NEWS AND STORIES
An anonymous buyer purchased a signed football card of Tom Brady for about $1.68M worth of LTC at an auction presented by Goldin Auctions. The company revealed that this is the most expensive item to be paid in cryptocurrency since it started accepting such payments.
Cryptocurrencies have intertwined with American football as Goldin Auctions revealed a massive purchase at their auction with one of the most popular digital assets. The autographed card of the seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady was sold to an unknown buyer for $1.68M paid in litecoin which, at the time of writing, trades at $260.
According to Goldin Auctions, the company has never sold a more expensive item since it started allowing crypto payments a month ago. Ken Goldin, Founder of Goldin Auctions commented after the deal:
”The hobby is undergoing increadible growth unlike anything I have seen in my 40+ years in the industry.”
Goldin outlined the connection between crypto and purchasing football cards and stated that this is one of the most expensive hard assets to be given in return for digital currencies:
”Trading cards and crypto are now two of the most rapidly growing alternative asset classes and we know there is a lot of overlap between the communities.”
Tom Brady’s card is regarded as the ”Holy Grail” of the collecting industry according to Tyler Winklevoss – CEO of the crypto exchange Gemini. In fact, a similar card of the football legend from the 2000 Playoffs still holds the pricing record as it was sold for $2.25M at Lelands Auctions.
Tom Brady and many other popular individuals dived inside the crypto industry and more specifically the NFT trend lately.
The 43-year old legend of American football recently revealed his plans to dip into the craze of non-fungible tokens. As CryptoPotato reported, Tom Brady announced his intentions to release his own NFT platform called Autograph.
Another popular name jumping into the world of non-fungible tokens is the hip-hop titan Eminem. Following the rumors, the 15-time Grammy award winner has officially dropped a collection of his own. The so-called Shady Con came out on Sunday with a ”variety of Eminem-approved collectibles.”
*A narrow, old bridge that connects two economically vital areas of Nigeria is a chokepoint stifling progress in Africa’s most populous nation
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ON THE RIVER NIGER BRIDGE, Nigeria — After two hours spent in gridlocked traffic trying to cross a bridge spanning the mighty Niger River, despair kicks in. We’ve not moved an inch. I fidget in the back seat. Will we ever make it to the other side?
After being stuck three hours — time mostly spent pondering why in Nigeria, the giant of Africa, this narrow bridge is the only major connection between two economically vital southern regions — acceptance arrives: This is where we’re spending the night.
People emerge from their cars and trucks to stretch, accepting it too. Half a dozen men drift to the curbside, to sit and joke. Women lean on the trunks of their cars and chat.
A man pushing a wheelbarrow bounces past, weaving his way between tanker trucks, yellow buses and vehicles piled with mattresses. His wheelbarrow is a grill, full of hot coals, its contents illuminated by a light clipped to the side. He stops, flipping the meat with tongs.
Low on gas, we kill the engine and open our windows. The smell of suya — spiced meat — drifts in.
Below us, the Niger, Africa’s third-longest river and what gave Nigeria its name, is invisible in hot clouds of exhaust lit by red taillights, its flowing waters inaudible over the noise of idling engines.
A driver calls to the meat seller. I’m about to do the same. Absorbed by the story I’m reporting on Nigeria’s merchants of false hope who promise, for a fee, to help families find loved ones who disappeared in police custody, all we’ve eaten today are a few bananas and peanuts.
But suddenly, we’re moving. Everyone races back to their vehicles. An enormous truck bristling with baskets zooms off as fast as possible, almost grazing the wheelbarrow grill. We’re off! But only for a minute. We get about 50 yards before grinding to a halt.
For all its 56 years, this 4,600-foot steel-truss bridge over the Niger has borne a heavy load, connecting the twin cities of Onitsha, a commercial hub, and calmer Asaba, where many commuters to Onitsha live despite the daily crossing ordeal.
Over the decades, countless truckloads of timber, palm kernels and rubber have passed this way. Every imaginable consumer good — lingerie, snails, motorbikes, toilet brushes, fluorescent mosquito nets, hub caps, paraffin lamps, iPhones — also trundles through, headed to or from West Africa’s biggest commercial market, in buzzing Onitsha.
