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Prince Philip, Outsider Who Became England’s Longest-Serving Royal Consort, Dies at 99

Prince Philip, Outsider Who Became England’s Longest-Serving Royal Consort, Dies at 99



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Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died April 9, 2021 at the age of 99. He married the future queen in 1947 and served steadfastly by her side for more than 70 years, as she became the longest-serving monarch in British history. As Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, among many other titles, Philip was one of the busiest members of the royal family until he stepped away from his official duties in 2017. Since then, he underwent surgery on his hip and was involved in a traffic accident in which his vehicle hit another car and flipped over, though he was reportedly unhurt.

The British monarchy’s longest-running love story began just before the Second World War, when 18-year-old Prince Philip of Greece met his third cousin, Princess Elizabeth, the elder daughter of King George VI, during her family’s visit to the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where Philip was studying.

Then only 13 years old, Lilibet (as she was known to friends and family) was smitten by her tall, handsome older cousin immediately. She “never took her eyes off him,” Elizabeth’s longtime nanny, Marion “Crawfie” Crawford, later wrote of their first meeting, as quoted by the future queen’s biographer, Sally Bedell Smith, even though Philip “did not pay her any special attention.”

Born in 1921 on the Greek island of Corfu, Philip’s roots were as royal as they come: His father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, his paternal grandmother was a Romanov and his mother was the former Alice of Battenberg, a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

But he had a difficult childhood, as political turmoil in Greece forced his family into exile in France when he was still an infant, and they lived in relative poverty (compared to other royals). All too soon, Philip’s parents split up; his mother went into a sanatorium, and later joined a religious order, while his father spent much of his time gambling in the South of France.

From age 10 on, then, the young prince spent much of his time at various boarding schools and with relatives. He lived in Germany for a time, but was sent back to England in 1934 to attend the Gordonstoun School, founded by Kurt Hahn, an intellectual who had fled Germany to avoid persecution by the Nazis. Under Hahn’s influence, Philip flourished at Gordonstoun, and would later insist on sending his eldest son, Prince Charles, who hated it.

In 1937, when Philip was 16, his sister Cecile, her husband and their children were killed in a plane crash. Philip flew to Germany and marched in their funeral procession, surrounded by fellow mourners in Nazi uniforms.

After his graduation from school, Philip joined the Royal Navy. After that first meeting with young Princess Elizabeth, the attachment between the two royal cousins grew during World War II, when Philip served with the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean and the Pacific. He was given a military award for his service on the HMS Valiant during the British victory over the Italian navy in the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941, and emerged from the war as one of the Royal Navy’s youngest lieutenants.

In 1946, Philip proposed to Elizabeth at the royal family’s estate in Balmoral, Scotland. Despite Philip’s noble pedigree and stellar war record, his foreign status (including his sisters’ marital ties with prominent members of the Nazi Party) made him an outsider in royal circles, and a controversial choice of husband for the heir to the British throne.

On November 14, 1947, the couple were married in Westminster Abbey, and King George VI named Philip as Duke of Edinburgh shortly after that. Philip had given up his title of prince of Greece and taken his mother’s family surname of Mountbatten (the Anglicized version of Battenberg) when he became a British citizen.

During the early years of their marriage, Philip and Elizabeth had two children, Charles and Anne, and set up homes in a separate London residence, Clarence House, and on the Mediterranean island of Malta, where Philip continued his service in the Royal Navy. In 1950, he was given command of his own ship, the HMS Magpie.

But after Elizabeth’s father was diagnosed with lung cancer, the couple was called back so that she could take on an increased share of the royal duties. In early 1952, Philip and Elizabeth were traveling in Kenya, then a British colony, when they got word that King George VI had died at the age of 56.

Then just 25, Elizabeth would now become queen, decades earlier than the couple had expected. For Philip, his wife’s ascension to the throne meant making certain compromises. Though he had wanted his wife to take his name, Mountbatten, Elizabeth’s mother and grandmother, Queens Elizabeth and Mary, vetoed this idea, with the support of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The young family also moved from Clarence House to Buckingham Palace, at Churchill’s insistence. (The couple would have two more sons, Andrew and Edward, in the 1960s.)

