Prince Felipe: what changes did you drive in the monarchy?
(CNN Spanish) -
(CNN Spanish) -
Prince Felipe, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years, died on April 9 and a day later the sovereign paid him a tribute through the official Twitter account of the Royal family.
The message collected the words of the sovereign during the celebration of their 50 years of marriage in 1997: «He has simply been my strength and sustenance during all these years, and I and all his family, like this and other countries, owe him a greater debt than he would ever claim, "said Queen Elizabeth II.
"He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know."
-Her Majesty The Queen, 1997. pic.twitter.com/wbSldSavNA
- The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 10, 2021
Always seen side by side with the sovereign, the Duke of Edinburgh has been the longest-lived prince consort in history and was known for his extraordinary energy, enthusiasm and sense of humor, winning the affection of generations, as recognized by the Prime Minister of Great Brittany, Boris Johnson, after his departure.
The companion and accomplice of the queen also managed to create his own style and role within the traditional British monarchy.
The young Felipe and his princess
Despite a difficult and lonely childhood, the young prince of Greece and Denmark cultivated a personality that captivated many, including the young princess Elizabeth.
Felipe was 12 when he met her, and she was only 7 years old.
According to Margaret Rhodes, cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, the couple met again years later and the future sovereign no longer had eyes for anyone else.
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The day Elizabeth of York met Philip, her destiny was not to be queen.
She was 7 years old and the maid of honor to her aunt, Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark, who married the Duke of Kent at Westminster Abbey.
Felipe, 12, attended as the bride's first cousin.
When they met again, five years later, in 1939, everything had changed.
Isabel was heir to the throne, as her father assumed as king after her uncle abdicated the crown.
Felipe was an 18-year-old cadet.
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Prince Philip of Greece played cricket in 1939, while studying at Gordonstoun, a boarding school in Scotland.
"How high you can jump!" Elizabeth told her governess, Marion Crawford, in July 1939 when she saw Philip leaping over the tennis nets at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.
(Credit: ullstein bild / Getty Images)
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Princess Elizabeth poses with a pony in Windsor Great Park on her 13th birthday, April 21, 1939. (Credit: Central Press / Getty Images)
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The royal family arrived at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in 1939. From left to right are Prince Philip, Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth, King George VI and Princess Elizabeth.
The latter would be dazzled by the young Marine cadet during this visit.
(Credit: Keystone / Getty Images)
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During the war, Felipe wrote to Isabel and visited her on Christmas 1943. Isabel was 17 years old and a young woman.
He found her very attractive.
At the end of the war, Felipe courted her with serious intentions and took her to concerts and restaurants or had dinner at the nursery with Princess Margaret (Credit: AFP via Getty Images)
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Prince Felipe is portrayed in December 1946, when he was serving as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy.
(Credit: Press Association / AP)
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Princess Elizabeth, now heir to the throne, in her drawing room at Buckingham Palace in July 1946. (Credit: Lisa Sheridan / Studio Lisa / Getty Images)
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Isabel and Felipe walk together.
She had decided on Felipe since she was 13 years old and the war had only intensified the romance.
(Credit: Popperfoto / Getty Images)
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Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in their role as bridesmaid and escort at Patricia Mountbatten and Lord Brabourne's wedding in 1946. Philip was the bride's cousin.
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Smiling Elizabeth and her fiancé Philip are pictured together at Buckingham Palace in July 1947, after their engagement was announced.
(Credit: Topical Press Agency / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
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Elizabeth and Philip walk down the aisle at Westminster Abbey on their wedding day, November 20, 1947. Credit: (Bert Hardy / Picture Post / Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
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Wedding portrait of the royal couple.
(Credit: ullstein bild / Getty Images)
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Isabel and Felipe spend their honeymoon in Malta, where he is assigned to the Royal Navy.
(Credit: Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
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A family portrait in 1951, after Isabel and Felipe had Carlos in 1948 and Ana in 1950. (Credit: Keystone-France / Gamma-Keystone / Getty Images)
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Isabel and Felipe visit a national park in Kenya in February 1952. (Credit: AFP / Getty Images)
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At Treetops Game Lodge, Princess Elizabeth learns of her father's death.
(Credit: NCJ Archive / Mirrorpix / Getty Images)
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Elizabeth, now queen, and Philip return to Britain after leaving their Kenyan tour, following news of the death of King George.
