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Old 04-19-2021, 05:34 PM   #12
Carlin
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How Philip the Greek was British all along

Despite all the debate before his marriage, the Duke of Edinburgh’s link to Queen Victoria meant he was a British subject

URL:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.the...e-of-edinburgh

To those unwilling to analyse the dynastic blood that coursed through his veins, the duke was always Phil the Greek, though there was probably not one corpuscle of Hellenic origin. Danish, definitely, with Russian and German too. But the only thing tangibly Greek when he was exiled from Corfu in an orange box aged 18 months, was the worthless title he took with him of Prince Philip of Greece.

Despite the brouhaha that forced him to seek British naturalisation in order to marry, it would emerge 25 years later that he was, indeed, British all along. Not only that, but he was infinitely more “royal” than his bride, being descended from royalty on both sides.

Such was the intermarrying of royal families in Europe, it took time to unravel Philip’s complex origins to the satisfaction of all.

Philip’s father, Prince Andrew of Greece, was the fourth son of George I of the Hellenes, formerly Prince Wilhelm of Denmark, who was elected king of Greece following a protocol signed in 1863 by England, France and Russia, and who was to die from an assassin’s bullet.

Andrew’s brother, King Constantine I, was deposed by a military junta following the Greeks’ heavy defeat by the Turks in the war of Asia Minor in 1922. Andrew was charged with treason, imprisoned, and sentenced to death before fleeing with his family to live in much reduced circumstances in Paris.

Philip harboured not one jot of emotional attachment to the country of which he was prince. “I certainly never felt nostalgic about Greece. A grandfather assassinated and a father condemned to death does not endear me to the perpetrators,” he said.

His Danish dynastic name was Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, and his father was also descended from Russian emperors.

His mother, Princess Alice, who was profoundly deaf and later became a Greek orthodox nun, was the daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg who, in 1917, renounced his German titles to take the anglicised surname of Mountbatten and was created the first Marquess of Milford Haven.

His maternal grandmother, Princess Victoria of Hesse, was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

His parents’ marriage would eventually break down, with his father moving to Monte Carlo and becoming a melancholy figure who died in 1944. His four sisters, all much older and more like aunts to him, married Germans.

Philip’s nationality remained ambiguous – and was the subject of fervent political debate – in the run-up to his marriage. But eventually, in 1972, some 25 years after his naturalisation and in the year of his silver wedding anniversary, Lord Dilhorne, the former lord chancellor, replied to an inquiry from Philip’s uncle Lord Mountbatten.

It was undeniable, said Dilhorne, that under a 1705 act of parliament, all descendants of the Electress Sophia Hanover (including Philip, through his link to Queen Victoria) were British subjects.

So, Phil the Greek, Phil the Dane, or Phil the German, had been British all along.
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