Make Your Own Path

Life lesson from the late Prince Philip

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. 1921–2021. Photo: The Royal Family

“There was no precedent. If I asked somebody, ‘What do you expect me to do?’ They all looked blank. They had no idea.”

There was no ‘rule book’ for royal spouses, no guidelines or how-tos. Prince Philip, could, if he chose to, sit idly by, wave nicely, smile to the cameras, and unveil a few plaques.

“He had a choice between just tagging along, the second handshake in the receiving line, or finding other outlets for his bursting energies”

Said Basil Boothroyd, the Prince’s biographer.

“[It was] an incredible challenge. In the Royal Navy he was in charge of ships, he was making all the decisions. In his next life, he was making very few.”

It’s a very bizarre situation. Philip became a prince and the Duke of Edinburgh, he married the Queen. He had reached the top of the ladder in terms of social status and quality of life, and yet in many other aspects, he was facing a life of emptiness.

“I think he’ll probably want to be remembered as an individual in his own right.”

The Queen’s Coronation. Photo:

“If you can get a young person to succeed in any one activity, then that feeling of success will spread over into many others.”

Prince Philip worked tremendously hard, acting as patron to around 800 charities. He worked until he was 96, you can’t do that unless you have a true purpose.

“He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments but he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”

This was the role of his life. Making the Queen feel like the crown is a bit less heavy than it is actually is.

I love writing about what I love. Journalist. Always curious. Israeli born, London based. Father, Husband, and a dog person.

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