Remembering Prince Philip through photographs from historical newspapers

5-6 minute read

By The Findmypast Team | May 19, 2022

young prince philip, duke of edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh stood at the side of his wife, Queen Elizabeth II for over 70 years. We looked to our newspapers to celebrate his incredible life of duty to the United Kingdom and beyond.

Born a prince of Greece and Denmark in Corfu, 1921, Prince Philip was the fifth child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. After the family was exiled from Greece, Philip went to school in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

He joined the British Royal Navy in 1939 when he was 18 years old. During World War 2, he served in the navy in both the Mediterranean and Pacific Fleets. 

Elizabeth & Philip

prince philip and princess elizabeth

In 1934, Philip met the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth. They began corresponding, but it wasn’t until after the war that they became engaged. 

"I am so happy that my future husband is by my side."

Young Prince Philip pictured with Princess Elizabeth in The Tatler, 12 November 1947. View the full article.

In March 1947, ahead of the royal wedding, Philip relinquished his Greek and Danish royal titles. He also took the surname Mountbatten. On the morning of the wedding, 20 November 1947, Philip was made Duke of Edinburgh, along with other titles. 

A royal fairytale

The royal couple were married at Westminster Abbey. The ceremony was recorded and broadcast around the world by BBC radio.

The Royal Wedding: Princess Elizabeth in her bridal gown with the Duke of Edinburgh. The wedding took place on 20 November 1947. Pictured in The Sphere, 23 February 1952. View the full article.

prince philip and princess elizabeth on their wedding day
prince philip and princess elizabeth

Strolling through the wooded grounds of Broadlands: Princess Elizabeth on the arm of Prince Philip at their honeymoon home. 

The Sphere, 6 December 1947. View the full article.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh: A new portrait of Prince Philip. He is a grandson of Admiral Prince Louis of Battenberg, first Marquess of Milford Haven, and a nephew of Earl Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India. His son bears the family name of Mountbatten. 

The Sphere, 27 November 1948. View the full article.

young prince philip

King Charles III

Elizabeth and Philip’s first child, Charles, was born in 1948, followed by Princess Anne in 1950. Today, his descendants include Prince William, Prince Harry and young Prince George. 

prince philip and prince charles

The Sphere, 28 July 1951. View the full article.

In the above snapshot, then-Prince Charles welcomes home his royal father: Walking to his car at London Airport, the Duke of Edinburgh clasps the hand of his small son, Prince Charles. The Duke, attended by Lieutenant Michael Parker, R.N., had just arrived from Malta, where, before leaving, he had told officers of his former command, the frigate HMS Magpie;

""I will be in time to have tea with the kids and might even get to today’s Festival of Britain race.""

The Duke, who had Prince Charles on his knee in the plane, a Viking, before he disembarked, brought a huge box of mimosa for Princess Elizabeth. 

Princess Elizabeth becomes Queen Elizabeth II

While in Kenya in 1952, Elizabeth was informed that her father, King George VI had died. It was Prince Philip who broke the news to her. The following year, Princess Elizabeth was crowned Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953.

queen elizabeth ii, prince philip, prince charles, princess anne and the queen mother on coronation day

‘The Queen, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen Mother: Constant cheering from the crowds kept them in full view, with Prince Charles providing much entertainment.’

The Queen and Prince Philip on Coronation Day, along with other members of the Royal Family as published in

The Sphere, 6 June 1953. View the full article.

Royal duties

From there on, Prince Philip was a cornerstone of the royal family tree and supported his wife in her duties as queen.

Prince Philip delighted the farming experts at the 71st Dairy Show.

Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, 30 October 1957. View the full article.

prince philip
prince philip at atkinson airport

At Atkinson Airport, Prince Philip is with, from the left, the Hon B S Rai, Minister of Home Affairs, British Guiana; Dr Cheddi Jagan, the Prime Minister of British Guiana; and Sir Ralph Grey, the Governor.

The Sphere, 17 February 1962. View the full article.

Prince in conversation: In Chile, the Duke of Edinburgh talks to a shopkeeper on a new housing estate in Santiago. 

The Sphere, 24 March 1962. View the full article.

prince philip in chile
prince philip in argentina

Nearing the end of the tour: With flags flying and crowds cheering, the Duke of Edinburgh drives into Buenos Aires from the airport with President Frondizi of Argentina. 

The Sphere, 31 March 1962. View the full article.

The Prince at the Helm: In a waterproof suit with binoculars slung about his neck, Prince Philip took the helm of the 34-ton yawl Bloodhound which he owns jointly with the Queen, in the Britannia Challenge Cup race at Cowes.

The Tatler, 22 August 1962. View the full article.

prince philip sailing

Finally, here's Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth at the investiture of their son, Prince Charles, as Prince of Wales in 1969.

queen elizabeth ii, prince charles and prince philip

View in-full photo in the Findmypast Photo Collection.

There are many more wonderful photos of the Duke of Edinburgh in our newspaper collection. We'd love to see what royal gems you discover. Share your finds with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The British monarchy has a long and fascinating history. In addition to building your own family tree, you can explore the royal family's tree here.

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