Prince Philip, the irascible and tough-minded husband of Queen Elizabeth II who spent more than seven decades supporting his wife in a role that both defined and constricted his life, has died, Buckingham Palace said Friday. He was 99.
Although Prince Philip was married to the queen, he never held the title of king. But his son, Prince Charles, is next in line to sit on the throne and will eventually become king.
Why did Philip not get the title of King? BBC News reports that in the United Kingdom, a woman who marries into the monarchy can obtain the title of queen. But men who marry the queen cannot be dubbed a king. The title of king is only for male sovereigns.
Prince Charles, his first-born child, Prince William, and William's first-born, Prince George, are all next in line of succession to the throne, which means -- barring an untimely death -- there will be at least three more generations of British kings after Elizabeth leaves the throne.
Philip’s position was a challenging one — there is no official role for the husband of a sovereign queen — and his life was marked by extraordinary contradictions between his public and private duties. He always walked three paces behind his wife in public, in a show of deference to the monarch, but he played a significant role at home. Still, his son Charles, as heir to the throne, had a larger income, as well as access to the high-level government papers Philip was not permitted to see.