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FeaturesThe Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh in the 1950s


The Duke of Edinburgh led a long life of public service as the longest-serving consort in British history. As Queen Elizabeth’s “strength and stay” for over 73 years, he was a highly-visible member of the Royal Family, and now, as we look back on his life, here are some of his big moments from the 1950s.

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In the early years of their marriage, The Queen and Prince Philip lived at Villa Guardamangia in Malta while he served in the Royal Navy and was stationed on the island nation. The royal couple enjoyed their time there, where they lived from 1949 to 1951. They were forced to return to England following King George VI’s decline in health and quickly took up official royal duties to lighten his workload. This picture was taken on 20 April 1950.

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In 1951, then-Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip undertook a coast-to-coast tour of Canada, stopping in every province. Prince Philip is pictured here in a 10-gallon hat while watching a rodeo in Calgary, Alberta in October 1951.

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The growing family, which in 1951 included Prince Charles and Princess Anne, were photographed here on the lawn at Clarence House, though Princess Anne is on the move!

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Princess Elizabeth ascended to the throne following her father’s death on 6 February 1952, while she and Prince Philip were on a royal visit in Kenya. Here, Princess Elizabeth is pictured with her husband at a polo match at Nyeri only three days before she became Queen Elizabeth II.

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On 7 February 1952, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip returned home from Kenya following the death of King George VI.

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At the Queen’s coronation, 2 June 1953, Prince Philip knelt before her and vowed: “I, Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, do become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God.”

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A proud look at his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on 2 June 1953. Prince Philip is the longest-serving consort in British history, though he has never officially held the title Prince Consort like his great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert.

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In 1954, The Queen and Prince Philip began a tour of the Commonwealth. Here, they’re pictured at the end of their visit to Australia.

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Prince Philip hopping into the cockpit of a jet in 1954.

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Chatting with The Queen, children and corgi in tow, on a break in a polo match in 1956.

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Meeting the English rugby team ahead of the 1957 Five Nations Championships in March 1957.

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Prince Philip, pictured with Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mamie Eisenhower, at the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway on 26 June 1959.

About author

Jess is the Senior Royal Reporter and Editorial Assistant at Royal Central. Her interest in royalty started in her teenage years, coinciding with The Queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and grew from there. She specializes in the British Royal Family (with emphasis on the Cambridges) and the Danish Royal Family, and has provided royal commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the UK and Australia.