Most painfully, Philip was forced to give up his naval career. “It was not my ambition to be president of the Mint Advisory Committee. I didn't want to be president of WWF [World Wildlife Fund],” he told the Independent in 1992. “I'd much rather have stayed in the Navy, frankly.”

But his difficult childhood had left him with a strong sense of familial duty, which would serve him well as a royal consort. In June 1953, when his wife was crowned Queen Elizabeth II in a televised ceremony at Westminster Abbey, Philip knelt before her and solemnly pledged to become her “liege man of life and limb.”

According to British royal tradition, the husband of a queen doesn’t become king; he is officially known as a prince consort. But in 1957, a decade after they married, Queen Elizabeth made Philip an official prince of the United Kingdom, restoring the title he had given up before their marriage.

For more than a half-century, Prince Philip supported his wife in her royal duties and took on an ambitious slate of obligations of his own, averaging some 350 official engagements a year, according to one estimate. He also ran the queen’s estates, including a country home at Sandringham, Windsor Castle and Balmoral.

Gossip linked Prince Philip to various other women over the years, including the actress Pat Kirkwood, the author Daphne du Maurier and Philip’s childhood friend, the cabaret star Hélène Cordet. But such reports were always strenuously denied, and no evidence ever surfaced proving an affair.

Perhaps most famously, Prince Philip earned a reputation for his conservative views and his plainspoken candor. The press once referred to him as a “national treasure,” and his plainspoken candor made some people laugh, many others cringed at his more controversial, casually racist gaffes.

In 2017, Prince Philip stepped away from his public duties, after having maintained one of the busiest schedules of all of the royals. According to a statement issued at the time, then 96-year-old Philip was “patron, president or a member of over 780 organisations, with which he will continue to be associated, although he will no longer play an active role by attending engagements.” That November, Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

News broke in early 2019 that Prince Philip had been involved in a car crash while driving near the royal estate at Sandringham, when his Land Rover hit another car and overturned. Two women in the Kia were treated at a hospital and released with minor injuries. Though his windshield shattered, the duke was reportedly unhurt, and was seen driving several days later (not wearing a seatbelt).

In February 2021, Philip was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London. Buckingham Palace said in a statement that it was a precautionary measure recommended by his doctor after Philip was feeling unwell. Philip had returned home to Windsor Castle in March.

On April 9, 2021, a notice from the Royal Family announced, "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."


Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge

The former Kate Middleton became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, when she married Prince William in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey in 2011. The two had fallen in love while attending university in Scotland.

William is expected to become king after his father, Prince Charles, and when that happens his wife will become queen consort. It is likely she will be known as Queen Catherine during her husband’s reign.

William and Kate have three young children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — and they have both embraced a string of royal duties, including charity work with a focus on early childhood development and mental health issues. She and her husband are taking increasingly visible roles as the spotlight slowly shifts from Queen Elizabeth II to her children and grandchildren.

The popular Kate is expected to take Diana’s title of Princess of Wales once William becomes heir to the throne.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts to Prince Philip’s death | NewsNOW from FOX

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world.


Consorts, past and future, in Britain’s changing monarchy

LONDON (AP) — Prince Philip was the longest serving royal consort in British history by more than a decade when he died Friday at 99.

It was a role he assumed in 1952 when his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, ascended to the throne after the sudden death of her father King George VI.

In Britain, the husband or wife of the monarch is known as the consort, a position that carries immense prestige but has no constitutional role. Here are some of the other royal consorts, past and future.

QUEEN ELIZABETH, THE QUEEN MOTHER

The mother of the current queen came to be known affectionately in Britain as The Queen Mum. For the last 50 years of her long life, she was widowed and therefore not the consort, but she did serve in that role while her husband, King George VI, was on the throne from 1936 until 1952. It was a period that included the tumultuous years of World War II.