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Queen Elizabeth II and Philip greet the audience from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on her coronation day in June 1953. (Credit: Press Association / AP)
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Prince Philip sits next to the queen as she reads a speech to Canadian members of Parliament in 1957. (Credit: Paul Popper / Popperfoto / Getty Images)
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Ana, Carlos, Eduardo and Andrés pose with their parents at Balmoral Castle in Scotland during the royal family's annual summer vacation.
(Credit: Lichfield / Getty Images)
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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during their 1977 visit to New Zealand (Credit: Serge Lemoine / Getty Images)
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Queen Elizabeth II has lunch with Prince Philip and their children, Princess Anne and Prince Charles at Windsor Castle in Berkshire, circa 1969. A camera (left) is positioned to record the BBC documentary Royal Family 'by Richard Cawston.
The production followed the royal family for a year and aired on June 21, 1969. (Credit: Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
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The Queen and Philip fly back from Yorkshire.
This photo was taken during the filming of the documentary.
(Credit: Bettmann Archive / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip walks behind the coffin of Diana, Princess of Wales, alongside Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles, in September 1997. (Credit: Anwar Hussein / WireImage / Getty Images
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The Queen and Prince Philip observe some of the many tributes to Diana left by the public.
(Credit: Pool / AP)
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Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Prince Philip, delivers a speech in both houses of Parliament to commemorate her 60 years on the British throne, in March 2012. (Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth / Pool / AP)
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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, hold hands as they attend the state inauguration of Parliament on December 3, 2008 in London, England.
(Credit: Anwar Hussein Collection / Pool / WireImage / Getty Images)
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The Queen and Prince Philip walk back to Buckingham together after hosting a party in June 2011. (Credit: Matt Dunham / WPA Pool / Getty Images)
“I think she fell in love with him when he was only 13 years old.
God, he was very handsome.
He was like a Viking god.
She never noticed anyone else and he became a solid rock next to her, "explained Rhodes in an interview with CNN in 2013.
The couple married in 1947. To do this, Felipe had to renounce his religion and his titles from Denmark and Greece to naturalize as British.
During the first years of their marriage, they enjoyed their life as a couple and also their popularity while Felipe continued his career as a Navy officer.
Their first trip together to the US and Canada, in 1951, drew crowds.
But things changed for the couple with the death of Elizabeth's father, King George VI.
The young princess was crowned Elizabeth II in June 1953 and Felipe abandoned his naval career to be by his wife's side, represent the crown in countless state visits around the world and receive dignitaries and heads of state for more than 70 years until his retirement from public life, in August 2017.
"My grandfather was an extraordinary man": Prince William pays tribute to Prince Philip
The personality of Philip of Edinburgh and his relationship with Elizabeth II
Felipe was known through the years for being a direct man, with a strong personality, a lover of conversation, a peculiar sense of humor and above all, to speak his mind, a characteristic much celebrated by the British.
“He had a very independent mindset.
He said and did what seemed best to him and he didn't like to be controlled, ”Max Foster, CNN's Royal Correspondent, tells us.
In a message of tribute to her father after his death, Princess Anne of England recounted how her father always sought to establish a special bond with others: “His ability to treat each person as an individual in his own right, with his own virtues".
Felipe's relationship with his wife has been described by many as a strong alliance and unique complicity.
"They had a very strong relationship, she fell in love with him since she was a child and they have been through everything together," says Kate Williams, CNN royal historian.
The queen's former Communications Secretary, Simon Lewis, told Christiane Amanpour, CNN's international chief presenter, how she witnessed their close relationship off-camera during her job interview.
"He named her Lilibeth, which I thought was a very loving display and gives us insight into their relationship, a relationship that was fueled by their mutual commitment to doing the right thing for the country and for the royal family."
In that relationship, Felipe saw himself with the eyes and ears of his wife, adds the former secretary of the queen.
"He was active, he went out, he met people and he brought all that knowledge to the queen," they complemented each other very well, adds Lewis.
A strong alliance that was based on very different and even opposing personalities, explains historian Williams.
"She is very conscientious and often silent, he is much more outgoing," says Williams.
She is a very conscientious, beautiful person and often quiet, he is much more outgoing,
That solid relationship and complicity meant that while Elizabeth II is the head of state as queen, Felipe was the one who led the family.
"One may think that the queen is always in charge and she is in public, but behind the scenes Felipe was the one who made many of the important decisions for the family, he was the patriarch," explains Foster.
