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Prince Philip ‘Was Virtually a Refugee,’ Daughter Princess Anne Says

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Prince Philip “was virtually a refugee” during a difficult childhood in which his father “was very intermittent” and his “mother struggled,” daughter Princess Anne said.

The Princess Royal paid tribute to her father after he passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

The 70-year-old described how her father struggled with being consort—or partner of the monarch—after a glittering career in the Royal Navy.

But she described the profound impact his life of service by Queen Elizabeth II’s side had on Britain, telling ITV: “Without him life will be completely different.”

The Duke of Edinburgh was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on June 10, 1921, but aged 18 months his family had to flee due to political instability.

Prince Philip and Princess Anne wave to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after their wedding ceremony at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, on May 19, 2018. The Duke of Edinburgh died today at Windsor Castle where he was in residence with Queen Elizabeth II.
Andrew Milligan / POOL / AFP/Getty Images

The family moved to Britain where he became a naturalised British citizen and took on the surname Mountbatten.

However, the impact of his disruptive early life clearly had a significant impact on Philip, as Princess Anne described to ITV.

She said: “He had a nomadic lifestyle – which must have been really quite difficult because he was that much younger than his sisters…

“The father figure was very intermittent then went and his mother struggled at that stage, so he had friends elsewhere who took him in during the holidays.

“He was virtually a refugee at this stage because he had nowhere else to go literally. And that is probably why Gordonstoun had such an impact.”

Prince Philip was educated at private Gordonstoun School and the experience was important enough to him that he made sure his son, Prince Charles, also went there.

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