Philip receives exalted Navy title
Published 23/11/2011 | 15:16
The Duke of Edinburgh has finally received his birthday present from the Queen - an exalted Royal Navy title.
For a man who has achieved much in his 90 years the Queen may have been in a quandary as to what to get her husband.
But as a former Navy officer it was fitting the title of Lord High Admiral of the Navy - which dates back to the 14th century - was chosen as a gift.
Philip gave up his promising career on the seas to devote his life to royal duty and support his wife in her role as Sovereign.
On his birthday on June 10 it was announced the monarch had bestowed on her husband the office of titular head of the Navy.
And in Whitehall's Admiralty House, the former home of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, the Duke received the Letters Patent as the holder of the title, as the Queen watched.
In the 18th century building's Admiralty Boardroom - where Nelson attended meetings and the Navy Board still meets today - Philip saw the formal document.
He listened intently as a senior naval officer gave a brief speech on the history of the title which had been held by the Queen since 1964 until this summer.
When the description turned to the previous holder before the Queen, the Duke of Clarence, later William IV, Philip laughed when told that the royal had rowed with his advisory council "and when in 1828 he led a squadron out for manoeuvres without consulting either his council, the King or the Duke of Wellington and was gone, no one knew where, for 10 days it proved too much and he was asked to resign".
During the event, Philip was wearing a flesh coloured plaster on both ears above the lobe, but a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said she did not believe it was anything serious.