Each year, goods worth $5 billion are traded at the Onitsha market, a state government agency said in 2016. It was home to Onitsha Market Literature, Nigeria’s pulp fiction industry, and key to the success of Nollywood, Nigeria’s multibillion-dollar movie business: 51 Iweka Road, one of the three biggest movie distributor networks, is in the Onitsha market.
In addition to all those wares, huge numbers of Nigerian travelers also depend on the bridge. Nigeria’s population, estimated to have crossed the 200 million mark, has probably quadrupled since 1965, the year the bridge was built. (Censuses are not often taken, so it’s impossible to know for sure.)
The jam we are stuck in on this November night is no anomaly. Every day, travelers and goods arriving from all directions are funneled toward the bridge, meaning most crossings are going to take hours. The trips are further slowed by security checkpoints on the approaches to the bridge.
This chokepoint over the Niger is obstructing progress in Nigeria’s entrepreneurial southeast, one of the country’s most prosperous regions.
But the dearth of bridges — and the dilapidated or incomplete state of much of Nigeria’s infrastructure — is a broad problem holding the entire country back, analysts say.
“It impacts the cost of doing business,” said Patrick Okigbo, a policy analyst who worked with Nigeria’s last government to develop a national infrastructure plan. “It impacts lives. If they can afford it, nobody travels by road anymore. If you can’t, then you go on a prayer.”
A mile downstream from the crowded scene on the Niger Bridge, invisible in the viscous night air, may lie an answer: another bridge, half built.
The Second Niger Bridge was originally proposed in 1978, and ever since has been used as a campaign promise by national politicians seeking the support of voters in the southeast. It took more than three decades for the work to begin, but finally the company building the six-lane bridge says it will be ready by 2022.
When done, it will be “a huge sigh of relief to all Easterners in this country,” says Newman Nwankwo, 33, a businessman based in Onitsha who often plans his whole day around bridge traffic. Either he tries to cross at the lunchtime lull between noon and 2 p.m., or he waits until Sunday.
He won’t even attempt the crossing unless he has at least half a tank of gas.
“If I don’t plan well and I meet traffic, I just relax here in the queue, putting my A.C. and music on,” he said.
Stalled on the bridge, I look around and imagine what all these people could be doing if their time weren’t being sucked away by these daily snarl-ups and the four-decade wait for another option across the river. Bridges cause traffic all over the world, but this one’s aging steel rivets seem to be under more pressure than any I have ever crossed.
Another hour ticks by. We move a few inches.
People pass by, selling cold water and Coke. Where there is a go-slow, as traffic jams are known in Nigeria, vendor business blossoms.
Any movement is an on-again, off-again process. At one point when traffic starts forward, the driver in front of us is asleep. No amount of honking wakes him. Someone rushes over to shake him awake.
We go for 30 seconds. We stop for 30 minutes.
At midnight we make it across. It’s taken almost six hours to do three miles.
Leaving the bridge, we pass under a large sign on the Asaba side.
“Welcome,” it reads, optimistically, “to the land of progress.”
Ruth Maclean is the West Africa bureau chief of The New York Times.
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted and seized 200 million kilogrammes of assorted drugs with a street value of over N80 billion, NDLEA chairman, retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa, has said.
Marwa, who stated this when the Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Wednesday, in Abuja, said that over 2,100 criminals had also been arrested in connection with the seizures with over 350 convictions secured.
He said that the NDLEA was working on the mandate given to it by President Muhammadu Buhari to mop up all crime related issues in Nigeria, as the use of illicit drugs and substances had been confirmed as major way criminals used in terrorising communities and the society at large.
According to him, banditry, terrorism and other related crimes were generally triggered by intake and consumption of illicit drugs.
“The NDLEA has remained upstanding and in 100 days, we have made these heavy and large arrests and seizures.
“This is the time for more collaboration with the Police. We believe the Police will support us with intelligence and training.
