The best photo from every year of Prince Philip's royal career

Max Mumby/ Indigo/ Getty Images.Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh in 2017.
  • It’s Prince Philip’s 98th birthday on June 10.
  • To celebrate, Business Insider rounded up the best photo from every year of his royal career.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh carried out 22,219 solo engagements and 637 solo visits overseas before retiring from public service in 2017.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Prince Philip turns 98 on June 10.

Before officially retiring from public service in 2017, the Duke of Edinburgh carried out 22,219 solo engagements and 637 solo visits overseas since he left active military service in 1952.

In retirement, the Duke is reportedly enjoying more leisure time at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk – he is an avid carriage driver and enjoys oil painting.

Read more:
Prince Philip met the royal baby before the Queen after ‘bumping into’ Harry and Meghan in Windsor Castle

His Royal Highness’ career will be remembered equally for his sharp wit as he will be for his gaffes, which have often left the nation laughing or reeling.

The Prince’s prolonged service has won him support from both sides of Parliament – Jeremy Corbyn applauded his “clear sense of public duty” and Theresa May praised his “steadfast support” to the Queen.

Philip’s lengthy career, marked by hundreds of visits to far-flung corners of the British Empire, has unsurprisingly produced some remarkable royal photography.

Here are the best images from each of his years as Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

1947: Prince Philip began his journey as a British Royal when he married into the country’s royal family after a five-month engagement to his distant cousin, Elizabeth. He was 26.

1948: The couple had their first child, Prince Charles. In this picture, he sleeps in the arms of his mother, then Princess Elizabeth, after his Christening at Buckingham Palace.

Keystone-France/ Getty Images.

1949: Philip spent many of his younger years in the Royal Navy, meaning family time was precious. He spent much of 1949 stationed in Malta as the first lieutenant of the destroyer HMS Checkers, the lead ship of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean Fleet.

Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images.

1950: Two years after the birth of Prince Charles, Elizabeth and Philip gave birth to their second child, Princess Anne.

Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images.

1951: The family’s first home was Clarence House, located just a stone’s throw away from Buckingham Palace in central London. The family can be seen playing in its gardens in this photo.

Keystone-France/Getty Images.

1952: Despite his active naval career ending in 1951, he was promoted to commander of the Royal Navy in 1952.

Central Press/Getty Images.

Source: The British Monarchy

1953: During the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Philip bowed to his while while more than 27 million people in Britain watched on television.

AP Images.


1954: This photo shows the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh during an official visit to HAMS Australia, flagship of the Australian Navy. The royal couple went aboard during their visit to Cairns, Queensland.

Hulton Deutsch / Getty Images

1955: Throughout his career, he has been involved with more than 780 organisations.

Hulton-Deutsch Collection/ CORBIS/ Getty Images.

He has also been a loyal supporter of his wife, attending events around the world with her for more than 60 years.

1956: In 1956, the royal founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. The scheme is still running 61 years later and aims to instil within young people a “sense of responsibility to themselves and their communities,” by encouraging them to take part in charity work and outdoor activities.

1957: It wasn’t until 1957 that Philip was formerly made a British prince. That same year, he completed a round the world tour aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. Here he is feeding penguins during a visit to the Antarctic.

1958: Here, Prince Philip is handing a pen back to Levi Milley after signing an autograph. Milley was one of 12 men who survived nearly a week trapped in a mine in SpringHill, Nova Scotia in 1958.

1959: Philip and Elizabeth’s children grew up meeting some of the world’s most powerful leaders. President Eisenhower visited Balmoral Castle in 1959, where he was photographed patting Princess Anne on the shoulder as her father looked on proudly.

1960: Prince Andrew, the couple’s third child, was born in 1960. In this photo, he laughs as he holds hands with his father, Prince Philip, and his sister, Princess Anne, during their summer holiday at Balmoral Castle.

1961: The royal couple made their first visit to the Taj Mahal in India in January 1961. He also became UK President of the World Wildlife Fund the same year.

1962: The royals have been a regular fixture at Ascot, one of the biggest events in Britain’s horse racing calendar.

1963: In 1963, the couple went on a three-month tour of Fiji, Australia, and New Zealand.

1964: People often don’t realise that the royal is also a qualified pilot, having racked up nearly 6,000 flying hours over the past five decades. He’s also the patron of the Guild of Air Pilots.

1965: Philip attended the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill, along with fellow British royals and dignitaries from overseas.

1966: The Queen and her husband visited St. Lucia in 1966. This was also the year he famously proclaimed “British women can’t cook.”

Source: The Telegraph

1967: The following year, he made an equally dubious gaffe. When asked whether he would like to visit the Soviet Union, he replied: “I would like to go to Russia very much, although the bastards murdered half my family.” This is a reference to his German heritage.

