HRH Prince Philip – A Lifetime of Achievement


Isle of Man Post Office presents this most significant landmark stamp issue in tribute to one of the world’s most famous figures and in recognition of his lifetime of service to the British monarchy on the occasion of his retirement from royal public engagements.

Peter Jennings writes…

His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, was born Prince of Greece and Denmark on 10th June 1921 in Corfu. 

Baptized Greek Orthodox, he was the youngest of five children and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenburg. He was educated across Europe before joining the British Royal Navy at the age of 18. He graduated top cadet in his course and was commissioned as a midshipman in January 1940. Promoted in 1942, aged 21, he was one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy. 

It was in 1939, whilst King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were touring the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, that Philip was asked to escort the King’s two daughters. Soon after this meeting Princess Elizabeth, then aged 13, and Philip began exchanging letters. They fell in love and, in 1946, Philip asked the King for his daughter’s hand in marriage. King George VI gave his blessing provided the formal engagement was delayed until Princess Elizabeth’s 21st birthday. It was during this time that Philip adopted the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents and became a naturalized British citizen, discarding his Greek and Danish titles and converting to Anglicanism. The royal engagement between Philip and Princess Elizabeth, ‘heiress presumptive’, was officially announced on 9th July 1947.

Philip and Princess Elizabeth were married in Westminster Abbey on 20th November 1947 and moved into Clarence House before welcoming Prince Charles, born in 1948, and Princess Anne, in 1950, into the family. Prince Philip returned to the Navy and was promoted to lieutenant commander of the frigate HMS Magpie in July 1950, before his naval career ended in July 1951. 

The accession of Princess Elizabeth occurred on 6th February 1952 and she was later crowned Queen of the United Kingdom in front of more than 8,000 guests and an estimated 27 million British television viewers. The young family took up residence at Buckingham Palace before expanding their household to include Prince Andrew, born in 1960, and Prince Edward in 1964.

A keen artist, carriage driver, polo player and yachtsman, Prince Philip founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for 14–24 year olds in 1956 to give young people “a sense of responsibility to themselves and their communities.” He was granted the title Prince of the United Kingdom in 1957 and appointed to the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada. He has been patron of more than 800 organisations, served as UK president of the World Wildlife Fund between 1961 and 1982 and acted as Chancellor for the Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Salford and Wales.

As the Queen’s consort he has celebrated her Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees by her side and visited countries all over the world from Australia to the USA, Tristan da Cunha to the Isle of Man. Prince Philip is the longest serving, oldest ever spouse of a reigning British monarch and the longest living male of the British royal family.

His contribution to Britain is immeasurable; he has certainly earned his retirement.

 “Every time I’ve met him over the years he has always been the same – he shoots from the hip and is not in any way flowery. He loves a laugh and is very very funny. At 95 he has earned the right to come out of the public spotlight. He might be retiring but he’s far from meeting his mortician” 

Simon Weston CBE – Falklands Veteran and Charity Campaigner

Issue Date: 10.06.2017
Designer: EJC Design
Printer: Lowe Martin
Process: Offset Lithography
Colours: 4 plus metallic gold
Size: 42 x 28 mm
Values: 47p, 80p, 98p, £1.18, £1.30, £2.33