Prince Philip's Struggle To Get Away from Traditional Royalty Despite His Old School Approach
After celebrating his 98th birthday recently, Prince Philip has a lot to be proud of. The Duke of Edinburgh, after almost an entire century, is a bold patriarch that representing the Royal Firm, which is attempting to become more well-prepared for the new era.
Even though the duke has been praised a number of times for trying to modernize the institution he married into, the prince operates in a manner that we’ll most likely never see again. He shined during the era of the Empire and old Britain, which has now, become non-existent.
At almost a century old, Prince Philip embodies a certain old-fashioned that has become a sole part of who he is as an individual. His tough, man’s man image and stiff upper lip represent everything associated with the men within the British aristocracy. However, our duke is a bit of a walking paradox because, ironically, he got into a marriage where he ended up taking second place to his wife, the Queen.
The world that Prince Philip has lived in for over 70 years has changed dramatically and essentially no longer exists - and, along with it, the majority of the power that the House of Windsor possessed. However, the comfort is in the fact that the prince is still here.
Prince Philip stayed true to his blue blood
Born in 1921 was Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, the duke had a rough upbringing. The prince had to flee his homeland when he was just a baby, in a small, wooden fruit box. And even though it was risky at the time to be part of a royal dynasty (let’s recall the Romanovs in 1918), the Duke of Edinburgh still stuck to royalty. Once the prince married into the British royal family, he was simultaneously supporting the elitist tradition of unions between European royals. That is, no commoners allowed.
And yes, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth are actually third cousins, since they’re both directly related to Queen Victoria. Even looking at this one small aspect we see how much times have truly changed. For one, one of the duke’s kids ended up marrying royals, and one of his grandkids married aristocrats either.
When Prince Philip became Her Majesty’s husband, The British Empire was still highly relevant - and existed, actually - at the time. However, the Duke of Edinburgh and the monarch have had to sit back watch the empire fade away, once India, numerous African Nations, and even Hong Jong claimed independence.
With this painful realization came the formation of the Commonwealth of Nations in 1949. Although, honestly, it just felt like a desperate move to bring back what once was. Even though the numbers are there (53 nations have voluntarily become members), the modern Commonwealth pales in comparison to the loud roar of the previous colonial empire.
How the duke adapted the nature of his era
Thanks to colonial imperialism and its oppressive nature, Prince Philip has most likely developed his casual racism from that. The duke has been noted to make some questionable comments and remarks (which truly confirm that he’s a man of his time), that would be widely condemned if they were to come out of the mouths of the prince’s children or grandchildren.
Plus, Philip’s strict parenting code was another thing that would have our society cry out in anger, as he sent of his shy, artistic son, Prince Charles, away to Gordonstoun in order to “toughen him up.”
Prince Philip’s notorious image, with his hands clasped behind his back, standing behind Elizabeth, only further confirms that the duke is a man of his time. When we look at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, their public displays of affection have almost become a trademark - which is the complete opposite of the Duke of Sussexes grandfather.
And when it comes to openly discussing private battles of mental illness, in which Princes William and Harry consistently participate in and fight for, you can bet on not seeing Philip doing the same.
The prince was given much more freedom than others
One of the most truly envious thing about Prince Philip is the amount of freedom he has been given. In fact, the duke is the last of the royals to have a certain space and freedom, despite being caged in as the Queen’s husband. Although rumors of an affair have swirled, the press has been “kind” to keep quiet - something that, unfortunately, has not been provided to the duke’s children. Philip was known for his love for flying, and the pilot would often fly himself around the world, stopping all the way in 1997.
In addition to his constant escapes through flight, the duke would take solo trips on sea voyages, and sneak off for a drink with his friends - all while he was on overseas tours. When it comes to today’s royals, they definitely don’t have the same type of luxury and have a very difficult time trying to keep the press away and find some private time.
However, when it comes to lifestyle, Philip’s children and grandchildren definitely got it good. With the Duke of Edinburgh and Elizabeth spending their holidays barbequing on the hillsides in the Balmoral estate, the younger royals indulge themselves in Caribbean breaks, skiing holidays, and African safaris.
Queen Elizabeth put her foot down and changed Philip's title
Freedom wasn't the only thing the prince was fortunate enough to be given. Aside from all of this, Philip managed to convince his wife, the Queen, to give him a different title as well. Rumors kept swirling that the royal couple were growing apart, and this might've been a calculated move to retract all that gossip. During the first part of her reign, Philip wasn't actually a 'prince', but rather just the Duke of Edinburgh. In an unexpected move, the Queen promoted her husband in February 1957, to official Prince Consort of the United Kingdom.
His work ethic is admirable
One thing that we do have to give Prince Philip credit for, is his never-failing work ethic. The duke has put in a lot of hard work for the monarchy, retiring at the age of 96. By the end of his duties, Philip had completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952, plus thousands more alongside Queen Elizabeth. In comparison, the young royals’ workload is a lot more lenient. And they’re probably not planning on catching up to the prince, either.
Philip's retirement hasn't been easy
Read more: Prince Charles Won't Automatically Be The Head of the Commonwealth Once He's King, And This Is The Reason Why.
If you've been keeping up with the royals, you probably noticed by now that the prince has been making less and less public appearances. His absence was most noted at this year's highly anticipated Trooping the Colour event, as well as last year's. So what's going on with Philip? An official statement from Buckingham Palace explained:
“The Duke of Edinburgh will no longer undertake his own program of public engagements. The Captain General’s Parade will bring His Royal Highness’s individual program to a conclusion, although he may choose to attend certain events, alongside The Queen, from time to time.”
Read more: Prince Charles Was Crying Before His Wedding Day, And Prince Harry May Not Be Charles’ Son.
But it's been a difficult retirement so far. In the first few months of his retirement, the prince was plagued with a number of health issues. He had to miss out on Prince Andrew's appointment as the new Colonel of the Granadier Guard, and suddenly canceled his attendance at the traditional Maundy church service which he was supposed to attend with the Queen in 2018. The prince also had to miss last year's Easter Sunday services, after having to go through hip replacement surgery.
With the amount of progress we’ve made as a society in today’s world, Prince Philip truly marks the end of an era. Although we do have to give it to the prince for trying to adjust to the modernization of the royal world. The world he grew up in and became accustomed to, compared to today’s times, couldn’t be any more different. What’s your opinion on the duke? Comment your thoughts below!