views updated May 23 2018


His Royal Highness Prince Philip, duke of Edinburgh (born 1921) has spent over fifty years by the side of his wife, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, and has become known for his outspoken opinions. Distinguishing himself in service to the Royal Navy during World War II, Philip pursued a military career until his duties as consort to his wife required his full attention, and played an active role in promoting the interests of both the royal family and a host of other causes benefitting the British people.

Born Philip Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksberg, prince of Greece on the island of Corfu, on June 10, 1921, Philip was the youngest child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and wife Alice. Although of Danish and German backgrounds, Philip's parents were members of the Greek royal family. They already had four older daughters when their son arrived almost 20 years into their marriage.

Early Life of Turmoil

In the 1920s Greece was in upheaval. The form of government had changed several times in a short period, and civil war loomed as a threat. Not surprisingly, the royal family soon came under fire and in 1923 Philip's father was put on trial for treason and facing a sentence of death. Desperate to save her husband, Princess Alice appealed to British King George V for help. George V, still haunted by the murder of another relative, Nicholas II of Russia, at the hands of the Bolsheviks in 1917, sent a British cruiser to Greece to rescue the almost destitute family, which included 18-month-old Philip.

Now living in France, Philip's world dramatically changed. By 1930, with all his daughters married off, Prince Andrew abandoned his wife and ten-year-old son and went to live with his mistress. Subsequently, Philip's mother suffered an emotional breakdown. Fortunately, Philip's maternal grandmother stepped in and brought the boy to England. When she died, her oldest son, George, the marquess of Milford Haven, took responsibility for Philip, and upon George's death in 1938, his younger brother, Lord Louis Mountbatten came forward to care for his young nephew.

Philip attended school in France and England, and at the age of 12 attended school in southern Germany. Here Philip fell under the academic guidance of educational pioneer Kurt Hahn, who greatly influenced the boy. A natural athlete, Philip also developed leadership skills at school, where he became a popular student. Unfortunately, his time in Germany was cut short by the rise to power of Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party in 1933. Within a year Hahn wisely decided to relocate his school to Scotland. He called the new school Gordonstoun, and Philip remembered his time there with such fondness that he educated his sons at Gordunstoun as well.

Began Naval Career

Graduating from Gordonstoun in 1939, 18-year-old Philip joined the Royal Navy just as Great Britain entered World War II. His first naval appointment was as a midshipman to the HMS Ramillies, which escorted Allied forces from Australia to Egypt. His leadership skills in evidence, Philip moved up the ranks of the Royal Navy, and in 1941 was mentioned in dispatches for his service in Greece during the battle of Matapan. By the summer of 1942 Philip achieved the rank of lieutenant, quickly followed by promotion to first lieutenant.

Between 1944 and 1946 Philip served aboard the destroyer HMS Whelp, stationed in the Pacific. Part of the 27th Destroyer Flotilla, the Whelp was anchored in Tokyo bay when the Japanese surrendered following the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Courting the Future Queen

In January of 1946 Philip returned to England, like many of his fellows a changed man. He was now also an experienced naval officer and hero. Before enlisting, Philip had met his distant cousin, Princess Elizabeth of England, then age thirteen; according to some sources, it was Philip's uncle, Lord Mountbatten, who orchestrated the match. He corresponded with Elizabeth throughout the war and a romance developed. Upon his return home Elizabeth invited Philip to visit her family at Balmoral Castle; the couple also got secretly engaged, although both knew there would be family objections.

The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 required that Elizabeth get permission from the reigning monarch in order to marry. Her father, George VI, resisted, believing his 18-year-old daughter was too young to marry. Another obstacle to the match was Philip's Greek citizenship. Lord Mountbatten quickly intervened, and in March of 1947 Philip became naturalized British citizen Philip Mountbatten. At this point the king reluctantly gave his consent, although public announcement of the impending marriage was postponed. On July 8, 1947, a palace spokesman announced the engagement of Princess Elizabeth and Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, and the pair were married on November 20, at Westminster Abbey. Just prior to his marriage Philip was granted three titles: duke of Edinburgh, earl of Merioneth, and baron Greenwich. He was also appointed a knight of the Garter.

Continuing his career in the Royal Navy, Philip was soon balancing these duties with fatherhood; the couple welcomed their first child, Charles, in November of 1948. For a time, Philip was stationed in Malta and Elizabeth visited like other military wives. In 1950 he was promoted to lieutenant commander and given command of the anti-aircraft frigate HMS Magpie, but he resigned his commission in the summer of 1951. The following February George VI died, leaving 26-year-old Elizabeth queen.

A Life of Duty and Diverse Interests

When Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952, Philip assumed the role of consort and the duties that went with it. His primary responsibility was the children, which now included Princess Anne (born 1950), Prince Andrew (born 1960), and Prince Edward (born 1964). Their upbringing and education became his primary focus. For his part, he was both a strict disciplinary and a loving father, and he insisted that the children be educated away from the palace.

