Princess Alice of Battenberg - who was Prince Philip's mother?

Princess Alice of Battenberg. Credit: PA

While Prince Philip was able to raise his children as one happy family the same can't be said about his upbringing as the uncertainties of the early 20th century made life difficult for royal families across Europe - especially the Duke's mother.

Princess Alice of Battenberg faced hardships throughout most of her life until she was able to find peace in her final two years of her life when Prince Philip invited her to live with him at Buckingham Palace.

Prince Philip, who passed away aged 99 on Friday, was the youngest of her five children and her only boy.

Like most of Europe's royal family, she was the great-grandchild of Queen Victoria and was born in her presence at Windsor Castle in 1885.

Her mother was Princess Victoria, the eldest daughter of Princess Alice, Queen Victoria's second daughter and third child.

Princess Alice in 1922. Credit: PA

Queen Elizabeth II is descended from Queen Victoria's eldest son Edward VII, making Prince Philip and her second cousins.

As Princess Alice grew up moving between Germany, London and Malta she was diagnosed with congenital deafness, something she would often joke about throughout her life.

After falling for Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark at the coronation of King Edward VII the pair got married in 1903.Prince Andrew, who was the fourth son of King George of Greece, took his wife with him to his home country, but soon after they settled, Alice's life became beset by crises.

The early years of the 20th century were an extremely unstable time for the Balkans, with endless cycles of wars, bitter nationalist struggles and interventions from great powers constantly shifting the power dynamics of the area - and eventually leading to the First World War.

This was the world Princess Alice found herself after moving to Greece and she dedicated herself to working as a nurse throughout the Balkan Wars and the early years of First World War - an altruistic trait that would stay with her for the rest of her life.

By 1917 Greece's official policy of neutrality in the conflict had become untenable and the whole royal family was forced to flee to Switzerland.

She only returned to Greece briefly in the early 1920s where the family lived in Corfu - and where Prince Philip was born on a dining room table.

Princess Alice arriving in London to attend the Coronation of the Queen. Credit: PA

After the defeat of the Greek army in the Greco-Turkish war the country suffered a revolution which saw the king deposed and saw Princess Alice's husband put on trial.

Many of Prince Andrew's colleagues were killed by the revolutionaries but after an intervention by the British government, Prince Andrew and his family escaped Greece again.

Princess Alice, her husband and their five children all settled in Paris in a house loaned to them by a family member.

The stress of the previous years began to take a toll on Princess Alice and she turned even further to her devout religious beliefs and began claiming she was receiving divine messages.

In 1930 she suffered a nervous breakdown, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and was forced against her will into a mental asylum.

Princess Alice with the Queen and a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne. Credit: PA

She was released after two and a half years, and spent the next few years drifting around central Europe.

During this time she lost contact with her family, her husband began a life with a mistress and Princess Alice did not attend the wedding of any of her four daughters.

Prince Philip went to boarding school in Scotland and several of the German aristocrats her daughters married would later join the Nazi party.

In 1937 one of her daughters was killed in an accident and at the funeral she was reunited with Prince Andrew and her family.

The meeting was one of the last times she saw her husband who died in 1944.

At the outbreak of the Second World War she was living in Athens working with the poor and the injured.

The Duke of Edinburgh with his mother in 1960. Credit: PA

When German forces advanced on Athens she sheltered a Jewish family throughout the Nazi occupation.

She returned to the UK in 1947 to attend the wedding of Prince Philip and Princess Elizabeth.

None of her daughters were allowed to attend as anti-German sentiment was still high in the UK.

In 1949 she founded an order of Greek Orthodox nuns called the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary where she raised funds for the poor.

As she became increasingly frail she left Greece for the last time during the military coup of 1967.

She accepted the invitation of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II to move to Buckingham Palace.

Prince William visiting the grave of Princess Alice in Jerusalem in 2018. Credit: AP

She lived a quiet life and still styling herself as a nun until she died in 1969.

In 1988 her request to be laid to rest a Convent of Saint Mary Magdalene in Jerusalem was fulfilled and her remains were moved there.

She has been honoured by the Israeli government for her protection of Jews during the Second World War.