“We are very encouraged to have the IG here, for us to join hands to curb crimes and criminality in Nigeria.
“And I want to assure you that I will be readily available to rub minds with you, as we need a renewed collaboration between the NDLEA and the Police,” he said.
In his remarks, the Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, commended the NDLEA for the number of seizures so far made.
He said any collaboration between the two organisations would be very beneficial, having seen the improvement and hard work put in by the Chairman in his 100 days in office.
“We want to assure the agency that we will always be ready to work and do anything to ensure use of illicit drugs and substances were curbed and reduced to the barest minimum.
“Anywhere you need our support, we will be available,” Baba told his host.
On April 27, the American bank holding company U.S. Bank revealed in a blog post that the financial institution plans to offer cryptocurrency custody services. The bank’s chief strategy officer for U.S. Bank Global Fund Services, Christine Waldron, says she is proud of her company’s steps toward blockchain and cryptocurrency practices.
During the first week of January 2021, The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) revealed that national banks and savings associations in the U.S. could deal with stablecoins and public blockchains. Following that announcement, The oldest bank in America, Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) disclosed in mid-February that it created a digital currency unit. On Tuesday, the fifth-largest banking institution in the country, U.S. Bank published a blog post that details new cryptocurrency offerings.
Although, the blog post does not reveal when the bank will deploy these products, but the bank mentioned three types of services. The bank will offer a “new cryptocurrency custody product for customers with the engagement of a sub-custodian for fund servicing.” At the moment, the company is finalizing the arrangement for a sub-custodian. U.S. Bank also says that the company is also working on strategic relationships.
“We recently announced our investment in Securrency – a developer of institutional-grade blockchain-based financial and regulatory technology,” the bank said. U.S. Bank will also be working with NYDIG’s exchange-traded fund. “U.S. Bank has been selected to administer NYDIG’s ETF bitcoin fund this year, pending regulatory approvals. It expands on the bank’s long-standing private fund servicing relationship with NYDIG,” the announcement notes.
U.S. Bank’s Christine Waldron explained that she is proud of her financial institution for its forward-thinking practices. “I am proud of how we came together from all areas of banking and brought forward our best thinking across our digital capabilities, product development, and technology to drive innovation in our blockchain and cryptocurrency practice,” Waldron detailed.
“We’ve been active in this space for years – ensuring we are always best situated to serve our institutional clients – and these latest initiatives demonstrate our ongoing commitment and enthusiasm to grow this market,” the chief strategy officer for U.S. Bank Global Fund Services concluded.
Manchester United’s players have been nothing if not consistent in the semifinals of major tournaments over the past year and a half
Manchester United’s players have been nothing if not consistent in the semifinals of major tournaments over the last year and a half.
They have played in four, and they have lost in four.
No. 5 is coming up on Thursday when Roma visits Old Trafford for the first leg of the Europa League semifinals and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reason to believe this time will be different.
“The players have had another year, they’re more experienced and they’ve come through some difficult times,” the United manager said. “And with the motivation of having those disappointments, I’m confident we’ll get a good performance.”
And it was a familiar story in January, when United was beaten 2-0 by City in a League Cup semifinal rematch.
The opponents have been tough, no doubt, but that hasn’t stopped United from collecting a reputation of choking on the big occasion under Solskjaer, who is still awaiting his first trophy since taking over as manager as the replacement for Jose Mourinho in December 2018.
Solskjaer has analyzed each of the losses in the semifinals and hasn’t spotted an obvious reason why United keeps falling short, except for the quality of the opposition.
Roma, which is seventh in Serie A, is probably the weakest team United has faced in this run of last-four meetings and Solskjaer insisted Wednesday he meant no disrespect when he said about the Italian team after the win over Granada in the quarterfinals: “I’ve not seen too much of them.”
Roma fans are using the words as ammunition for their team — posters have been put up around the city of Solskjaer, along with those comments — but the United manager downplayed it and said Roma was a “fantastic club with a great history.”
