UK Queen's feisty husband Prince Philip turns 90

Thu Jun 9, 2011 12:41pm EDT
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Philip, renowned for his blunt talk and verbal gaffes, turns 90 on Friday, spending the day as he has much of life performing official duties in his role as Queen Elizabeth's husband.

The son of the exiled Prince Andrew of Greece, Philip married the queen in 1947 and is now the longest-serving consort and oldest-serving spouse of any British monarch.

Despite being a near constant companion at the queen's side during her long reign, the still sprightly prince has rarely sought the limelight himself.

His birthday will be in keeping with that low-key style; he will hold a reception to mark the centenary of a charity for the deaf and in the evening he will chair a conference for senior British military figures followed by a dinner.

"It's a normal working day for him. There's no celebration as such," his spokeswoman said.

The only formal event to mark his birthday will take place on Sunday with a special service at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, one of the queen's residences, west of London, which will be attended by most of the royal family.

Philip, the oldest living great-great-grandchild of Britain's Queen Victoria, was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921.

His family was forced into exile when Philip was 18 months old and he came to England as a child, later becoming a naturalized British citizen.   Continued...

<p>Britain's Prince Philip smiles during his visit with Queen Elizabeth to the Irish National Stud in Kildare, Ireland May 19, 2011. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez</p>