He was the quintessential European Royal. His bloodlines were Greek, Danish, Russian and German.
Good-looking, strong, wealthy and dashing in every sense of the word, his future appeared so secure. Then fate struck and the challenges began.
His father was driven from the throne in Greece and was forced to flee into exile. They lost everything and were virtually penniless.
His parents separated. His mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and confined to a mental hospital for many years.
His father died in the Metropolitan Hotel in Monaco whilst in exile, penniless ahd stateless. His sister, brother-in-law and their three children died in a horrific plane crash.
He was sent, at an early age, to Gordonstoun, one of the top private schools in the United Kingdom, in order to toughen him up and prepare him for the rigours of life.
Despite all he excelled, went to Dartmouth Naval College where officers of the British Navy were trained, joined the British Navy and changed his name from Battenburg (which was considered too German) to Mountbatten.
During the Second World War he was a hero who excelled in battle on several occassions and saved many lives. His heroic efforts were even mentioned in despatches and were documented.
He got married to young Princess Elizabeth, the first daughter of King George VI, who two years later after her fathers passing, became Queen of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth.
Despite initial reservations and deep skepticism from members of the British aristocracy and the Royal Court about Prince Philip, the union was perfect and the marriage went very well.
They were married for 73 years and he turned out to be the most successful and best loved Queens Consort in the history of Great Britain.
Throughout that period he never left the Queen’s side and stood by her through thick and thin, always protecting, covering and encouraging her. Such was their bond of love and faith in one another that she once described him as her “strength and stay”.
What a great man Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was. He not only excelled but he was also a source of pride, joy and strength to his family, faith and nation.
He triumphed in life despite the enormous challenges he faced at an early stage. He climbed every mountain and overcame every challenge, tragedy and obstacle. His faith in God was total and his work for the Church, the poor, the needy, the weak, the young and the vulnerable was inspiring, enviable and encouraging.
Despite all he went through in the early years and what he faced in battle during the war, he never bowed before his challenges but faced them head on.
He never broke down, he never gave up and he never stopped believing in himself and his future even when all seemed lost and even when the whole world gave up on him and his father’s family as a young man.
Husband to the longest reigning monarch and Queen in the history of Great Britain, father of Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cornwall and the next in line to the throne and grandfather of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and the next in line to the throne after Prince Charles.
What a glorious heritage and blessed lineage this glorious and triumphant man hails from and what an even greater one he has has established. He passed on at the ripe old age of 99 yesterday and the entire world shall all miss him.
May Prince Philip’s great soul rest in peace, may the Lord comfort the Queen and the British people, may the British Royal family go from strength to strength and may the sun never set on the House of Windsor.