Did Prince Philip have troubled childhood? He grew up parentless as mom was sent to asylum after fleeing Greece
After fleeing Greece when he was a year old, his mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia and sent to an asylum in Switzerland. His father disappeared to Monte Carlo and Prince Philip was left to be raised by his older sisters, who were all soon married
Prince Philip is being mourned in England and in various other parts of the world as he died aged 99 on Friday. The patriarch of the royal family had been in and out of the hospital several times in the last couple of years for various ailments. He breathed his last as the Palace was still reeling with racism and cruelty accusations after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The "first gentleman of the land" married Queen Elizabeth II in 1947 while she was still in line to the throne. Prince Philip's occasional rash comments did hurt his image and he wasn't the captain of the ship he married into but he is considered to have saved the Crown through all the turbulence in the postwar years.
The Duke of Edinburgh might have enjoyed the privileges that came along with his title but growing up he had none of the luxuries and was forced to flee Greece after his uncle renounced the throne and a military uprising followed, all while he was just a year old. Here are all the details of his childhood and early years.
Prince Philip fled Greece in an orange crate
Prince Philip was born on June 10, 1921, to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. Then known as Prince Philippos of Greece and Denmark, he was born into the Danish House of Glucksberge at the summer palace of the Greek Royal Family, on the island of Corfu. He was the royal couple's only son and was sixth in line to the throne.
"Royalty" in Europe became more homogenous as the great houses of Europe began intermarrying at the end of the 18th century. Through his interconnected family tree, Prince Philip was related to every other royal family on the continent however, none of that helped during the military uprising in Greece in 1922. His uncle King Constantine I had renounced the throne and the anti-monarchists were hunting Philip's family including his father. Prince Philip was just a year old at that time and he was placed inside a crib shaped like an orange crate before he was shipped off from the beautiful island of Corfu onboard a British warship HMS Calypso.
He spent his exile years in Paris where he enrolled at the innovative American school on the outskirts of the city known as "The Elms". But growing up in an alien nation was just one of the many concerns that eclipsed Prince Philip's early life which was chaotic and permeated with tragedy.
Prince Philip's mother committed to a sanitorium
Shortly after they became rooted in Paris, Prince Philip's mother began battling mental health issues. The year was 1928 and she became deeply religious and converted to the Greek Orthodox Church where she later claimed that she received divine messages from Jesus as well as Buddha. She also claimed to have received divine healing powers and later on she was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was sent to an asylum in Switzerland. Prince Philip and his siblings received the news while returning from an outing in 1930 that their mother had been committed to a sanitorium after she suffered a nervous breakdown.
Prince Philip grew up parentless after his father disappeared to Monte Carlo
After his mother was locked away in a mental health facility, his father Prince Andrew also disappeared to Monte Carlo and Prince Philip was left to be raised by his older sisters. Later on, all four of his sisters married and moved to Germany and Prince Philip, aged 7, was once again left abandoned by his family and shipped off to live with his maternal grandmother in England. The Mountbatten family disintegrated in the '30s and they were reunited in 1937 as Princess Alice reconnected with the family. She came face-to-face with her husband Prince Andrew following the death of Prince Philip's sister Cecilie that resulted from a plane crash.