Britain’s Prince Philip turns 94 with musical salute

Prince PhilipThe guards at Buckingham Palace played a rendition of “Happy Birthday” on Wednesday as Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip turned 94.

The gruff patriarch, the longest-serving consort in British history, spent the day privately at the couple’s London residence, where his wife, 89, received representatives from the Royal Gurkha Rifles army regiment.

On Tuesday evening, the couple attended a pageant marking 200 years since Nepalese Gurkha soldiers began serving in the British armed forces.

They were joined for the occasion by their eldest son, the heir to the throne Prince Charles, and the Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah.

During the daily Changing the Guard ceremony on the palace forecourt Wednesday, the Band of the Grenadier Guards played a rendition of “Happy Birthday”.

Gun salutes were fired at the Tower of London and in the city’s Green Park to mark the occasion.

Prince Philip has gradually wound down his official engagements since turning 90. However, June is always a busy month for the royal couple.

Trooping the Colour, the annual military parade celebrating the queen’s official birthday, takes place on Saturday.

It is followed by Monday’s commemoration marking the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, a manuscript which has defined rights and liberties around the world.

At the end of the month the couple make a four-day state visit to Germany.

A prince of both Greece and Denmark, Philip was born on a kitchen table on Corfu on June 10, 1921. He served in the British navy in World War II and married in 1947.

He is renowned for his “get on with it” attitude and wisecracking remarks.

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