Prince Philip, the lifelong partner of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, has died, Buckingham Palace announced on Friday. He was 99.
In a statement, the palace mentioned: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.” Further announcements will be shared in due course. The Royal Family joins with people throughout the world in mourning his loss.
The duke was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital in London hospital on February 17 after feeling sick. The palace later shared that he was being treated for an infection. On March 1, he was shifted to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, also in London, where doctors kept treating the infection and carrying out testing for a pre-existing heart condition. Post the heart surgery, he was discharged from the hospital in mid-March.
Philip, also referred by his official title of the Duke of Edinburgh, was the longest-serving British partner. He married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947 after an engagement that delighted a country still whirling from the ravages of World War II.
In his long service of seven decades, Philip often joined the Queen on royal engagements and steered thousands of his solo appearances. He once denoted to himself as “the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler,” while the Queen applauded him as her “constant strength and guide.”
The duke was often known for off-the-cuff remarks that showed a quick wit but rarely missed the mark, sometimes in spectacular fashion. Philip kept making public presences well into his 90s, retiring only in August 2017.
He supported several philanthropic efforts and was associated with almost 800 organizations. He established the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme, a youth development program that functions beyond 130 countries and territories worldwide.
After his retirement, Philip spent much of his time at the Queen’s rural Sandringham estate. He was sporadically seen in later years at private family events such as the marriages of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank, both at Windsor Castle.
Philip’s advanced age meant that his health had been a matter of much media focus in recent years. In December 2019, he was taken to hospital as a “precautionary measure” for what Buckingham Palace mentioned as a “pre-existing” condition. He had earlier been taken to hospital on different occasions for various reasons, including hip replacement and cure for bladder infections.
The duke was born as the Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on Corfu’s Greek island in 1921. When he was 18 months along with his family, he had to leave Greece when King Constantine was required to abdicate after a revolt by Greece’s war-stretched military forces. The family moved initially to Paris and later, in 1928, to England.
Philip had a roaming childhood, studied variously in the UK, France, and Germany.
He became a decorated naval officer for his service in World War II. When peace returned, he renewed an earlier friendship with Elizabeth that soon blossomed into a public romance.
To marry, the duke gave up his Greek title, became an established British subject and took the surname Mountbatten, derived from his mother’s side of the family. The marriage ceremony was performed at Westminster Abbey in 1947. Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth had four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.