Prince Harry pays tribute to his "rogue" grandfather, Prince Philip
A prince consort without an official role
With the humor that characterized him, the duke himself described his role as "the most experienced revealer of commemorative plaques in the world".
But the truth is that his role went further.
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Prince Philip of the United Kingdom, Duke of Edinburgh, poses in his military uniform circa 1990. (Terry O'Neill / Iconic Images / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip was born into the royal families of Greece and Denmark.
His family left Greece in 1922 and settled in Paris after his uncle, King Constantine I, was overthrown.
(Topical Press Agency / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip dressed for a production of "Macbeth" while attending school in Scotland in July 1935. (Fox Photos / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip is the youngest of five children and the only boy.
After his parents' separation in 1930, he was sent to England and raised there by his maternal grandmother and uncle.
(Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip sits with his fiancee, Princess Elizabeth, in July 1947. He had become a naturalized British citizen and commoner, using the surname Mountbatten, an English translation of his mother's maiden name.
He was also an officer in the British Royal Navy and fought in World War II.
(Topical Press Agency / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth were married in November 1947. (Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip plays in a village cricket match in July 1949. (Central Press / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
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Philip and Elizabeth support their children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, in August 1951. (Keystone / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth dance in Ottawa in October 1951. (Keystone / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth were touring the Commonwealth - or Commonwealth of Nations - when their father, King George VI, died on February 6, 1952. She was next in line for the throne.
(Fox Photos / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip salutes from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after his wife's coronation in June 1953. (Hulton Archive / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip sails during the Cowes Regatta in August 1962. (George Silk / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip laughs as the Beatles fight for the Carl Alan Award that he presented to the band in March 1964. (Keystone / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
The Queen and Prince Philip, accompanied by their sons, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, wave from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during a parade in June 1964. (Fox Photos / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
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The royal couple return to Buckingham Palace after a ceremony in June 1965. (Hulton Archive / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
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The Queen and Prince Philip leave Westminster Abbey in April 1966. (Central Press / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip competes in a bike polo match in August 1967. (George Freston / Hulton Royals Collection / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip paints during the filming of the documentary "Royal Family" in 1969. (Rolls Press / Popperfoto / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip and his daughter, Princess Anne, prepare a barbecue at Balmoral Castle in August 1972. (Lichfield / Getty Images)
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The Queen and Prince Philip attend the Royal Windsor Horse Show in April 1976. (Tim Graham / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip participates in the 1980 World Carriage Driving Championship. (Tim Graham / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip fishes in a Scottish lake in 1993. (Julian Parker / UK Press / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip hunts on the Sandringham estate in 1994. (Julian Parker / UK Press via Getty Images)
Prince Philip tours the London Stock Exchange in 1998. (Tim Graham / Pool / Getty Images)
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Former South African President Nelson Mandela talks to Prince Philip in November 2000. (Anna Zieminski / AFP / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip rides a minibike at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May 2005. (Julian Finney / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, attends the Commonwealth Day celebration in London in 2011. (Allpix / Splash News / Newscom)
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The Queen and Prince Philip attend the annual Trooping the Color ceremony in June 2011. (Dan Kitwood / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip visits Sherborne Abbey during his wife's Diamond Jubilee tour in May 2012. (Chris Jackson / Getty Images)
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The Queen presents Prince Philip with New Zealand's highest honor, the Order of New Zealand, at Buckingham Palace in June 2013. (Anthony Devlin / WPA Pool / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip visits the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards in February 2014. (Paul Grover / WPA Pool / Getty Images)
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The royal couple arrive at the Royal Ascot horse races in June 2014. (Steve Bardens / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip signs the guestbook at Hillsborough Castle in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in June 2014. (Jail Photo / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip smiles when he visits an Air Force Auxiliary squadron in Edinburgh, Scotland, in July 2015. (Danny Lawson / WPA Pool / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip and his grandson, Prince Henry, attend the Rugby World Cup final in October 2015. (Phil Walter / Getty Images)
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The Queen and Prince Philip greet guests in June 2016 during their 90th birthday celebrations.
(Arthur Edwards / WPA Pool / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip gives an elephant a banana in Dunstable, England, in April 2017. (Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip speaks to students in May 2017 during a visit to Lord's cricket ground in London.
The new Warner Stand of the place opened.
(Victoria Jones / PA Images / AP)
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Prince Philip makes his last public appearance before his retirement in August 2017, attending a Royal Marines parade at Buckingham Palace.
