He’s been next to Queen Elizabeth on the British throne for nearly 70 years, so many royal fans are wondering: Why is Prince Philip not King? We’ve got the answer!

Even though under British law women take the feminine title of their husband, the same doesn’t go for men. In this case, Prince Philip was royalty already, but not British royalty. In 1921, he was born into the Greek and Danish royal families and was given the title Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark.

prince philip queen elizabeth getty images

Elizabeth and Philip at their wedding in 1947.

When he married Elizabeth back in 1947 after receiving King George VI’s permission, he dropped his name and adopted the surname Mountbatten from his maternal grandparents. Right before the ceremony, he became Duke of Edinburgh. In 1957, he officially became a Prince of the United Kingdom, restoring his royalness thanks to his wife of nearly 70 years.

However, when Elizabeth passes away, the couple’s son, Prince Charles, 69, will be sworn in as King and his wife, Camilla, will become the Queen. After that, Prince William and Kate Middleton would take the throne.

Last May, Buckingham Palace announced that Philip would be retiring from all his public duties. The 97-year-old stopped invitations to royal events starting last September.

“His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has decided that he will no longer carry out public engagements from the autumn of this year. In taking this decision, The Duke has the full support of The Queen,” the Buckingham Palace statement said. “Prince Philip will attend previously scheduled engagements between now and August, both individually and accompanying The Queen,” the statement continued. “Thereafter, The Duke will not be accepting new invitations for visits and engagements, although he may still choose to attend certain public events from time to time.”

Since the big announcement, royal fans have been seeing less and less of Philip, especially after his hip surgery. And if one thing is for sure, we miss him a lot!

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