Queens and Kings


Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

The death of Prince Phillip on 9 April 2021 at age 99 has brought out some interesting facts about him and the British monarchy.  He was given the title of  Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip was a nephew of Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, and was well known in India. He had also been to India four times.

As the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, he tried to quell the disturbing trends that were visible in Buckingham Palace by the marriage of his grandson Prince Harry to a biracial woman Meghan. The marriage took place in USA amid talk of the opposition they faced in Britain. He also talked about the role of the Monarchy and its relevance or otherwise in the present times.

How did the mantle of becoming Queen, fall upon Elizabeth? This occurred by the marriage of Edward VIII (Elizabeth’s Father) with a divorced American woman Wallis Simpson and his resultant abdication of the British throne. This and other developments including the Second World War, saw the role of Britain diminished as India and several other British colonies became independent.

It is interesting to compare the role of the British crown with the Moghul Empire especially that of King Akbar in the sixteenth century. Akbar had several wives. One important wife was Hindu, whose real name was Jodha Bai, but has been chronicled by the Muslim name of Mariam Zamani (1542 – 1623). Her son Jehangir subsequently became the Moghul emperor after his father Akbar’s demise.

Prince Phillip played an important role to maintain the status of the British crown in the Post war period. He often thought that he had to be faithful to his role which he considered to be an important one in the new circumstances where the real powers rested with the Prime Minister and the parliamentary government.

RIP, Prince Phillip


Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. ravipbhatia@gmail.com

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 12 Apr 2021.

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