Prince Philip, the longest-serving royal consort in British history and a constant presence alongside Queen Elizabeth II for decades, died on Friday at the age of 99, Buckingham Palace announced.
The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is a profound loss for the 94-year-old monarch, who once described it as his “strength and stay all these years”.
The outspoken former naval commander devoted much of his life as the Queen’s husband to charity – but was known for his many blunders, many of which were downright offensive.
The Royal Family join people around the world in mourning their loss.
Further announcements will be made in due course.
Visit https://t.co/utgjraQQv5 to read the full announcement.
– The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 9, 2021
He was admitted to hospital on February 16 and returned home after a month in which he was treated for pre-existing heart disease and infection.
Announcing his passing, BBC television broadcast the national anthem in a photo of Philip in his prime, dressed in a military uniform.
Flags were lowered at half mast on royal and government buildings and a notice announcing his death was pinned to the gates of Buckingham Palace.
“We give thanks, as a nation and kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said outside 10 Downing Street.
Johnson said Philip had “won the affection of generations” at home, in the Commonwealth and across the world after serving in the Royal Navy and then for nearly eight decades alongside the Queen.
Philip retired from his public service in 2017 at the age of 96.
Her death came just months before her 100th birthday in June – an event typically marked in Britain with a congratulatory message from the Queen, who is now Britain’s longest-serving monarch.
The couple, who celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November, lived largely in isolation at Windsor Castle, west London, as their advanced age placed them at increased risk of Covid-19.
Philip and the Queen received their first vaccinations against the virus in January.
Few public appearances
Philip was no stranger to health issues.
He had previously been fitted with a stent in 2011 after suffering from a blocked artery.
He also underwent hip surgery in 2018 and in January 2019 he came out unharmed after his vehicle was involved in a traffic accident that injured two people near the Monarch Estate in Sandringham, in the east from England.
The prince then spent four nights in hospital in December that year, receiving treatment for what has been described as a ‘pre-existing condition’.
He was released on Christmas Eve, in time to join the rest of the royal family for the holiday season.
Since the pandemic, Philip had made few public appearances.
He was last seen in an appearance at a military ceremony at Windsor Castle in July, days after attending the wedding ceremony for his granddaughter, Princess Beatrice.
In November, he and the Queen celebrated the last anniversary of their 1947 nuptials by posting a photo of them together, still in Windsor.
The Queen had four children with Philip – Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward – eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Personal ambitions set aside
Philip was born on the island of Corfu with Danish and Greek royal titles.
He fled the country when he was just 18 months old with his parents and four sisters, after his uncle, King Constantine of Greece, was forced to abdicate.
The family first settled in France.
Philip was officially introduced to Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen, in July 1939 and they kept in touch during the war, meeting on several occasions.
The couple married at Westminster Abbey in London in 1947.
A rising star in the British Navy, Philip had reached the rank of commander by the time Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952. He eventually put his personal ambitions aside to support his wife in this role.
In the decades that followed, he was involved in numerous charities including the World Wide Fund For Nature and the Duke of Edinburgh Award program for young people.
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