1968: Britain celebrated the 50th anniversary of the formation of the RA Fin style. Here, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip ride past a number of Bloodhound missiles on display during their visit to the Royal Air Force Base at Abington, England.

1969: Prince Philip joined a patient’s group therapy session when he visited the National Addiction and Research Institute in Chelsea, London. The prince spent 20 minutes with the patients discussing their problems.

1970: Queen Elizabeth II read her speech in the House of Lords alongside her husband for the State Opening of Parliament in 1970.

1971: The late Sir Roger Moore met the Duke of Edinburgh at an auction dinner in aid of the Variety Club of Great Britain, at the Savoy Hotel in 1971.

1972: In 1972, Philip and Elizabeth travelled to France and took part in remembrance services.

1973: Prince Philip talked to his wife before the new Sydney Opera House complex. Left is Frank Barnes., General Manager of the Opera House and right is Sir Roden Cutler, Governor of New South Wales.

1974: He received a traditional Maori welcome when he arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand, to open the 10th Commonwealth Games. In this ancient Maori challenge, the feather is thrown at the feet of the Duke, with the chant, “do you come as friend or foe,” by picking up the feather the Duke was accepted and welcomed.

1975: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are greeted by Emperor Hirohito of Japan at the entrance of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on May 7, 1975.

1976: The royal couple laughed as the young girl stood next to them was reluctant to hand over a bouquet of flowers during their royal visit to Luxembourg.

1977: The Queen and Philip visited New Zealand. In this photo, the couple attend the State Opening of Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, wearing their sashes and Royal Orders.

Anwar Hussein/Getty Images.

1978: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were followed by their sons Prince Andrew, left, and Prince Edward, as they entered the stadium before the start of the 11th Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada.

1979: This family photo was taken in the ground of Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Elizabeth and Philip were joined by their sons (l-r) Prince Andrew, Prince Charles, and Prince Edward.

PA Images/ Getty Images.

1980: The Royals made a historic visit to meet Pope John Paul II in the Vatican in October 1980. It was the first state visit to the Vatican by a British monarch.

1981: Philip’s first son, Prince Charles, married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981. An estimated 750 million people watched the ceremony worldwide.

MSI/ Mirrorpix/ Getty Images.

1982: The Queen looked surprised after her husband, Prince Philip, pointed that they should be going another way as they drove through the crowd of athletes and officials during the Closing Ceremony of the 12th Commonwealth Games. The crowd forced them to make another lap around the stadium.

1983: The couple has met every sitting US president — bar Lyndon B. Johnson — since Elizabeth ascended to the throne. Here they’re pictured with former President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan in San Francisco.

1984: The Royal family, along with Lord Spencer, attended Prince Harry’s Christening in December 1984.

PA Images / Getty Images

1985: The Queen, Prince Philip, the Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, the Princess Royal, Princes William and Harry, and the Earl of Wessex at the Trooping the Colour.

David Levenson/ Getty Images.

1986: The couple paid a state visit to China, making the Queen the first British monarch to ever do so.

1987: Philip held a news conference in Washington D.C. in May 1987, to announce a World Wildlife Fund Campaign to end illegal wildlife trade. The global organisation has also named an award after him — The Duke of Edinburgh Conservation Award — which recognises “highly meritorious contributions to the conservation of wildlife and natural resources.”

1988: Prince Philip was greeted by children of the British School in Holland. He was visiting the Netherlands for the celebration of the 300th Anniversary of the Glorious Revolution, when Prince William III of Holland ousted King James II from the English family.

1989: Philip was greeted by a worshipper at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kuala Lumpur after he stepped in for the queen who was unable to attend the service because of a chill. In the background is a plaque in honour of the royal couple.

1990: The prince had the honour of delivering the Rafael M. Salas Lecture at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. Named in honour of Mrs. Salas’ — pictured below— late husband, Rafael was the first head of the United Nations Population Fund.

1991: President George H. Bush escorted Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on the field at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, before the Orioles played the Oakland A’s. This was the first baseball game the monarch had ever watched.

1992: Here, Prince Philip emerges from the channel tunnel near Calais, France, after becoming the first member of the royal family to use the rail line connecting England and France — one year before it welcomed its first fare-paying passenger.

PA Images/ Getty Images.

1993: The Duke of Edinburgh chats with Diana, Princess of Wales, at a banquet he is hosting in honour of the Queen, at the Dorchester Hotel, London.

John Stillwell/ PA Images/ Getty Images.

1994: This was the first ever visit to Israel by a member of the royal family. Philip flew to the country to participate in a ceremony honouring his mother for saving Greek Jews during WWII. In this photo, Prince Philip jokes with British veterans.

1995: Queen Elizabeth II looks up toward the sky as Prince Philip, left, and Prince Charles look on during memorial services to mark the 50th anniversary of VJ Day in London on August 19.

