British ex-pat reflects on Prince Philip's death

·4 min read

Apr. 10—PLATTSBURGH — British expat Marguerite Eisinger spent Friday morning listening to and reading the BBC's coverage of the life of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, 99, who died at Windsor Castle in England.

Buckingham Palace announced the death of the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, father of Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex; the grandfather of eight; and the great-grandfather of 10.

"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

Prince Philip's funeral arrangements at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle will be forthcoming, according to www.royal. uk.

In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Family asks that the public not gather at Royal Residences and to express their condolences online at a "Book Of Condolence."

Instead of floral tributes in the Duke of Edinburgh's honor, the Royal Family asks the public to make a monetary donation to a charity of their choosing or any of the numerous charities and organizations he supported in his public duties.

World leaders responded to the news of his death including President Joe Biden, who tweeted: "Prince Philip's legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavors he shaped. Jill and I are keeping the Queen, and Prince Philip's children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and the people of the United Kingdom in our hearts during this time."

BORN A PRINCE

Prince Philip, born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on June 10, 1921, was the son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg.

Eisinger can remember the day long ago when Prince Philip married Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor in Westminster Abbey in London on November 20, 1947. Third cousins, they were both great-great granchildren of Queen Victoria, name sake of the "Victorian Age," who reigned from 1837 to 1901.

"I just remember they were a very handsome couple, very young and sort of in love," Eisinger, a Cliff Haven resident, said.

"It was a romantic wedding. He met her when she was 13 years old, and she told her sister (Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon) she was going to marry him at that age. And, she did. She had to propose because he wasn't allowed to propose."

ROYAL RENDEZVOUS

At 18, Prince Philip joined the British Royal Navy and served during World War II.

Post-war, King George VI, Princess Elizabeth's father, granted Lt. Mountbatten permission to marry his daughter, heir apparent to the British throne.

Prince Philip relinquished his former titles to do so and became a naturalized British subject.

King George VI bestowed upon him the title, Duke of Edinburgh.

Eisinger met Prince Philip while she was working at the Variety Club of Great Britain.

"I guess they have a lot of them over here in the states," she said.

"It's all show business people He was at the luncheon. It was an all-male luncheon. There were four of us women from the office. We had to leave before he gave his speech because it was a very off-colored speech for men only."

CONSORT OF THE BRITISH MONARCH

Prince Philip's naval career ended and he became Consort of the British monarch, when Princess Elizabeth ascended to the throne upon her father's death on Feb. 6, 1952.

"Again, it was one of those situations where he married into the Royal family," Eisinger said.

"She was the boss kind of thing, but apparently they worked it out very well between them. It's a very secondary role, but again he proved himself because he organized big charities."

Prince Philip was the founder and chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which was established 75 years ago to equip and empower "young people from all communities to build skills, confidence, and resilience they need to make the most out of life and make a difference to the world around them," according to the charity's website.

"He did a lot for charity," Eisinger said.

"He was a big sportsman. He loved to sail, and he loved to play polo. I guess in many ways, he was forced to leave his role, the BBC put it 'Alpha male.' "He had to kowtow sort of to the Queen. I thought that was pretty funny. I think he was very good and a very stabilizing force for the Queen. He really helped her in her job immensely."

Email Robin Caudell:

rcaudell@pressrepublican.com

Twitter:@RobinCaudell