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Philip, Prince of Greece (Hardback)

The Duke of Edinburgh's Early Life and the Greek Succession

P&S History > Royal History

By John Carr, Constantinos Lagos
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9781526790828
Published: 26th April 2021



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Many books have been written about the life of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, yet there always seem to be corners of his long life that have remained unexplored. In this long look back into his early years, Constantinos Lagos and John Carr uncover hitherto unknown aspects of Philip's life as a Greek prince and his gradual transformation from a mere appendage of the troubled Greek royal family to an enduring pillar of the British monarchy. For the first time, Lagos and Carr delve into neglected Greek archives for a fascinating picture of Philip's early Greek life and the constant insecurity that dogged his steps as his father Prince Andrew of Greece and mother Princess Alice struggled to order their own lives in the maelstrom of unstable and often violent Greek politics in a Europe sliding towards world war. The Greek royal family, in which Philip has his roots, is dealt with at length, to bring out the particular family history and circumstances that played no small part in shaping his personality.

Anyone curious about how Prince Philip actually grew up will find in this book a wealth of eye-opening, often startling details that will add more brush strokes to the portrait of the often-elusive but real Prince Philip.

I found this book really intriguing, especially as someone who despite having a love for the royal family, hadn’t really read much into the past of Prince Philip. I knew he was a Greek Prince, and I knew he served in the British Royal Navy in World War 2, but that was it.

Read the full review here

Life and Tea

As featured by

The Armourer, October 2021

Anyone curious about how Prince Philip actually grew up will find in this book a wealth of eye-opening, often startling details that will add more brush strokes to the portrait of the often-elusive but real Prince Philip.

I must admit that I was chuffed about being asked to review this book, the reason being that some books about Royals can be rather dry and formal. But I suspected that any books about Prince Philip were not likely to be like that because of his character that we all came to see. Now this particular book has nothing of Philip as we came to know him today, it’s about his childhood and growing up as a young man as part of the Greek Royal family. It’s quite interesting and fascinating, quite heavy on the Greek experience but a really good read. I’m looking forward to the next book and the next stage of his life.

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UK Historian

A captivating look at Prince Philip’s life prior to his 1947 marriage to Princess Elizabeth, particularly his place within the Greek Royal Family. This well-informed and easy-to-read book examines the Greek royal family in depth from 1864 to the 1970s and is full of interesting and little-known details. The book will certainly be a feast for the people who love history, especially the Greek.

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The New Royalty World

It is a mix of Greek history, quite detailed, and snippets of Philip’s life as a child. As I feel I learned from it and it is nicely written, I’ve decided to give it 5 stars.

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Coffee and Books

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed reading this book. I’d visited Prince Philips birth home last year. So was good to read about his life. He was a remarkable man. Put so much into his life. Which is true to his testament after his rocky years as a child.

Absolutely fascinating life he had. Sad that he died after I started this book. Missed his 100th birthday.

Very well written.

NetGalley, Lisa Houston

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Prince Philip was born at Mon Repos on Corfu almost exactly one hundred years ago. It was a time of political earthquakes and the Greek throne shook badly. For the young prince, the nephew of the king, it would mean exile and separation from his family, but his childhood was still exceptional and moulded him into the great man we have all known and loved.
This well-informed and easily-readable book studies in depth the Greek royal family from 1864 to the 1970s and is full of interesting and little known details. Philip's own story from birth to his marriage to the then Princess Elizabeth is told with compassion and honesty. This book is a great tribute to a great man.

NetGalley, Robin Price

What a varied and interesting life. A fascinating read learned so much about someone I thought I knew.

NetGalley, Cath P

Highly recommend for students of history who are interested in Greek history and Royal history.

NetGalley, Diana T.

Any fan of the British Royal family will enjoy this book. I found it well written with lots of detailed information.

NetGalley, Shelly Myers

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A captivating look at prince Philip's life prior to his marriage to Princess Elizabeth in 1947 especially his place within the Greek Royal family and his various relationships within the vast network of European monarchies. From his parents' disastrous relationship to the political upheavals that profoundly affected the Greek royals after WWI, this compelling biography follows the future Duke of Edinburgh's arduous move from childhood to adulthood. This is also a very detailed look at European monarchies and their complex links and relationships all the way through WWII. This wonderful book should definitely appeal to all the readers interested in serious royal "politics" and genealogical researches.

NetGalley, jean luc estrella

About John Carr

John Carr has enjoyed a career as a journalist, correspondent and broadcaster (The Times, Wall Street Journal Europe, Vatican Radio), mainly in the Mediterranean and particularly Greece, where he now resides. He is the author of On Spartan Wings: The Royal Hellenic Air Force in World War IISparta’s KingsThe Defence and Fall of Greece 1940-41RHNS AverofFighting Emperors of ByzantiumThe Knights HospitallerThe Komnene Dynasty; and Mussolini’s Defeat at Hill 731; he is also the co-author of Philip, Prince of Greece (with Constantinos Lagos) and the translator of Who Really Won the Battle of Marathon? by Fotis Karyanos and Constantinos Lagos, all published by Pen & Sword.

About Constantinos Lagos

Constantinos Lagos holds a BA in History from Athens University and an MA and PhD in Ancient History from Durham University, UK. Since 2014 he has been a member of the international archaeological team excavating the ancient city of Tenea in Greece. 

Born on this day - Prince Philip

10th June 1921

Born in Greece to the Greek and Danish royal families, Philip joined the Royal Navy in 1939 and served in the Second World War. The same year he began correspondence with then Princess Elizabeth. Prior to his engagement he dropped his Greek and Danish titles and became a naturalized British subject.

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