Standing behind his wife, Philip defined a different kind of masculine ideal | Gaby Hinsliff

It’s a stretch to call him a feminist icon but the Duke of Edinburgh allowed his wife the spotlight as husbands of public figures rarely did

For seven decades he had walked faithfully in her shadow. The Duke of Edinburgh was the Queen’s anchor and her rock, “her strength and stay”, as she once said; the man who walked a delicate tightrope between ensuring she never had to shoulder her responsibilities alone, and respecting the fact that they were ultimately hers, not his.

Like Denis Thatcher after him, another forceful man married to a more powerful woman, it would be a stretch to call the duke a feminist icon merely because his marriage turned traditional gender roles upside down. It was perhaps the crown, as much as the woman wearing it, to which this scion of the exiled Greek royal family deferred; the crown to which he famously pledged allegiance by kneeling before his wife at her coronation.

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