germany, and the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. Prince Philip has relatives with the royal families of Denmark, Britain, Tsarist Russia and many other countries.
When Prince Philip turned one year old, his uncle Constantine I was forced to flee because of his removal from the Greek throne. Prince Philip’s father abandoned the family and spent the rest of his life with his mistresses in southern France. His mother was sent to a mental hospital when Prince Philip was 9 years old.
In exile, the young Philip received education in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, and eventually entered the Royal Naval Academy of Britannia. In 1939, King George VI of England took his family to visit the Royal Naval Academy of Britannia. The 13-year-old Elizabeth met 18-year-old Philip. The handsome and handsome Philip caught Elizabeth’s attention, and the two fell in love.
Although opposed by the British royal family, the two maintained correspondence for many years. In 1946, George VI finally accepted Philip and agreed to be engaged after Elizabeth’s 21st birthday. In March 1947, Philip gave up the royal titles of Greece and Denmark, gave up the surname Mountbatten, which he inherited from his mother, and became a British citizen. On November 20, 1947, the two held a wedding, which opened the 73-year royal marriage legend.
He also caused trouble because of his untimely humor in diplomatic situations. There is even a saying in Britain: “When the prince speaks, diplomacy is all in vain.”
The beautiful wedding of the prince and the princess brought great spiritual comfort to the British after World War II and provided a reason for the continued existence of the precarious monarchy. Even Winston Churchill, then British Prime Minister, said: “This wedding adds a touch of color to the postwar period.”
As the queen’s husband, Philip gave up his surname and changed his religious beliefs-the Greek royal family is an Orthodox church, and the British royal family is a Protestant Christian. He has left the navy that has served for many years and cannot even let his children inherit his surname. In a sense, Prince Philip became the “superior son-in-law” of the British royal family. Regarding all this, he is not without complaints, but he strives to do his own “work”-guarding the queen.
While fulfilling the duties of “Queen Husband”, this former navy soldier who has experienced the overthrow of the royal family, lived in many European countries, and tasted the hardships of life also made the British royal family more “down-to-earth” and longer by his own efforts. .
After his wife took the throne, Prince Philip was most dissatisfied that he had to move into Buckingham Palace from Clarence House, where he lived at the time. According to the royal biographer Brian Hoey, when Prince Philip discovered that Buckingham Palace had been operating two kitchen systems, one serving the monarch and the other cooking for the employees, he was very concerned about this ancient and feudal system. I was angry at the way of wasting manpower and material resources. He immediately overthrew the century-old tradition established and maintained by Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, and ordered the closure of one of the kitchens and the remaining one to provide food for all the personnel in Buckingham Palace.
In addition, due to the large number of rooms in Buckingham Palace and most of them are vacant, lack of the warm and family atmosphere of Clarence House, communication between members is also very troublesome, often one thing requires multiple employees to shuttle back and forth in the palace, Prince Philip To this end, it was ordered to install telephones in all occupied rooms to facilitate communication among palace personnel.
At the same time, Prince Philip led the live television broadcast of the Queen’s coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey in London in 1953, using new communication methods to establish the Queen’s prestige and through the media to show the royal family’s image of being close to the people. It is reported that 2.5 million people across the UK watched live TV on that day, which directly drove the TV sales frenzy.
In 1961, Prince Philip became the first member of the British royal family to be interviewed on television. In 1969, he took part in the filming of the documentary “Royal family” with the royal family.
From then on, in addition to talking about the weather, the people of this island country can also talk about the royal family. Thanks to the well-developed media, people all over the world have a clearer view of the human history of the British royal family for more than half a century.
The “clear stream” in the dull diplomatic world
In August 2017, the 96-year-old Prince Philip retired after attending a charity event and no longer assumed the royal duties of attending public events. He said at the time: “I have done my part.” According to statistics from the British media at the time, he represented the British royal family at more than 22,000 events alone, went abroad alone for 637 visits, and delivered about 5,500 speeches.
At the same time, he also caused trouble because of his untimely humor in diplomatic situations. There is even a saying in Britain: “When the prince speaks, diplomacy is all in vain.”
He once said to black British politicians: “Which exotic place do you come from?” During the 1981 recession, Prince Philip allegedly also commented: “Everyone said we must have more leisure time. Now they are complaining that they are unemployed.”
But people who know Prince Philip said that these are just the prince’s “flavoring agents” on dull diplomatic occasions, and his “venomous tongue” is precisely the trait that ordinary royal family members lack.
Regarding the death of Prince Philip, the beloved of his life, the Queen of England did not issue any statement. The members of the royal family said that “the queen’s heart was hollowed out.”
As early as November 20, 1997, when Elizabeth II paid tribute to her husband on the golden wedding anniversary, she said: “It’s very simple. He has always been my strength and has stayed here for many years. Over the years, I, his The whole family, and even this country and many other countries owe him far more than he claims or we think.”
Simon Lewis, who served as the Queen’s secretary from 1998 to 2001, told Reuters that Prince Philip and the Queen “are an unparalleled pair of partners, and his death will be a huge gap (in the Queen’s heart). I think he always sees himself as Queen’s eyes and ears. And now, he is gone forever.”