Prince Philip died at the age of 99 on April 9, 2021 at Windsor Castle. During his lifetime, the Duke was known for his fortitude and poise, which he forged throughout his life as he had to face several family tragedies.
His mother was hospitalized in a mental institution, while his father went to the Côte d’Azur to live with his mistress. But one of the cruelest stories is that of her sister Cecilie, her favorite sister, who died in a terrible plane crash.
Prince Philip’s sister died in a plane crash
On November 16, 1937, when Prince Philip was only 16 years old, tragedy struck the family. His sister Cecilia died when the plane where she was traveling with her husband and children crashed.
Undoubtedly, Cecilie’s story is one of the hardest tragedies that Philip of Edinburgh suffered in his childhood and youth.
Cecilie was 10 years older than Philip. She was married to Grand Duke George Donatus of Hesse and Rhine. The couple had three children, two boys; Ludwig and Alexander and a girl named Johanna.
A year before the outbreak of World War II, Cecilie, her husband, her mother-in-law, two of their children and the nanny took a plane to attend the wedding of George’s brother, Prince Ludwig and Margaret Campbell-Geddes. Cecilie had told Philip that after the wedding she would come for him to spend time together. Unfortunately that moment did not come, the plane where the whole family is traveling crashed on the way to London.
The dreadful aviation catastrophe was due to the prevailing bad weather conditions. The commercial aircraft that left Frankfur in the afternoon was unable to land in Brussels due to heavy fog. The pilot attempted to land at Steene Airport near Ostend, but crashed into a factory chimney.
Did Prince Philip’s sister give birth on plane?
Yes, 26-year-old Cecilia was eight months pregnant with her fourth child. The body of a newborn baby was found in the wreckage of the plane, so it is believed that the princess went into labor during the flight, which would explain why the pilot tried to land early.
Two years later, Cecilie’s surviving daughter, Johanna, who did not fly on the plane died at age 2 of meningitis.
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