“I’ve actually got two prized possessions back home, a Totti shirt and a De Rossi shirt that I’ve swapped with them,” he said, referring to two of the greatest players in Roma’s modern history, Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi. “They’re actually signed, so I know about the history, I know about the quality.”
It is a rather fraught time at United, with fans protesting against the club’s ownership — the Glazer family — for its involvement in the plan to hatch a European Super League. That was quickly abandoned last week, but anti-Glazer sentiment has been reignited and it was put to Solskjaer that the achievement of winning the Europa League would be devalued in a sense because United’s owners don’t appear to care about the competition.
“I’ve had a very good relationship with the owners and with the club. They’ve employed me as manager, they listen to my views,” he said. “It’s my job to give my opinion and do the best for the club and for them.
“I’ve had so many years at the club, I’m looking forward to trying to bring success to the team. That’s my focus. Bringing fans, players and the club together.”
Osinbajo said this at an interactive forum of All Progressives Congress (APC) Anambra governorship aspirants, organised by the state chapter of APC Patriots in Abuja.
“The thing about the kind of conflict in this part of the world, developing countries, is that it is usually a war without end.
“Everyone who thinks he has some monies stored up somewhere will eventually run out of money.
“Everyone who think he can go and hide somewhere, won`t even find a place to hide, at the end, everyone will suffer.
“Even if you don’t suffer, parents, children, young and old people and relations will suffer. We cannot afford a war in this country, we can`t afford it,’’ he said.
Osinbajo said the political elite must rise up to the challenge by speaking the truth and taking actions to address the situation in the country.
“I pray that our country will never know conflict, but I know that every conflict is as a result of elite failure to speak up the truth and tell the truth to their communities.
“At the end of the day, it is the political elite that determine what happens in every society, keeping quite could lead to a more dangerous situation,” he said.
The Vice President said that the elite could make a great difference just by the words they speak.
“If we don`t speak up against disunity, if we keep quiet and remain under the radar, the enemies of peace and those who want to promote disunity will have their ways.
“And when this happens, we will find ourselves running helter skelter,’’ Osinbajo said.
He, therefore, urged political elites in the country to always speak up and stand for the interest of the country and the general public.
Osinbajo assured the APC aspirants that the leadership of the party would ensure a level playing field for them at the primary election slated for June to ensure that the best aspirant emerged as the candidate.
He, however, charged them to work in unity and commitment to the party.
“No one politician can win an election all by himself. I also want to advise you against the winner takes all syndrome,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was the first interactive forum of the Anambra APC governorship aspirants, aimed at preparing ground for the party’s victory at the Nov. 6 governorship poll. NAN
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has suspended its strike, which started on April 1, 2021.
President of the NARD, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, told The Nation the suspension was based on some good comebacks from the negotiations with the government.
He however gave the government four weeks ultimatum to meet their sundry demands.
He said: “The strike has been suspended. The government gave us some good comebacks from our negotiations.
“We had an emergency National Executive Council (NEC) meeting an hour ago, and we decided to suspend the strike for four weeks.”
A suspected drug trafficker, Okonkwo Chimezie Henry, has excreted 113 wraps of cocaine weighing 1.750 kg with a street value of N423 million.
This followed his arrest at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos on Easter Day, Sunday, 4th April, 2021, where he was headed for Madrid, Spain.
Director, Media and Advocacy, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Headquarters, Abuja, Femi Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja yesterday.
The statement reads, “Okonkwo was about boarding a Turkish Airline flight number TK0626 at about 8pm when he was apprehended at screening 2 point and taken into custody by the NDLEA operatives at the Lagos airport. He was subsequently put under observation at the JBTF/NDLEA facility for further investigation.
“Twenty four hours after putting him under excretion observation, the suspect, who has been living in Spain for 10 years, excreted 39 wraps of cocaine and subsequently passed out a total of 113 wraps in five excretions. Further investigation reveals he ingested the illicit drug in a hotel in the Igando area of Lagos.”
