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'Iron Duke' Marks 99th Birthday in Castle Lockdown

Prince Philip will spend his special day with Queen Elizabeth II having a 'quiet lunch'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 10, 2020 8:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – He's the longest-serving consort in UK history, and the "Iron Duke" is now a year away from centenarian status. Prince Philip celebrates his 99th birthday Wednesday and plans on spending it with his wife of 72 years, Queen Elizabeth II, having a "quiet lunch" at Windsor Castle, where they've been self-isolating since March due to the coronavirus lockdown, the AP reports. Per Vanity Fair, he's also expected to field calls from family on his special day, likely including Prince Charles, who said last week in a TV interview he was "terribly sad" at not having seen his father for months due to the pandemic. It sounds like it will be a low-key but pleasant day for the prince, who's had a royally rough couple of years: He was involved in a 2019 car crash that injured two; grandson Harry recently defected to the US with his wife, Meghan Markle; and son Prince Andrew is caught up in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

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Born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on June 10, 1921, to Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria, Philip was evacuated from Greece as a baby by the UK's Royal Navy after a military coup overthrew his uncle, King Constantine. He first met his future wife when he was 13 and she was 8 at a wedding; they fell in love five years later when they met again at Dartmouth's Royal Naval College. Philip had a promising career in the Royal Navy, but he gave it all up when he married Elizabeth in 1947 and was made the Duke of Edinburgh. The Guardian notes Philip hasn't been seen in public since December, when he was briefly hospitalized. He can be seen, however, in a rare official photo (above) taken with the queen on June 1. Sources tell Vanity Fair he's doing well healthwise. Read more about Philip's life here. (Read more Prince Philip stories.)

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