Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh
Following the death in 1952 of King George VI (1895(1936-1952) in 1952, Mountbatten in his usual 'tour de force' began to openly brag that the ruling House was no longer Windsor but that of Mountbatten. Apparently Mountbatten’s views were reported back to the aged Queen Mary (1867-1953), whose husband King George V (1865(1910-1936) had founded the House of Windsor in 1917. Perhaps his ambitious aims of greatness was just pride, but some saw it power crazed - either way, it forced Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952- ) to seek advice from The Rt Hon. Sir Winston Spencer-Churchill (1874-1965), the then Prime Minister who had returned to office following the General Election in October 1951. In one of her first official announcements of the new Reign, the new Queen declared on 9th April 1952 her “Will and Pleasure that I and My children shall be styled and known as the House and Family of Windsor, and that my descendants who marry and their descendants, shall bear the name of Windsor”. Mountbatten’s hopes that the reigning Royal House would bear his own family name had been thwarted. Philip himself unhappy with the situation said - "I am nothing but a bloody amoeba. I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children."
On 18th September 1952, The Queen issued a Royal Warrant to ensure that Philip's dignity was at least restored with regard to his positions in the Official Court Order of Precedence where he was outranked by his own children and the other Royal Dukes. The Royal Warrant stated -
Whitehall, 26th September 1952
The QUEEN has been graciously pleased by Warrant bearing date the 18th instant to declare and ordain that His Royal Highness Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Commander in the Royal Navy, shall henceforth upon all occasions and in all Meetings except where otherwise provided by Act of Parliament have, hold and enjoy Place, Pre-eminence and Precedence next to Her Majesty.
A photographic portrait
of Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh by Baron
Further honours and appointments were to come to Philip including being appointed Ranger of Windsor Great Park on 31st March 1952, Chairman of the Coronation Commission in June 1952, working closely with the Earl Marshal - The Rt Hon. Sir Bernard Fitzalan-Howard, 16th Duke of Norfolk (1908-1975), who was in overall charge of the forthcoming ceremonial. Philip received his last 'active' promotion to the rank of a full Commander in the Royal Navy on 30th June 1952, but on 15th January 1953, The Queen promoted him to 5* rank in all of three of HM Armed Services - Admiral of the Fleet, Field Marshal and Marshal of the Royal Air Force - which were subsequently replicated in her other Realms of Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The official film (narrated by Sir Laurence Olivier) of the Coronation
of Queen Elizabeth II - go to 42.33 to see Philip paying homage to The Queen
A photographic portrait of Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh and his page -
Midshipman Nigel Grier-Rees (d.1973) in Coronation Robes
Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952- ) was crowned at her Coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953. Philip was first of the Royal Dukes to swear fealty in the Oath of Allegiance - "to be Your liege man of life and limb and of earthly worship and faith and truth. I will bear unto You to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God."
The Coronation of The Queen brought hope and raised the spirits of the Country and the Commonwealth. It marked the end of post-World War II austerity and brought a new hope of technological advances and modernity to many. The new Queen and Philip, a young attractive couple with two young children (Prince Charles and Princess Anne) did much to raise the popularity of the institution of Monarchy and Philip did much to bring new ideas to the organisation of the Royal Household.
Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh
during the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
In 1956, Philip founded 'The Duke of Edinburgh's Award' which to this day still recognises young adults for completing a series of self-improvement exercises, originally created by his mentor Kurt Hahn (1886-1974), the founding headmaster of Gordonstoun. Today over 8 million young adults have been involved in 'The D of E', as the Award is affectionately known.
To visit the "DofE" Duke of Edinburgh's Award website, please click above
In October 1956, Philip undertook a tour of various countries around the World including Australia, New Zealand, Ceylon, The Gambia and Antarctica in the newly commissioned Royal Yacht - HMY Britannia. Whilst on this tour he opened the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. During this time there were many rumours that his marriage to The Queen was in difficulties.