The statement quoted the Commander, MMIA Command of the NDLEA, Ahmadu Garba, as saying, “the suspect excreted 39 wraps weighing 600 grammes at 9.58am on April 5; 13 wraps weighing 200 grammes at 6.30pm same day; 16 wraps weighing 250 grammes at 10.30pm same day; and 32 wraps weighing 500 grammes at 7.30am on April 6.”
Babafemi said operatives at the airport also intercepted a 2.8kg of skunk meant for Dubai in UAE through Emirate Airline.
“The illicit drug was concealed in crayfish, bitter leaves and melons packaged in a sack but was recovered at the SAHCO export shed of the MMIA, he said.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Brig. General Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd), in his reaction commended officers and men of the MMIA Command for not allowing criminal elements take advantage of the Easter holiday to further their illicit trade, and dent Nigeria’s image abroad.
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, father of Prince Charles and patriarch of a turbulent royal family that he sought to ensure would not be Britain’s last, died on Friday at Windsor Castle in England. He was 99.
His death was announced by Buckingham Palace, which said he passed away peacefully.
Philip had been hospitalized several times in recent years for various ailments, most recently in February, the palace said.
He died just as Buckingham Palace was again in turmoil, this time over Oprah Winfrey’s explosive televised interview last month with Philip’s grandson Prince Harry and Harry’s wife, Meghan. The couple, in self-imposed exile in California, lodged accusations of racism and cruelty against members of the royal family.
As “the first gentleman in the land,” Philip tried to shepherd into the 20th century a monarchy encrusted with the trappings of the 19th. But as pageantry was upstaged by scandal, as regal weddings were followed by sensational divorces, his mission, as he saw it, changed. Now it was to help preserve the crown itself.
And yet preservation — of Britain, of the throne, of centuries of tradition — had always been the mission. When this tall, handsome prince married the young crown princess, Elizabeth, on Nov. 20, 1947 — he at 26, she at 21 — a battered Britain was still recovering from World War II, the sun had all but set on its empire, and the abdication of Edward VIII over his love for Wallis Simpson, a divorced American, was still reverberating a decade later.
The wedding held out the promise that the monarchy, like the nation, would survive, and it offered that reassurance in almost fairy-tale fashion, complete with magnificent horse-drawn coaches resplendent in gold and a throng of adoring subjects lining the route between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.
More, it was a heartfelt match. Elizabeth told her father, King George VI, that Philip was the only man she could ever love.
Philip occupied a peculiar place on the world stage as the husband of a queen whose powers were largely ceremonial. He was essentially a second-fiddle figurehead, accompanying her on royal visits and sometimes standing in for her.
And yet he embraced his royal role as a job to be done. “We have got to make this monarchy thing work,” he was reported to have said.
But he did not entirely fade from public view. He surfaced in May 2018, when he joined the sun-splashed pomp of the wedding of Harry and Meghan, waving to crowds lining the streets from the back seat of a limousine, the queen beside him, and striding up the steps of St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in a crisp morning suit.
By then he had re-emerged as a kind of pop-culture figure, introduced to a whole new generation through the hit Netflix series “The Crown,” a costume drama that has traced the events of postwar Britain through the prism of his buffeted royal marriage. (Matt Smith played the prince as a young man, and Tobias Menzies in middle age.)
Philip’s public image often came dressed in full military regalia, an emblem of his high-ranking titles in the armed forces and a reminder of both his combat experience in World War II and his martial lineage: He was a nephew of the war leader Lord Mountbatten.
Many saw Philip as a mostly remote if occasionally loose-lipped personage in public, given to riling constituents with off-the-cuff remarks that were called oblivious, insensitive or worse. To a Black British politician he was quoted as saying, “And what exotic part of the world do you come from?”
As the years went by, word seeped out that Philip, in private, could be irascible and demanding, cold and domineering — and that as parents, he and an emotionally reserved queen brought little warmth into the household.
Even more, as many Britons came to see the royal family as increasingly dysfunctional, they found Philip to be a not-insignificant actor in a state of affairs that had many questioning the very thing that he and Elizabeth had been elevated to ensure: the monarchy’s stability.