In 1956 Philip planned a world tour, beginning his journey by attending the opening of the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. He also pursued a wide range of personal interests that benefitted both Great Britain and the monarchy over the years. He was interested in science and industry, research and development, and technology. He has also served as patron or president of over 800 organizations, and was the first president of the World Wildlife Fund. He also founded the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme and International Award, which was designed to encourage young people to tackle physical and skills-based challenges and become involved in their community

Philip also served as a chancellor for many universities, learned to fly all kinds of aircraft, and was an avid polo player in his younger days. He also was one of several to push for a rejuvenation of the British monarchy. In The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, an essayist explained that Philip "set himself to modernizing the monarchy, and 'image' is in this instance the appropriate word. Radio, the cinema, and above all, television, has made the presentation of Royalty a exercise in public relations." In 1961 Philip became the first member of the British Royal Family to be interviewed on television. Philip also gained a reputation for speaking his mind, a characteristic that earned him his share of detractors in a country where gossip about the royal family abounds.

Over Fifty Years as Prince Consort

In November of 2003 Philip and Queen Elizabeth II welcomed their seventh grandchild, Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor, when their youngest son, Prince Edward, and his wife, had a daughter. The inclusion of the name Mountbatten is a testament to Philip's stature within the royal house of Windsor, as well as a reflection of the respect he has been accorded by his children.


Fraser, Antonia, editor, The Lives of the Kings and Queens of England, University of California Press, 1995.

Hall, Unity, Philip: The Man behind the Monarchy, St. Martin's Press, 1987.

Heald, Tim, Philip: A Portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh, William Morrow, 1991.

Hilton, James, H.R.H.: The Story of Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Little, Brown, 1955.


Biography, February, 2002.


Britain Express Web site, (December 4, 2003).

British Monarchy Official Web site, (December 4, 2003).

"Fifty Facts about the Duke of Edinburgh," Tiscali: Golden Jubilee Web site, (December 4, 2003).

"Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," HELLO! Magazine Web site, (December 4, 2003).

"Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921-)," Regiments Web site, (December 4, 2003).


views updated May 18 2018


Philip (died 1676), Native American chief, led his Wampanoag tribe and their allies in a losing fight against the encroachments of New England colonists.

Philip was born probably at the tribal village of the Wampanoag Indians at Mount Hope, R.I. His father, Massassoit, sachem (chief) of the tribe, took his two sons to the Plymouth settlement and asked that they be given English names; the elder son was renamed Alexander, and the other was called Philip.

Alexander became sachem of the Wampanoag upon the father's death. In 1661, however, Alexander was arrested by the Plymouth Bay colonists; on the way to Plymouth he sickened and died suddenly, causing the Native Americans to believe that he had been poisoned. The next year Philip became sachem.

As sachem, Philip renewed his father's treaty with the colonists and lived peacefully with them for 9 years. But gradually Philip became hostile to the whites because their increasing numbers resulted in scarcity of game, failure of the Native Americans' fisheries, and encroachment on Native American lands. Purchasing English goods or guns with land, the Native Americans were gradually being forced into marginal swamplands.

Philip's arrogance contributed to the growing tensions. He declared himself the equal of his "brother, " Charles II. He also began plotting against the settlers. In 1671 he was summoned to Taunton, Mass., and confronted with evidence of his plotting, but he was released after signing a statement of submission, paying a fine, and surrendering part of his tribe's firearms.

The open break between the two races came in 1675. Philip's former secretary, Sassamon, was murdered by the Wampanoag, who believed that Sassamon had betrayed Native American secrets to the settlers. Three Wampanoag braves were executed for this crime. Philip reacted by sending his tribe's women and children to live with the Narragansett Indians and by making an alliance with the Nipmuck. On June 24, 1675, their attack on a colonial village triggered King Philip's War.

The fighting spread to Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies, west to the Connecticut River, and north to Vermont. The Native Americans killed men, women, and children in these raids. The United Colonies of New England sent a combined army to try for a decisive battle, but Philip preferred stealth, ambush, and surprise raids in which he generally displayed wily and effective leadership. However, he was unsuccessful in persuading the Mohegan and Mohawk Indians to join him.

The colonists tried a new strategy. On Dec. 19, 1675, Governor Josiah Winslow and 1, 000 troops attacked the Narragansett village, killed 1, 600 Native Americans, and captured the Wampanoag women and children, selling many of them into slavery in the West Indies and South America. They also destroyed Native American crops, offered amnesty to deserters, and advertised a reward for any Native American killed in battle.

Philip saw his army melt away. With a few faithful followers he was pursued from place to place; meanwhile, his wife and son were captured and sold into slavery. In the swamps near Mount Hope he was shot on Aug. 12, 1676, by a Native American serving the colonials. Philip's body was beheaded and drawn and quartered, and his head was exhibited at Plymouth for 20 years.

