LONDON – HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died this morning at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace announced. His Highness was 99 years old and the Queen’s consort for 73 years.
Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
In March, the Duke of Edinburgh left hospital after a month-long stay for treatment. He previously underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s.
Britain mourns his loss
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “He consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service.”
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said he “inspired the lives of countless young people”.
Speaking at Downing Street, the prime minister added: “He helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life.”
“Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world,” he said.
Mr Johnson also remembered Prince Philip as one of the last surviving people to have fought in the Second World War. “From that conflict he took an ethic of service that he applied throughout the unprecedented changes of the post-War era,” Mr Johnson said.
Telegram from King Felipe to Queen Elizabeth
As reproduced in several news sites, the Spanish King and Queen sent Her Majesty The Queen a telegram upon learning of Prince Philip’s death.
Dear Aunt Lilibet,
We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing away of dear Uncle Philip. Filled with sorrow and sense of loss, we would like to send you our most heartfelt condolences on behalf of the government and people of Spain, and all our sympathy and support. We shall never forget the moments that we shared with him and the legacy of service and dedication to the crown and the United Kingdom by your side.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the whole family.
With all our love and affection,
Life as a royal consort
Prince Philip and the Queen married in 1947, five years before she became Queen. He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history. They had four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Their first son, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, was born in 1948. Later followed his sister, the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, in 1950, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, in 1960 and the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, in 1964.
Prince Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921. His father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, a younger son of King George I of the Hellenes. His mother, Princess Alice, was a daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
The duke followed a naval career and was posted to Malta. For a while, the couple could live the life of any other service family.
His naval career was curtailed with the worsening health of George VI. The then Princess Elizabeth took on more royal duties and needed her husband by her side. Philip took leave from the Royal Navy in July 1951 and never returned in an active role.
Whilst he was not one for regrets, Prince Philip said in later life that he was sorry he had been unable to continue his career in the navy. Contemporaries have said on his own merit, he could have risen to become first sea lord.