Born Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, she was descended from Scottish royalty. She was known as Queen Elizabeth while her husband reigned, and after his death as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

During World War II, some opinion-makers suggested the queen and her two young daughters should leave England for safety in the United States or Canada, but the royal couple decided to stay despite the dangers of Germany’s aerial bombardment of London, including the 1940 bombing of Buckingham Palace.

She is remembered for saying, “The children won’t go without me. I won’t leave the king. And the king will never leave.”

The Queen Mother died in 2002 at the age of 101.

CAMILLA, DUCHESS OF CORNWALL

Camilla, the wife of Prince Charles, has been a controversial figure in modern royal history because of her ongoing relationship with Charles during his difficult marriage to Princess Diana, who died in a car crash in 1997 after she and Charles divorced.

Diana was extremely popular with the British public and her sudden death at the age of 36 sparked a huge outpouring of grief that made it difficult, in terms of public acceptance, for Charles to marry his longtime love.

Public resistance to Camilla softened over time, and she and Charles married in 2005, choosing a civil ceremony rather than a church wedding. The queen and Prince Philip signaled their support by holding a reception for the couple at Windsor Castle.

In an acknowledgement of the sensitive situation, palace officials said at the time that when Charles becomes king, Camilla would be known as princess consort rather than queen consort. Camilla also did not take up Diana’s title as Princess of Wales even though she was entitled to it as wife to the heir of the throne.

Camilla won over many of her detractors with her down-to-earth image and work promoting literacy and other causes and is now a well-established royal consort.

CATHERINE, DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE

The former Kate Middleton became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, when she married Prince William in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey in 2011. The two had fallen in love while attending university in Scotland.

William is expected to become king after his father, Prince Charles, and when that happens his wife will become queen consort. It is likely she will be known as Queen Catherine during her husband’s reign.

William and Kate have three young children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — and they have both embraced a string of royal duties, including charity work with a focus on early childhood development and mental health issues. She and her husband are taking increasingly visible roles as the spotlight slowly shifts from Queen Elizabeth II to her children and grandchildren.

The popular Kate is expected to take Diana’s title of Princess of Wales once William becomes heir to the throne.


More than 20,000 solo appearances

Through the Queen's 69 years on the throne, the man whom she had called her "strength and stay" carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements and made nearly 5,500 speeches. He attended events periodically with the Queen and other members of the Royal Family after stepping back from official duties.

Often viewed as a gruff curmudgeon prone to gaffes that grabbed the headlines, the 99-year-old royal was also a guiding force for the House of Windsor and sought to introduce more modern practices into an institution steeped in tradition.

"What Prince Philip did was help modernize the monarchy in the 1950s," Michael Jackson, president of the Institute for the Study of the Crown in Canada, said in an interview Friday morning.

"It was still a very tradition-bound institution…. We can credit Prince Philip, with the Queen's full support, of course, of modernizing [its] finances, protocols, how Buckingham Palace was run … its outreach to the Commonwealth."

Philip had been in hospital several times in recent years, including for hip replacement surgery in April 2018 and for treatment of a pre-existing condition in December 2019. He was in hospital for about a month earlier this year, returning to Windsor Castle in mid-March.

While he had retired from public duties, Philip found himself back in the public eye and at the centre of controversy in early 2019 after a Land Rover he was driving collided with a car near Sandringham, the royal estate in eastern England.

Philip wasn't hurt, but his vehicle rolled over, and a woman in the car suffered a broken wrist. He eventually apologized to her and said he had been dazzled by the sun while turning onto a main road. He also gave up his driver's licence.

Pictures of him with the Queen were released occasionally over the past year, including at the time of his 99th birthday last June and for their 73rd wedding anniversary in November. During the pandemic lockdown, he and the Queen had been staying at Windsor Castle.

John Fraser, author of The Secret of the Crown: Canada's Affair with Royalty, credits Philip's profoundly unsettled early years with how he looked toward the future of the Royal Family, and the monarchy.

