Why the announcement of Baby Archie’s name was like an early birthday present for the Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke celebrated his 98th birthday on June 10!
prince philip duke of edinburghGetty Images

The Duke of Edinburgh has stood alongside the Queen for more than 70 years and on June 10th he celebrated his 98th birthday, just two years shy of being a centenarian.

Since retiring from his royal duties in 2017, the Duke has kept a relatively low profile (besides an unfortunate driving accident earlier this year), spending a lot of time at Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate or at Windsor Castle.

According to the Royal Central he enjoys reading, painting, welcoming guests – the Cambridges, Sussexes and Princess Anne and her son Peter Phillips are all said to visit often – and taking rides on the estate in a carriage

In May he welcomed his eighth great grandchild, the first son of Duke and Duchess of Sussex, where it was also revealed that he was (by chance) the very first member of the royal family to meet the royal baby – even before the Queen!

The Queen and Prince Philip will celebrate their 72nd wedding anniversary this year in November. (Image: Getty)

The Duke and Duchess also made the decision to forego a royal title for little Archie, instead using the Mountbatten-Windsor surname, which royal author Penny Junor says would’ve felt like an early birthday present for Duke.

“The Duke of Edinburgh would be absolutely thrilled with that,” the royal author reveals.

“Archie is a lovely name, but the fact is they’ve chosen to call his children by him Mountbatten-Windsor. Prince Philip was never allowed to call his children by his own surname.

“I think that’s a really nice tribute to Harry’s grandfather.”

The double-barrelled surname, which is a combination of the House of Windsor and the Prince’s last name, was created by the Queen in 1960 for any of her direct descendants who did take a title.

And he certainly looked pleased, seen in a beautiful picture shared on the Sussex Royal Instagram page beaming at Archie alongside The Queen, the Duke and Duchess Sussex and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.

While Prince Philip has been absent from some of the bigger events this year including the Easter Service and the Queen’s official birthday celebrations this weekend, he made a surprise appearance at the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor at St George’s Chapel in May where he was seen cracking jokes with members of the royal family including his grandson Prince Harry.

According to a royal aide who spoke to The Telegraph, the Duke decides on the day whether he will attend an event operating under a ‘wake up and see how I feel’ basis.

Prince Philip shares a laugh with his grandson Prince Harry and Lady Helen Taylor. (Image: Getty)

Prince Philip married the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, in 1947 at Westminster Abbey, giving up his royal Greek and Danish titles (his parents were Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenburg) to become a naturalised British subject.

The couple have four children together along with eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

While the Duke has by no means been immune to controversy over the years – perhaps the royal member most prone to a royal gaffe – there’s no denying he has been incredibly dedicated to his duties to his Queen and country throughout his service, retiring with an astounding 22,219 solo engagements under his belts.

Queen Elizabeth (then Princess Elizabeth) and Philip just after they announced their engagement in 1947. (Image: Getty)

While the Duke is said to be celebrating his birthday privately with his family, a 41-gun salute will take place later in the day to mark the remarkable occasion – 98-years-old is no small feat after all.

Happy Birthday 98th Birthday Your Royal Highness!

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