Britain's major royals

  • World
  • Friday, 01 Jun 2012

THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH - Philippos Schleswig-Holstein Soenderburg-Glucksburg, was born on a dining room table on the Greek island of Corfu in June 1921.

- Philip and Princess Elizabeth were married at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947 in a spectacular ceremony attended by statesmen and royalty from around the world.

- He is known for his acerbic wit but has also caused offence with off-the-cuff remarks: He once told British students in China: "If you stay here much longer, you'll be slitty-eyed."

- Ninety-year-Philip, the longest-serving consort and oldest-serving spouse of any British monarch, had surgery at Christmas to clear a blocked heart artery.

THE PRINCE OF WALES AND DUCHESS OF CORNWALL - Britain's Prince Charles has spent a lifetime waiting for two things: the throne and his one true love. With his 2005 marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles, one of those aims has finally been achieved. She became the Duchess of Cornwall

- Groomed from birth to take the throne, Charles found himself for years eclipsed by Diana and ridiculed as old fashioned. But he gradually won back sympathy after Diana's death in a Paris car crash in 1997.

- His long-time lover Parker Bowles advanced gradually into the public spotlight to win greater acceptance and Charles emerged as a thoughtful and caring single parent for the way he brought up his sons - Princes William and Harry.

THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE - Following his marriage to Catherine Middleton, Queen Elizabeth conferred the title Duke of Cambridge on William, making Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge.

- William is the elder son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana and also second in line to the throne.

- William met Kate Middleton at St Andrews University in Scotland, where they both began studying in September 2001. Intolerable media intrusion was cited by many sources as the reason they broke up in 2007, but they soon got back together and married in April 2011.

PRINCE HARRY - The prince, born in September 1984, dubbed by the media a royal "wild child" and playboy prince, launched his own charity in April 2006 in memory of his late mother to help children orphaned by AIDS in Lesotho.

- Harry, who served with the forces in Afghanistan in 2008 and is now an Apache helicopter pilot, was once pilloried in the press as a playboy who clashed with paparazzi outside British nightclubs and dabbled in marijuana and underage drinking as a 17-year-old.

- The prince and his elder brother, William, are both military officers. They also serve as cultural ambassadors for Britain and have worked with Walking with the Wounded, which raises funds to train and educate injured soldiers and help them return to work in civilian life.

PRINCESS ANNE - Queen Elizabeth's only daughter refused to court public affection by playing the pretty princess and won wide acclaim instead as a no-nonsense campaigner for international charities.

- Even a divorce in 1992 from fellow equestrian Mark Phillips and a second marriage to a one-time royal aide, Timothy Laurence, hardly dented her reputation, based as it was on her public works rather than any notion of "fairytale" romance.

- Princess Anne as well as former England soccer captain David Beckham, and London Olympic Games chairman Sebastian Coe were among those who brought the Olympic flame to Britain from Greece this month.

THE DUKE OF YORK - Prince Andrew stepped down last year from his role as Britain's roving trade ambassador, months after he was pilloried by the media for his friendship with a convicted U.S. paedophile and having contacts with the son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

- Queen Elizabeth's second son, had been a special representative for a government body promoting British businesses abroad and seeking to attract foreign investment since 2001.

- Andrew, who divorced former wife Sarah Ferguson in 1996, has long been criticised by newspapers for going on lavish foreign trips and having a "playboy" lifestyle.

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