Philip had apparently not expected the type of public scrutiny that came with the times, when the washing of dirty linen, even the queen’s, had become a staple of the tabloid press, which he grew to despise.
No headlines were more boisterous than those during the tumultuous marriage and divorce of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. But Philip himself felt the spotlight’s unwelcome glare when the royal family was castigated for a seemingly grudging response to Britain’s outpouring of grief over Diana’s death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
Painful, too, for Philip was the revelation that Prince Charles, his oldest son, had let it be known that as a child he had been deeply wounded by a father who belittled him time and again, often in front of friends and family.
A 1994 biography, “The Prince of Wales,” by Jonathan Dimbleby with the cooperation of Prince Charles, noted that while Philip indulged “the often brash and obstreperous behavior” of his daughter, Princess Anne, he was openly contemptuous of his son, whom he thought of as “a bit of a wimp.”
Charles, for his part, “was cowed by his father,” who he believed had forced him into a “terrible mismatch” with Diana, Mr. Dimbleby wrote.
Though the glory he knew was largely of the reflected kind, Philip nevertheless enjoyed the privileges and prerogatives of the British crown, living in luxury, sailing yachts, playing polo and piloting planes. And he used his station to promote the common good, lending his name and time to causes like building playing fields for British youths and protecting endangered wildlife.
Another was instituting efficiencies at Buckingham Palace, originally bought by his and Elizabeth’s ancestor George III. Philip had intercoms installed, for example, to obviate the need for messengers.
At home he showed — by palace standards, at any rate — a common touch. When the telephone rang, he answered it himself, setting a royal precedent. He even announced to the queen one day that he had bought her a washing machine. He reportedly mixed his own drinks, opened doors for himself and carried his own suitcase, telling the footmen: “I have arms. I’m not bloody helpless.”
He sent his children to school instead of having them tutored at home, as had been the royal custom. He set up a kitchen in the family suite, where he fried eggs for breakfast while the queen brewed tea — an attempt, it was said, to provide their children with some semblance of a normal domestic life.
Prince Philip carried British passport No. 1 (the queen did not require one) and fulfilled as many as 300 engagements a year, including greeting President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, at Buckingham Palace in April 2009 and again in May 2011. (He was not in attendance when the queen met with President Donald J. Trump in December 2019 in London.) And he was front and center at royal events, like the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton in April 2011, watched around the world, and Elizabeth’s visit to the Irish Republic, the first by a British monarch, the next month.
Philip was the first member of the royal family to go to the Soviet Union, representing the queen on a trip with the British equestrian team in 1973.
To escape the court life, Philip liked to drive fast, often relegating his chauffeur to the back seat. Once, when the queen was his passenger, a minor accident led to major headlines. He ultimately surrendered his driver’s license in 2019 at age 97, after his Land Rover collided with another vehicle, injuring its two occupants, and overturned near the royal family’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.
He liked to pilot his own planes and once had a near miss with a passenger jet. He enjoyed sailing, but was said to have so little patience with horse racing that he had his top hat fitted with a radio so that he could listen to cricket matches when he escorted the queen to her favorite spectator sport.
When he first came to public attention, his every colorful remark was noted. When a man introduced his wife as the Ph.D. in the family, saying, “She’s much more important than I am,” Philip replied, “We have the same problem in our family.”
Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, the fifth child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, who was the brother of King Constantine of Greece. His mother was the former Princess Alice, the oldest daughter of the former Prince Louis of Battenberg, the first Marquess of Milford Haven, who changed the family name to Mountbatten during World War I.
Philip’s family was not Greek but rather descended from a royal Danish house that the European powers had put on the throne of Greece in the 19th century. Philip, who never learned the Greek language, was sixth in line to the Greek throne.
Through his mother, Philip was a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria, just as Elizabeth is Victoria’s great-great-granddaughter. Both were great-great-great-grandchildren of George III, who presided over Britain’s loss of the American colonies.
A year after Philip was born, the army of King Constantine was overwhelmed by the Turks in Asia Minor, now part of Turkey. Prince Andrew, Philip’s father, who had commanded an army corps in the routed Greek forces, was banished by a revolutionary Greek junta.
