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Prince Philip, 97, becomes third oldest royal (and oldest ever male) in British history - but who is number one?

The sprightly Duke of Edinburgh is now the third oldest royal in British history. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

The Duke of Edinburgh has become the third oldest royal in British history.

Prince Philip, 97, has overtaken Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone who lived for 35,741 days and was 97 years and 10 months when she died in 1981. Princess Alice was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

He is the oldest ever male member of the British royals.

However the record for oldest British royal ever goes to Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester who lived to 102, followed by the Queen Mother who was 101.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

The duke, who retired from public duties when he was 96, has reached 35,742 days of age.

Philip, who is known for his direct, no-nonsense approach, was born a Prince of Greece and Denmark on the island of Corfu on June 10 1921 to Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg.

He is set to turn 98 in June.

Graphic provides a definitive guide to the longest-living British royals. Credit: PA Graphics

It has previously been reported that a carefully controlled diet and an exercise regime designed by the Royal Canadian Air Force are the secrets behind his remarkable longevity.

The 5BX Plan was designed to improve the fitness of recruits and can be carried out in a restricted space, with no warm up or equipment required, using five basic exercises to strengthen every muscle in the body.

The Duke of Edinburgh also holds the record as the longest-serving consort in British history.

His duties began on February 6 1952 when his young wife, Princess Elizabeth, became Queen.

The monarch has now reigned for more than 67 years.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh wave from the Buckingham Palace on Coronation Day, 2nd June 1953. Credit: PA

In February 2013, the duke became the oldest ever male member of the royal family.

He overtook the record set by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn – Queen Victoria’s third and favourite son – who died in 1942 aged 91 years and 260 days.

Portrait of a duke: Prince Philip looks dapper in a top hat. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Prince Philip has been spending much of his retirement in the sanctuary of Wood Farm on the Sandringham estate.

Earlier this year he miraculously escaped unscathed when the Land Rover he was driving was involved in a serious crash with a car carrying a mother and a baby.

Prince Philip no longer drives on public roads. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA

Prince Philip was spotted driving without a seatbelt just 48 hours later.

Three weeks later, his days of driving on public roads were over when he decided to voluntarily surrender his licence.