The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, has died at 99, Buckingham Palace has said. The palace published this statement today.
A statement from the palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
Prince Philip was married to Queen Elizabeth II for over 70 years, making him the longest-serving consort in British history. Philip had moved to Windsor Castle on March 16 after spending almost a month in hospital – his most extended hospital stay. He was treated for an illness at first but later had a cardiac operation for pre-existing disease. After announcing the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, the Queen has declared an “eight-day period of mourning.” While he was at King Edward VII’s palace, his eldest son Charles, the Prince of Wales, visited him after making a 200-mile round trip to see his father.
In 1921, Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born on the Greek island of Corfu. At 18, the prince enlisted as a cadet into the Royal Navy. During WWII, he saw active service in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, and his courage was recorded in dispatches. Before his marriage to Princess Elizabeth, he publicly renounced his Greek, and Danish royal status, took the surname Mountbatten and became a native-born British subject.
Their wedding was the first significant state event since World War II. His devotion to the Queen was unwavering. He gave up his Navy career to assist her in her capacity as Queen. The Queen has portrayed Prince Philip as her “constant strength and stay.”
He was a much-loved grandfather and great-grandfather to his four daughters, Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. He saw himself as a modernizer within the British empire, orchestrating the first royal walkabout – but he was often famous for his outspoken opinions and off-the-cuff remarks. Because of his passion for young people, Prince Philip founded the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. He supported over 800 charities and good causes – focusing on his interests in wildlife conservation, technology, and sport.
And in his 90s, the Duke kept a packed schedule of public appearances that reflected his charitable activities. He also accompanied the Queen on state occasions and royal visits around the world. He was in pretty good shape for a man his age. He was admitted to the hospital for treatment of a blocked artery over Christmas in 2011. He was taken to the hospital with a bladder infection after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, and he underwent exploratory surgery on his abdomen in 2013.
Buckingham Palace officials said in a statement Monday, May 30, 2016, that the 94-year-old Prince Philip has “reluctantly” followed the doctor’s advice not to attend upcoming centenary commemorations marking the Battle of Jutland in the northeast.
But it wasn’t until May 2017, after over 20,000 solo public appearances, that the 96-year-old withdrew from his royal duties, only coming out to support the Queen at significant events. There has been no general information provided regarding the Duke’s funeral. Nonetheless, it is known that, following his wishes, he would be given a royal ritual burial rather than a state funeral.
In the coming days, the Queen will sign off on the last preparations. Since the 1940s, Prince Philip has been an ever-present character in the United Kingdom’s life, and he has left a significant legacy.