"I do think those early years were the single biggest factor in his life and how he approached life," said Fraser. "I think he never assumed things would last forever because he didn't make any assumptions like that, and I think he certainly assumed the monarchy wouldn't survive if it didn't reach out more to the constituency that it had to serve."


Prince Philip, the longest-serving British monarch consort, dies aged 99

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh (UK, b. Greece), has passed away aged 99 at Windsor Castle.

He was married to Queen Elizabeth II for over 73 years and served as her consort for 69 years 62 days, making him the longest-serving consort of the British monarch.

His tenure began when his wife succeeded to the throne on 6 February 1952, on the death of her father, George VI, and ended today, 9 April 2021.

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. pic.twitter.com/XOIDQqlFPn

— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 9, 2021

The Duke of Edinburgh became the longest-serving consort in the history of the British monarchy on 17 April 2009.

On that day, he superseded the record set by Queen Charlotte, who was consort to George III for 57 years 70 days.

Prince Philip officially stepped down from royal duties in May 2017 and has had a few health issues since, including a four-night hospitalization at King Edward VII hospital, London, in December 2019 to treat a "pre-existing condition".

"Prince Philip's tireless - and record-breaking - service to his queen and country is an inspiration. I've also heard on a number of occasions from British record holders who credit the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme for inspiring them to achieve great things." - Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief at Guinness World Records

Queen Elizabeth II holds a multitude of records including the longest-reigning queen, longest reigning monarch (living) and oldest reigning queen.

Our thoughts are with the Queen as well as all of the Royal Family during this difficult time.


Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, obituary

P rince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who has died aged 99, was the Queen’s husband for 73 years. He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history, the family’s patriarch and a well-known figure in public life for two-thirds of a century until his final disappearance into seclusion in 2019.

This was a marathon stint on which he had originally embarked with resignation, in the belief that a life of walking several steps behind his wife, curbing his opinions – though not always his tongue – and being an appendage to the institution, without even being able to pass on his surname to his children, would turn him into “nothing but a bloody amoeba”.

Things did not work out that badly. He brought a relaxed, mostly affable, peppery, outspoken – and occasionally brusque – style to a ceremonial monarchy that would have been more hidebound, introverted, insipid and decidedly stuffy without him. He introduced badly needed fresh air into the royal family but, while his longevity ensured that he became an integral part of the family firm, he clearly never forgot his initial, impecunious, foreign and outsider status within the institution.

His dutiful support for his wife and his engagement in public visits, ceremonial occasions and foreign trips continued well into old age. In 2011, he said in a television interview that he was winding down, but it was not until 2017 that he completed his final public engagement and it was only in January 2019, when he gave up driving after causing a car crash near the Sandringham estate, that he disappeared from view. He became the focus of attention again in February 2021, when he went into King Edward VII’s hospital in central London after an infection.

Although he came to loathe the media for their intrusiveness, he played a considerable part in dragging the monarchy into the modern age. The pioneering 1969 television documentary Royal Family, scripted by Antony Jay, which charted the royal family’s year, showing them in off-duty, admittedly somewhat stilted moments, had received his support in the face of the disapproval of palace courtiers and advisers. The film was reportedly seen by two-thirds of the population, and was blamed by some commentators for a breakdown in deference towards the royal family.

The royal family in 1968 at Frogmore, Windsor: the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen, with Prince Edward, seated, and behind them, from left, Princess Anne, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew. Photograph: PA

If his tally of accomplishments was modest, this was at least partly because the role to which he was confined had been diminished. Although Philip was intelligent, with physical presence, energy and a clipped, ironic way of speaking, he took care to conceal his intellectual interests, which included poetry and theology, behind his bluff exterior. He had a fine private art collection, painted a little himself and had a well-thumbed personal library of more than 11,000 books, with perhaps surprising inclusions such as the works of TS Eliot. “Don’t tell anyone,” he would say. Clerics visiting Balmoral or Sandringham to preach Sunday sermons could be disconcerted by his beady-eyed scrutiny from the front pew and his close questioning over lunch afterwards.