In “Prince Philip: The Turbulent Early Life of the Man Who Married Queen Elizabeth II” (2011), the British writer Philip Eade reported that as an infant Philip was smuggled out of Greece in a fruit crate as his father, eluding execution, found refuge for his family in Paris, where they lived in straitened circumstances.
Philip’s father was said to have been an Anglophile. The boy’s first language was English, taught to him by a British nanny. He grew to 6 feet 1 inch, his blue eyes and blond hair reflecting his Nordic ancestry.
When his parents separated, Philip was sent to live with his mother’s mother, the Dowager Marchioness of Milford Haven, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria. He spent four years at the Cheam School in England, an institution bent on toughening privileged children, and then went to Gordonstoun School in Scotland, which was even more austere, promoting a regimen of hard work, cold showers and hard beds. In five years, he said, no one from his family came to visit him.
Even so, Philip sent Charles to both schools, to have him follow in his footsteps.
At Gordonstoun, Philip developed a love of the sea, learning seamanship and boatbuilding as a volunteer coast guardsman at the school. He seemed destined to follow his Mountbatten uncles into the British Navy.
While he was at Gordonstoun, in 1937, he learned that his pregnant sister Cecilie had died in a plane crash along with her two children and her husband, a German aristocrat and prominent Nazi Party member. Philip, at 16, traveled to Germany for the funeral and was photographed having to march alongside men in Nazi uniforms with whom he would soon be at war. (Three of his four older sisters had married into the German aristocracy, and another of their husbands became an SS officer. His surviving sisters were later not invited to his wedding to Elizabeth.)
Philip entered the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth in 1939 and was honored as the best all-around cadet of his term. The next year, with Britain at war, the 19-year-old Philip went to sea as a sublieutenant aboard the battleship Ramillies in the Mediterranean fleet. He was later transferred to the Valiant, another battleship.
On March 28, 1941, the British fleet caught an Italian squadron off Cape Matapan in Greece and, with the Royal Air Force’s help, sank three cruisers and two destroyers. Philip participated in the clash, operating a searchlight. “Thanks to his alertness and appreciation of the situation,” his captain wrote, “we were able to sink two eight-inch-gun Italian cruisers.”
Philip was promoted to lieutenant in June 1942 and took part in the Allied landings in Sicily in July 1943 before sailing for the Pacific campaign. There he served as aide-de-camp to his uncle Louis, Lord Mountbatten, who was then the supreme allied commander in Southeast Asia; Philip was on the United States battleship Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945, when the Japanese formally surrendered. (Lord Mountbatten was killed in a bombing by the Irish Republican Army in 1979.)
Where or when Philip first met Princess Elizabeth remains unclear, but it seems certain that he was invited to dine on the royal yacht when Elizabeth was 13 or 14, and that he was also invited to stay at Windsor Castle around that time while on leave from the Navy. There were reports that he had visited the royal family at Balmoral, its country estate in Scotland, and that by the time the weekend was over, Elizabeth had made up her mind, telling her father that this dashing young naval officer was “the only man I could ever love.”
George VI had doubts. He took her to South Africa on a royal tour, cautioned her to be patient and wrote to his own mother, Queen Mary.
“We both think that she is too young for that now, as she has never met any young men of her own age,” George wrote. But he added: “I like Philip. He is intelligent, has a good sense of humor” and “thinks about things in the right way.”
Elizabeth was said to have written to Philip three times a week while she toured South Africa. By the time she returned to England, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark had renounced his foreign titles and become Lt. Philip Mountbatten, a British subject. The gesture pleased his future father-in-law. The engagement was announced on July 10, 1947.
Articles about the coming marriage pushed reports of food and coal shortages off the front pages. Sales assistants sent ration coupons to the princess (even the royal family was living within limits) so she could have new dresses. The House of Commons approved 100 extra clothing coupons for her. On the eve of the wedding, in 1947, Lieutenant Mountbatten was made the Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron of Greenwich, and given the title His Royal Highness.
