- The Duke of Edinburgh, as he was officially called, had been by his wife’s side throughout his 69-year reign, the longest in British history.
- Philip spent four weeks in hospital earlier this year receiving treatment for an infection to undergo heart surgery, but returned to Windsor in early March.
- After making more than 22,000 solo appearances, Philip retired from public life in August 2017, although he appeared occasionally in official engagements afterwards.
British Prince Philip dies at 99
Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth, who has played a leading role in the British royal family for nearly seven decades, has died at the age of 99, Buckingham Palace announced on Friday.
The Duke of Edinburgh, as he was officially called, had been by his wife’s side throughout his 69-year reign, the longest in British history, during which time he had forged a reputation for a tough, no-frills attitude and a propensity for being casual. blunders.
“It is with deep sadness that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the palace said in a statement.
“Her Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join people around the world in mourning their loss.”
It is with deep sadness that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the passing of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Her Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. pic.twitter.com/XOIDQqlFPn
– The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 9, 2021
A Greek prince, he married Elizabeth in 1947, playing a key role in the modernization of the monarchy after WWII, and behind the walls of Buckingham Palace he was the only key figure the Queen could turn to and have trust.
“He’s just been my strength and I’ve stayed all these years,” Elizabeth said in a rare personal tribute to Philip in a speech marking their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997.
Philip spent four weeks in hospital earlier this year receiving treatment for an infection to undergo heart surgery, but returned to Windsor in early March.
His charm and reluctance to tolerate those he regarded as fools or sycophants earned him a position of respect among some Britons. But to others, his sometimes abrupt demeanor made him appear rude, distant, and a delight to newspaper editors, eager to pick up on any erroneous remarks at official events.
The former naval officer admitted he was struggling to give up the military career he loved and accept the post of husband of the monarch for which there was no clearly defined constitutional role.
Privately, he was considered the undisputed head of his family, but protocol required the man dubbed “the second handshake” to spend his public life literally one step behind his wife.
“There was no precedent. If I asked someone ‘what do you expect from me?’ They all looked blank – they had no idea, no one had a big idea. “he said in an interview on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
After making more than 22,000 solo appearances, Philip retired from public life in August 2017, although he appeared occasionally in official engagements afterwards.
His last appearance was last July in a military ceremony at Windsor Castle, the royal palace in west London, where he and the monarch resided during Covid-19 lockdowns.
The 94-year-old Queen ascended to the throne in 1952 and the couple, who were third cousins, married at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. They had four children, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, Princess Anne and the princes. Andrew and Edward.
They celebrated their 72nd birthday on the same day Andrew stepped down from public office amid controversy surrounding his association with late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, one of many recent crises the family has faced.
The death of the Queen’s husband and closest confidant will raise questions as to whether she might consider abdication, but royal commentators say there is little to no chance of that happening.
In recent years, although she has reduced many official engagements and entrusted many royal duties and patronages to Prince Charles, her son William and other members of the Royal Family, she still performs the most symbolic duties of the state of the monarchy, such as openness. of parliament.
While he officially played second violin to his wife, he was considered the private head of the family.
Some royal watchers have argued that his absence from this role in recent years with declining health has played a role in some of the monarchy’s recent problems, such as the crisis of Charles’ youngest son Prince Harry and his wife. Meghan, and the decision that saw them. abandon their royal roles.
“The main lesson we learned is that tolerance is the only essential ingredient in any happy marriage,” Philip said in a speech in 1997. “It might not be that important when things are going well, but this is absolutely vital when the going gets tough. You can understand that the queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance. “