Britain’s Prince Philip turns 90

June 10th, 2011 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 10 (IANS) Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, turned 90 Friday. The British royal, however, feels it is just another day at the office.

Close friends of Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, said the “no-nonsense” prince “does not want a fuss” as he becomes a nonagenarian.

“Prince Philip hates the spotlight being on him,” his friend David Hempleman Adams told Sky News.

“I remember an occasion when the queen was praising him for the success of his Duke of Edinburgh’s award. He hated it, was squirming in his seat and he just wanted it to be over.”

The duke would host a reception for Action on Hearing Loss at the Buckingham Palace, followed by a dinner for senior colonels.

For 60 years, the duke stood by his queen. On her coronation, he was forced to give up his career in the navy. But that has not affected Philip.

“Prince Philip is a man in his own right. He has his own interests, he knows his own mind, knows what he wants and he gets it,” an aide said.

“In public, the queen takes the lead, but in private they are a good foil for each other. The queen knows she couldn’t have done half the things she has without her husband Philip by her side,” he said.

The 90-year-old duke is patron of over 800 organisations and charities.

In a book titled “Thirty Years On And Off The Box Seat”, the duke wrote that he felt “fortunate” to have had a longer innings than most.

Prince Philip’s gaffes are also remembered by his critics.

In 2002 in Queensland, Australia, the duke reportedly asked an aboriginal leader whether they “still threw spears”.

“On this occasion I saw the man’s face drop at what the duke said, so I had to go and ask him what comment Prince Philip had made,” said Phil Dampier, author of “Duke Of Hazard”.

“He was shocked and didn’t see the funny side of it. But I honestly think the duke never intends to offend anyone, he just tried to put people at ease or break the ice,” he said.

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