The event also marked the end of Felipe's 64 years as Captain General, the ceremonial leader of the Royal Marines.
(Hannah McKay / WPA Pool / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip attends the wedding of his grandson, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, in May 2018. (Owen Humphreys / WPA Pool / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip poses after Harry and Meghan's wedding in May 2018. (Kensington Palace / Twitter)
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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip attend a polo match in Egham, England, in June 2018. (Antony Jones / Getty Images Europe)
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Prince Philip is seen at the wedding of his granddaughter, Princess Eugenia, and Jack Brooksbank in October 2018. (Alastair Grant / WPA Pool / Getty Images)
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Prince Philip speaks with Sir David Attenborough before an Order of Merit luncheon in May 2019. (Jonathan Brady / WPA Pool / Getty Images)
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Felipe had health complications and was transferred to King Edward VII Hospital on February 17 because he was feeling ill, Buckingham Palace said.
There he was treated for an infection and evaluated for a pre-existing heart condition.
(Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP via Getty Images)
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After 14 days and 13 nights on King Edward VII, his longest hospital stay to date, the prince was transferred to St. Bartholomew Hospital, also in London.
There, doctors continued to treat him for an infection, in addition to testing and observing him for a pre-existing heart condition.
(Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP via Getty Images)
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On March 16, the prince was discharged and headed to his home, Windsor Castle.
(Credit: Jeff Spicer / Getty Images)
In addition to his commitments to Elizabeth II and unconditional support that could have come with frustrations in leaving his career in the Navy, according to many analysts, the Duke of Edinburgh has been an active representative of the crown.
The prince alone attended more than 22,000 events and 637 trips abroad until he retired.
He made about 5,500 speeches and was the patron or president of 800 organizations that particularly promote scientific and technological research and development, the promotion of sports, and above all, the conservation of the environment.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award operates in more than 140 countries and encourages millions of young people to serve their communities, experience adventure, and develop and learn from experiences outside of the classroom.
And although Felipe never had an official and constitutional role within the monarchy, it was Queen Elizabeth herself who made it clear during a speech in 1952 that the prince consort had a "place, preeminence and precedence" in his reign.
The prince defined his own role in the following years.
"He has forged his own role for his own ideas, especially in science and technology and during certain occasions in the life of the royal family such as the coronation of the queen and his decision to involve the media", we Williams explains
Historians agree that it was Felipe who convinced the sovereign to accept the media as a way to get closer to her people.
It was at the Duke's initiative that a documentary about the royal family aired in 1969 showing images of their daily life like any family, like the prince preparing sausages on the barbecue.
"I think history will recognize Prince Philip for his role as a modernizer within the context of an institution as historic as the monarchy," a monarchy that needed to advance for generations to come, Lewis says.
His early interest in new technology is also another example of how the duke tried to get the British monarchy up to speed.
«In 1998 there were 100 million Internet users (in the world), today there are 5.4 billion users.
Prince Philip realized this phenomenon and led the idea that having a website for the monarchy would attract interest and attention to it and broaden the reach of its messages, ”says Lewis.
Environmental issues are another example, adds the former queen's secretary.
The funeral of Prince Philip: this will be the discreet ceremony for the husband of Queen Elizabeth II
Your inappropriate jokes and comments
And this modernizer who was ahead of his time was also known for a very quirky sense of humor, off-the-cuff and often inappropriate comments, celebrated by many and criticized as racist by others.
In a personal tribute after his death, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, celebrated his grandfather's personality and sense of humor.
"He was genuinely himself, with a very sharp wit, and he attracted attention anywhere because of his charm and also because you never knew what he would say next."
Some comments, especially about other nationalities, caused controversy and were considered racist.
In 1998, during a conversation with a British student who had been hiking in Papua New Guinea, the prince asked, "So, did you get them to not eat you?" Apparently referring to a belief about cannibalism practiced in the islands of the South Pacific. .
In 2003, during the meeting of the heads of government of the Commonwealth of Nations or Commonwealth in Nigeria, a mischievous Felipe greeted then-President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was wearing traditional attire from his country and said: “You seem ready to go. to the bed".
In Latin America, the press have attributed the prince consort to having told Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner in Paraguay in 1963: "It is a pleasure to be in a country that is not governed by its people."
A prince consort like no other, who forged a role for himself and who was always clear that his most important duty was his unconditional support for his wife, companion and sovereign of the United Kingdom.