Philip's war saw 12 colonial towns destroyed, thousands of deaths, and colonial debts of £100, 000. His victories were largely the result of colonial inefficiency, but the war was the result of increasing pressure for land from the growing number of British colonists in America.

Further Reading

Accounts of Philip are in George Madison Bodge, Soldiers in King Philip's War (1892; 3d ed. 1906); G. W. Ellis and J. E. Morris, King Philip's War (1906); James Truslow Adams, The Founding of New England (1921); and Douglas Edward Leach, Flintlock and Tomahawk: New England in King Philip's War (1958).

Additional Sources

Apes, William, Eulogy on King Philip, as pronounced at the Odeon in Federal Street, Boston, Brookfield, Mass.: L.A. Dexter, 1985. □


views updated May 11 2018


An experimental ghost created by Iris M. Owen and members of the Toronto Society for Psychical Research, Canada, who wanted to test the connections between living individuals and paranormal phenomena. In the past, many psychical researchers have hypothesized that the entities manifesting at séances may be artificial personalities created by the unconscious attitudes of the sitters. Many "spirit guides" and "spirits" have been self-evidently synthetic and illusory entities, although acceptance of them as real personalities often favorably influences paranormal phenomena.

In September 1972, the Toronto experimenters began meditating on "Philip," a deliberately created ghost with a personal history, idiosyncratic characteristics, and even an appearance consciously worked out by the group. The eight members of the group other than Owen (a former nurse) were Margaret Sparrow (former chairman of MENSA in Canada, an organization of individuals with high IQs), Andy H. (housewife), Lorne H. (industrial designer, husband of Andy H.), Al P. (heating engineer), Bernice M. (accountant), Dorothy O'D. (housewife and bookkeeper), and Sidney K. (sociology student). At times A. R. G. Owen (mathematician and Iris Owen's husband) or Joel Whitton (a psychologist) attended meetings as an observer.

After nearly a year without significant results, the group changed their method of sitting to conform with that of a traditional nineteenth-century Spiritualist séance, in which participants were seated around a table and sang or talked to enhance the atmosphere. This approach embodied the suggestions of British psychologist Kenneth Batcheldor, who claimed that skepticism inhibited paranormal phenomena but that the conventional form of a séance tended to dispel skepticism and provide an atmosphere in which paranormal phenomena seemed natural.

Within only a few weeks, the group elicited raps from the table and communications from "Philip" on conventional yesno lines. On one occasion this phenomenon was successfully demonstrated before a live audience of fifty individuals for a videotaped TV show. In addition, there have been instances of noises from various parts of the room, a light blinking, and an apparent levitation of the table.

The results attained by the group have provided insight on the nature of spirit personality, the phenomena of the poltergeist, hauntings, and the claims of Spiritualism.


Owen, Iris M., and Margaret Sparrow. Conjuring up Philip. New York: Harper & Row, 1976.


views updated May 29 2018

Philip, Or Metacomet (also known as King Philip) (c. 1640–1676), Wampanoag sachem and leader in King Philip's War. Son of the powerful Massasoit, who had helped early Plymouth Colony survive, Metacom accepted the English name Philip when he replaced his deceased brother as the Wampanoags' principal sachem in 1662. His resistance to English territorial expansion and judicial authority offended Plymouth officials, who subjected him to accusations and humiliating rebukes before 1675, when Wampanoag warriors launched the raids that escalated into King Philip's War. The operational role that he played in this costly struggle is not clear; several capable leaders were involved in the guerrilla action that stunned the New England colonies. Philip did travel long distances through the forests, encouraging bands from various Algonquian tribes to join the desperate rebellion. A mixed force of Indians and English militiamen finally killed him in 1676. According to eyewitness Benjamin Church, an Indian executioner making a speech over Philip's body said that “he had been a very great man and had made many a man afraid of him.” Even in defeat, Philip remained a fearsome symbol of Native American resistance and military prowess.
[See also Native American Wars: Wars Between Native Americans and Europeans and Euro‐Americans.]


Russell Bourne , The Red King's Rebellion, 1990.
Jill Lepore , The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity, 1998.

Patrick M. Malone


views updated May 29 2018

Philip male forename, name of two early saints, and of the king of Macedon (reigned 359–336 bc) who was the father of Alexander the Great.
St Philip an Apostle. In art he is shown either with a cross as the instrument of his martyrdom, or with loaves of bread as symbolizing his part in the feeding of the five thousand. His feast day (with St James the Less) is 1 May.
St Philip the Evangelist one of seven deacons appointed to superintend the secular business of the Church at Jerusalem (Acts 6:5–6). His feast day is 6 June.

See also appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober.

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