The Legacy of Prince Phillip: Both Heinous and Honorable

Chloe Mutter, Staff Writer

On the morning of April 9th, 2021, the Queen of England’s beloved husband Prince Phillip passed away. Prince Phillip was 99 years old, only two months away from his 100th birthday, before he died inside the walls of Windsor Castle. Phillip suffered from a series of medical complications and heart conditions, receiving treatment for a developed infection that the previous Monday ultimately causing his death.  

Over the course of his lifetime, Phillip’s image was tarnished by countless sexist, racist, and undignified gestures to the people around him. Additionally, he continuously made assaulting comments towards ethnic and religious traditions, labeling him as a racist. 

According to Refinery 29, Prince Phillip spoke to the president of Nigeria, who was dressed in traditional clothing, and said that the president looked he was “ready for bed.” Philip was then accused of comparing Ethiopian art to “the kind of thing my daughter would bring back from school art lessons.” Along with this, he also allegedly told a 14-year-old boy whilst at a Bangladeshi youth club that he looked like he was “on drugs”. 

The respect Prince Phillip had for others was definitely on the table for debate. But despite the controversy surrounding his actions, Prince Phillip was a valid member of the Royal family and had a lot to be honored for. 

Even though Prince Phillip lived in a family of a monarch, the beginning of his life was very different. On the other side of privilege, Prince Phillip experienced an immense amount of trauma during the early years of his childhood.

After Phillip’s father was accused of treason, he and his family were forced into exiled and fled to Paris where his mother suffered from numerous mental breakdowns. Her nerves had been damaged in the exile from Greece which made her unable to care for her children. While under the supervision of his mother’s family, Philip’s sister, as well as her husband and kids, died in a plane crash a couple of months before his uncle and guardian died of cancer. 

Putting aside the emotional distress, Phillip carried on to exceed his family’s title by becoming a part of the royal family and enacting positive changes for his people. Before marrying Princess Elizabeth, Prince Phillip joined the British Royal Navy and became one of the youngest lieutenants after years of service. He then proceeded to give up his career in the Navy to support the transition of his wife from being a Princess to become a Queen. Despite having to give up the life of a navy lieutenant, Phillip proved his devotion to his wife by standing at her side for the next 65 years. 

It was at this point when Prince Philip made the most out of his title, making countless speeches underlying his interests and intended actions. As a conservative, Phillip pointed out many environmental changes and the effect carbon dioxide was having on the atmosphere, indicating the “greenhouse effect”. Out of everyone in the royal family, Prince Phillip became one of the first royal environmentalists and extended his interest in saving the planet by designing his own electric Land Rover Defender hearse car. 

On top of his interest in the environment, Prince Phillip also created an organization to “contain” the nation’s youth. In an effort to incentivize good behavior with financial benefits and honorary medals, he developed an ongoing contest for kids to focus their attention on.

Prince Phillips’s life had been dedicated towards the Queen of England, supporting her as well as the people despite all efforts that could have caused him to fail. In his last words, before he passed, Prince Phillip expressed the pleasure he had taken in finding peace with his son. Throughout his life he had never had a strong relationship with his son, making his last words stronger than any other one of his speeches. 

Despite their turbulent past, Phillip passed on a legacy to Charles, saying he had the capability to “lead the royal family through the years ahead.”