1996: Prince Philip caused outrage across the country on December 18, particularly in Dublin, the scene of that year’s primary school massacre, when he suggested that cricket bats were potentially just as dangerous as guns.

1997: Philip and his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, walk through a sea of flowers left by the public outside Buckingham Palace in memory of Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in Paris in August that year.

1998: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip greet Tony Blair and his wife Cherie at Buckingham Palace in London on the second day of the Asia-Europe meeting. The three days of meetings were dominated by discussions on how the Asian economic crisis was being handled.

1999: The Queen and her husband were welcomed to Ghana by the sound of drums and reggae music, where they met the 13 regional chiefs and eight Queen Mothers of Ghana.

2000: Prince Philip bids farewell to Former President Nelson Mandela. Prince Philip and Prince Edward went to see young offenders enrolled in rehabilitation programs in South Africa.

2001: Jordan’s Queen Rania smiled with Prince Philip during arrival ceremonies in Windsor. The King and Queen of Jordan were on an official State Visit to England at the time.

2002: A year of glorious highs and sad lows — The Queen celebrated her Golden Jubilee, it was also the year the Queen Mother passed away.

2003: Then-US President George W. Bush visited Britain with his wife Barbara in 2003. The couple can be seen walking with the royals along the west terrace of Buckingham Palace.

2004: A memorial fountain dedicated to the late Princess Diana was unveiled in Hyde Park, London. The House of Windsor buried the hatchet with the aristocratic family of Diana earlier that week, almost seven years after her brother savaged the royals in his funeral eulogy.

2005: A National Service of Remembrance was held for the Victims of the London Bombings at St. Paul’s Cathedral in central London. The service, where candles were lit to represent the four sites in London bombed on July 7, was also attended by Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair.

2006: Prince Philip visited the Queen’s Royal Hussars in Basra. He told the troops that most people in Britain had “a great deal of sympathy for those of you at the sharp end who are trying to do your best to make life civilized and tolerable for the locals.”

2007: Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth celebrated their diamond (60th) wedding anniversary. They marked the occasion with a special thanksgiving service held at Westminster Abbey.

2008: Prince Philip and France’s then-first lady Carla Bruni laughed as they stood with Queen Elizabeth and French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a review of the Guard of Honour at Windsor Castle in Windsor.

2009: Prince Philip speaks to well-wishers during his visit with Queen Elizabeth to Newcastle, northern England.

2010: Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip attended the ninth inauguration of the General Synod at Westminster Abbey, with the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

2011: Prince Philip has spent his life supporting veterans and the armed forces. Here, he talks with soldiers and their relatives of the 2 Close Support Battalion RE ME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) after the Operation Herrick Medal Parade at the Saint Barbara’s Barracks in undefined, Lower Saxony. Some 150 soldiers were awarded for their deployment in Afghanistan.

2012: This brilliant photo captures Philip, Elizabeth, and Charles laughing as they watch the Braemer Gathering in Scotland as competitors participated in a sack race.

2013: Prince Philip was presented with New Zealand’s highest honour, the Order of New Zealand, by his wife, Elizabeth, at Buckingham Palace in London. He also celebrated his 92nd birthday that year.

2014: The couple laughed after bidding farewell to the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina at Windsor Castle. The Irish President and his wife Sabina left Windsor at the end of a four day State Visit to Britain, during which they stayed at the castle as guests of her majesty.

2015: Philip played a vital role in saving Britain’s engineering sector in the 1970s by creating a national engineering academy. He told the BBC in 2015 that after WWII, Britain was “completely skint — it seemed to me that the only way we were going to recover was through engineering.”

Source: BBC

2016: The Duke of Edinburgh Award celebrated its 60 anniversary in 2016 — arguably the most successful venture of any current royal. The Queen also celebrated her 90th birthday in style with the Patron’s Lunch street party, pictured below.

Source: The Telegraph

2017: After 65 years of public service, the prince retired from public life. Public appearances had become increasingly rare — but here he attends the annual garden party at the Palace of Hilarity’s in Edinburgh.

Max Mumby/ Indigo/ Getty Images.

2018: Though officially retired, Prince Philip made appearances at a number of events in 2018. His grandson Prince Harry’s wedding, for instance, was not something he was likely to miss.

Chris Radburn / WPA Pool / Getty Images

2019: 2019 has been another year of weddings for Prince Philip as his granddaughter Princess Eugenie of York tied the knot with Jack Brooksbank, as did Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston. In this photo taken at Lady Gabriella’s ceremony, Philip’s grandson Prince Harry appears to have made him cackle to the point of tears.

Pool / Max Mumby / Getty Images

Read more:
All the ways Princess Eugenie’s wedding broke from royal tradition

Charles Clark contributed to an earlier version of this story.

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