Philip prepares for 98th birthday celebrations

The Duke of Edinburgh is about to celebrate his 98th birthday.

Philip, who has been married to the Queen for more than 71 years, turns one year older on Monday.

Edging closer to his milestone 100th birthday in 2021, he was spotted in good form last month, laughing and joking with the royals at Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding.

The Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh talking to the Duke of Sussex and Lady Helen Taylor at Lady Gabriella Windsor’s wedding (Steve Parsons/PA)

While the Queen has had a busy week of engagements, entertaining the Trumps, commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day and attending the Trooping the Colour celebrations, Philip will have been enjoying his time away from the limelight.

As expected, the duke, who retired from public duties in 2017 after decades of royal service, did not take part in the official events as part of the US state visit and did not meet US president Donald Trump behind the scenes.

He was left a personalised Air Force One jacket as a gift from Mr Trump and First Lady Melania.

The Queen and the Trumps
US President Donald Trump, the Queen and Melania Trump during the US state visit (Alastair Grant/PA)

Philip mostly stays at Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate in Norfolk, where he busies himself by reading, painting, meeting friends and staying active.

He still carriage rides and was seen at the reins at the Windsor Horse Show in May.

Philip at the Royal Windsor Horse Show
Philip drives a carriage during the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May (Andrew Matthews/PA)

The Queen and Philip recently welcomed a new great-grandchild – their eighth – with the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.

Philip, alongside the monarch, Harry, Meghan and the duchess’s mother Doria Ragland, appeared in a family photograph with the latest addition to the Windsor family when Archie was only two days old.

Other family celebrations over the past year have included the wedding of the Queen and the duke’s granddaughter Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank in October, and the Prince of Wales’s 70th birthday in November.

Princess Eugenie's wedding
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh leave after Princess Eugenie’s wedding (Alastair Grant/PA)

The duke made a rare appearance at a royal engagement early in May, joining the Queen and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough at a luncheon for Order of Merit members at Windsor Castle.

Philip and Sir David Attenborough
Members of the Order of Merit the Duke of Edinburgh and Sir David Attenborough (Jonathan Brady/PA)

In April, he became the third oldest royal in British history, overtaking Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone who was 97 years and 10 months when she died in 1981.

The duke had a dramatic start to 2019 when he was involved in a serious car crash.

The Land Rover Freelander he was driving flipped over after being hit by another vehicle carrying two women and a baby near the Sandringham estate in January

The duke, who was miraculously unhurt, had to be rescued through the window by a passing motorist.

Philip's car crash
The scene near to the Sandringham Estate where the Duke of Edinburgh was involved in a car crash (John Stillwell/PA)

Philip faced criticism for taking too long to contact the occupants of the other car and for being seen driving without his seat belt in the
days that followed.

Passenger Emma Fairweather, who broke her wrist, called for Philip to be prosecuted if he was found to be at fault.

In a TV exclusive we talk to Emma Fairweather – who was in the car which collided with Prince Philip's Land Rover – to explain how the accident unfolded

— This Morning (@thismorning) January 21, 2019

The duke later apologised for his part in the incident and voluntarily surrendered his licence, with the Crown Prosecution Service saying he would face no further action.

He is still legally allowed to drive around private royal estates and has been seen doing so in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born on the island of Corfu on June 10 1921 to Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg.

His early years were marked by upheaval after the family went into exile following a military coup in Greece which overthrew Philip’s uncle, King Constantine I.

A young Prince Philip
Prince Philip of Greece (left) rides with his cousin King Michael of Romania on the sands at Constanza in 1928 (PA)

He moved to England to stay with relatives and study at Cheam Prep School in 1928, before spending a year at Salem School in south Germany, then finally enrolling at Gordonstoun School in Morayshire.

Philip went on to join the Royal Navy and, while a cadet, he caught the eye of a 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth.

He served with distinction during the Second World War and his friendship with the princess grew into love.

Elizabeth and Philip
Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten after the announcement of their engagement (PA)

They married two years after the end of the war.

Within five years, George VI had died and Princess Elizabeth had become Queen.

The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen and the duke wave from Buckingham Palace on Coronation Day (PA)

The duke, who is known for his no-nonsense approach and acerbic wit, is the longest-serving consort in British history and also the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch.

The Queen and Philip in France
The Queen and Philip attend a garden party in Paris in 2014 (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Gun salutes will mark the duke’s birthday in London on Monday.

Read Full Story