Prince Philip: How old is he and what is his title?

Telegraph Reporters
Farewell to all that... - Warren Allott Photos

Prince Philip, the longest serving royal consort in history, will today undertake his final solo public engagement following the announcement that he is to retire earlier this year.

The Duke, as Captain General of the Royal Marines, will meet servicemen who have taken part in a 1,664-mile trek in aid of charity and take the salute outside Buckingham Palace.

Here we answer some common queries regarding the Duke.

The Duke of Edinburgh retires: A life of public service in pictures

Who is Prince Philip?

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, and named Philip Mountbatten is, of course, the husband of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Leaving the Houses of Parliament following the annual State Opening of Parliament in London in 2009 Credit:  REUTERS

Where was he born?

Philip was actually born Philippos Prince of Greece and Denmark on the Greek Island of Corfu. His father was Prince Andrew, younger brother of King Constantine of Greece, and his mother Princess Alice of Battenberg.

Most members of his family, residing in the United Kingdom, had renounced their German titles in 1917, due to rising anti-German sentiment among the British public during World War I, and changed their name to "Mountbatten", an anglicised version of Battenberg. 

Prince Phillip in numbers

Prince Louis of Battenberg (1900–1979), renounced his title in 1917 to become Lord Louis Mountbatten (later Earl Mountbatten of Burma).

Philip  adopted the surname of Mountbatten from his mother's family in 1947, although he is a member of the Danish-German house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, whose members have provided bespoke royalty to Denmark, Norway and Greece. 

He is a great-great-grandchild of Queen Victoria though his mother's family.

How old is Prince Philip?

The Prince was born on 10 June 1921, so he's 96 years old. Not surprising then, that the Palace announced in May that his public engagements would cease this month.

As May's announcement was made, the Duke visited Lord's Cricket and joked, "I'm the world's most experienced plaque-unveiler" as he opened a new stand.

The Duke is shown a number of bats by Dr Chinmay Gupte (second right) and John Stephenson (right), during a visit to Lord's cricket ground in May. Credit: PA

What was Prince Philip like when he was young?

Philip's first school was an American institution in Paris run by Donald MacJannet, who described Philip as a "rugged, boisterous boy, but always remarkably polite".

In 1928, Philip was sent to the UK to attend Cheam School, living with his grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, at Kensington Palace and his uncle, George Mountbatten at Lynden Manor in Bray, Berkshire. 

Prince Philip as a young man, circa 1935 Credit: Getty Images

In the space of three years, his four sisters had married German noblemen and moved to Germany, his schizophrenic mother was placed in an asylum,and his father moved to a small flat in Monte Carlo. Philip had little contact with his mother for the remainder of his childhood.

 In 1933, he was sent to Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, a cheap option since it was owned by the family of his brother-in-law, Berthold, Margrave of Baden.

With the rise of Nazism in Germany Salem's Jewish founder, Kurt Hahn, fled persecution and founded Gordonstoun School in Scotland.

The Duke's title

Under English common law, a wife traditionally takes her husband’s name and the feminine version of her husband's title when she marries.

Title in Royal Family work in much the same way as if an untitled couple were to marry and the wife took her husband’s name as her own. The Queen held the title 'HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh' -  the female form of her husband’s title - but since Queen trumps Duchess in the title scheme of things (and because the Sovereign cannot hold peerages and the like), she no longer used this title.

Prince Philip leaves Buckingham Palace Credit:  REUTERS

There is also the issue of rank. Queen Victoria thought that the title of “Duke” was the ‘proper title’ for a holder of a title, which is why Her present Majesty is known as Duke of Lancaster and not Duchess.

The wife of a king is known as a Queen consort, and is titled 'Queen' – but she does not rule as the monarch. 

Technically, Prince Philip could have become a King consort, but this title was never bestowed upon him.

There was an exception to this rule in 1689, where William III and Mary II ruled jointly until Mary’s death in 1694.

Prince Philip is also famous for his many faux-pas...

Prince Philip's funniest moments and greatest gaffes