A year later, on Nov. 14, 1948, Elizabeth gave birth to the couple’s first child, Charles Philip Arthur George, at Buckingham Palace. Charles was followed by Princess Anne, in 1950; Prince Andrew, in 1960, after Elizabeth had become queen; and Prince Edward, in 1964. In addition to the queen and his four children, Prince Philip is survived by eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
After his marriage, Prince Philip took command of the frigate Magpie in Malta. But King George VI had lung cancer, and when his condition worsened, it was announced that Philip would take no more naval appointments. In 1952, the young couple had reached Kenya, their first stop on a commonwealth tour, when word arrived on Feb. 6 that the king was dead.
It fell to Philip to break the news to his wife.
Philip presided over the Coronation Commission, and in 1952 the new queen ordained that he should be “first gentleman in the land,” giving him “a place of pre-eminence and precedence next to Her Majesty.” Without this distinction, Prince Charles, who was named Duke of Cornwall and later Prince of Wales — the title traditionally given to the heir to the throne — would have ranked above his father.
Philip was appointed to the highest ranks in the armed services: admiral of the fleet, field marshal and marshal of the Royal Air Force. He held the posts without pay.
Four years later, in 1956, Philip, then 35, took a four-month, 36,000-mile sea tour. Ostensibly he was on his way to Melbourne, Australia, for the opening of the Olympic Games, but the trip followed reports of his carousing with friends at bachelor parties in London.
On his return, the queen gave Philip the title Prince of the United Kingdom. By royal warrant, Elizabeth brought her husband’s name into the royal line, ordering that their children, except for Prince Charles, be known as Mountbatten-Windsor.
There were rumors of trouble in the marriage, reports of raised voices in the palace corridors. But the marital difficulties of their children overshadowed any discord between the parents. Princess Anne was divorced from her first husband, Mark Phillips, in 1992, and Prince Andrew’s divorce in 1996 from Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, who was known as Fergie, provided a field day for the tabloids.
But those divorces paled beside the travails of Charles and Diana. And Philip, a vigilant guardian of royal propriety (he once complained that Henry VIII, whom he called a “wonderful military strategist,” was remembered solely for his six wives), was not a silent bystander in the melodrama. According to Andrew Morton, in his book “Diana: Her True Story,” written with Diana’s cooperation, Charles told her that his father “had agreed that if, after five years, his marriage was not working, he could go back to his bachelor habits.”
Once their differences had become public, however, Philip registered his disapproval of Diana by snubbing her at the Royal Ascot horse race. And after Diana, at 36, was killed in 1997, Philip came in for his share of criticism when the royal family remained out of view at Balmoral, seemingly out of touch with the public’s grief, an attitude portrayed as stubborn and cold in the 2006 film “The Queen,” in which James Cromwell played Philip to Helen Mirren’s Elizabeth.
Over the years, Philip became a national gadfly and occasional source of embarrassment. In 1961 he criticized British industry as a bastion for “the smug and the stick-in-the-mud,” calling failures in manufacturing and commerce “a national defeat.” He was said to write his own speeches, and his habit of saying what he thought made him good copy.
In 1995 he asked a Scottish driving instructor, “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?” On a visit to Australia in 2002, he asked an aboriginal leader, “Do you still throw spears at each other?” And speaking about smoke alarms in 1998 to a woman who had lost two sons in a fire, he said: “They’re a damn nuisance. I’ve got one in my bathroom, and every time I run my bath, the steam sets it off.”
The comments invited scorn. “I know all about freedom of speech,” he told some students, “because I get kicked in the teeth often enough for saying things.”
Philip was a sportsman. He was captain and mainstay of the Windsor Park polo team. When he turned 50, troubled by arthritis and liver problems, he curtailed his playing and turned to carriage racing. He also started painting.
In an interview on BBC Radio in 1965, Philip recognized that he was missing out on things like “just being able to walk into a cinema or go out to a nightclub or go to a pub.” But he quickly acknowledged the bright side.
“I’ve got a lot of advantages which compensate for it,” he said.