His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh was stationed in Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon during World War II. The Royal Navy ship HMS Ramillies was stationed in Colombo in 1940. Ramillies was working as an escort ship escorting Australian transport ships to the Mediterranean. Prince Philip served with HMS Ramillies from Colombo for four months. He joined Ramillies on the 20th of February 1940. The Duke was an 18 year old Midshipman at the time. Prince Philip then transferred to HMS Kent and HMS Shropshire, County Class destroyers, on a shore station in Ceylon.
While serving ashore in Ceylon (Sri Lanka), The Duke was sent to Trincomalee, on the east coast, to assist a Naval team surveying the harbour. He bought a second-hand Standard 8 car in Colombo and drove himself to Trincomalee and back. He was back in Trincomalee in HMS Whelp in 1945. That was the Duke’s first personal car. If ever you travel to Sri Lanka and visit the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo you can see Prince Philip’s first car inside the hotel. There is a photograph of the car on these blog sites:
Prince Philip has explored Sri Lanka by himself during World War II. He returned to Sri Lanka on several occasions.