Though frustrated, particularly in the early years of the reign, by his lack of personal scope, he made the most of the role that was open to him. He was a loyal and closely engaged patron of a wide range of organisations and causes, ranging from the postwar national playing fields movement to the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, of which he was patron for 55 years. He was the first UK president of the World Wildlife Fund, from 1961 to 1982, and international president from 1981 to 1996.

After giving up polo in his late 40s, he took up carriage driving, and was instrumental in formalising it as a competitive sport. His book Thirty Years On and Off the Box Seat was published in 2004, and he continued to drive into his 90s. In 1967, he helped set up the Maritime Trust, concerned with the conservation of historic vessels, and as patron of the National Maritime Museum, in Greenwich, he was involved in the work to save the tea clipper Cutty Sark from being dismantled.

The life of Prince Philip, the Queen’s ‘strength and stay’ – video obituary

Most enduring and significant was his commitment to the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme, which he founded in 1956 with the German educationist Kurt Hahn, to create a “do-it-yourself kit in the art of civilised living”. The programme, operating in more than 140 countries, encourages young people to volunteer for community service and stretch themselves in teamwork and outdoor activities. Since the scheme’s beginnings, more than 4 million teenagers have participated, and the duke continued to present gold awards to the highest achievers into his 90s.

The Duke of Edinburgh playing polo at Smith’s Lawn, Windsor Great Park, 1970. Photograph: Reginald Davis/Rex/Shutterstock

At first he had been resistant: “It would never have started but for Hahn, certainly not. I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to stick my neck out and do anything as stupid as that, and everybody saying “Ah! Silly ass,” you know?’” And Philip was perhaps right to think of popular reaction, because he is likely to be remembered most for what the media reported as his public gaffes: sayings, some spoken with naval quarterdeck briskness, some delighting in situational humour, some just – as he himself would have phrased it – “bloody rude”, though these latter were generally directed at members of the officer class rather than ratings.

Quite often they were embellished, even invented, in the telling, and often the outrage they were said to cause was largely synthetic. Usually the barked questions and brusque comments were the ironic if ill-judged remarks of a bored man seeking to spark a conversation, or just elicit a response, beyond the usual anodyne exchanges of a royal visit.

The Duke of Edinburgh competing in the dressage section of the carriage driving event at the Windsor Horse Show in 1987. Photograph: David Levenson/Getty Images

“Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?” (to a blind Exeter woman with a guide dog during a royal tour) “You’ll be getting slitty eyes” (warning a group of British students not to stay too long in China) “It’s pleasant for once to be in a country which is not ruled by its people” (visiting the Paraguayan dictatorship) “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?” (to a Scottish driving instructor) “Just take the fucking picture!” (during a lengthy photocall at an event to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain). He was understandably irked when it was reported that he had told some deaf children standing near a steel band, “Of course you’re deaf if you stand there,” pointing out that he was hardly likely to have said it, as a patron of the RNID whose mother had been deaf. But he did not complain.

Philip’s 1971 biographer, Basil Boothroyd, claimed that he inherited an “undisguised contempt for ignorance, stupidity, inefficiency or deviousness in others” from his father, Prince Andrew of Greece, although he could occasionally display negative traits himself when bored or impatient. More likely though, considering how absent his father was for most of his life, they were a carapace to cover the insecurities of childhood.

One of his nicknames was “Phil the Greek”, based on his birth on Corfu into Greece’s royal family, yet he had no Greek blood. He was a sprig of the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburgs, the peripatetic and frequently exiled Danish royal family that the Greeks imported in 1863 to succeed the heirless King Otto, from the Bavarian house of Wittelsbach – the country’s first monarch after winning independence from Turkey in the 1820s.

H is ancestry lay in the interconnected 19th-century royal families of Europe. His paternal grandfather was Danish, his grandmother Russian: the couple’s seven children spoke in Greek to each other but in English to their parents, whose own private conversations were in German.

Philip’s accent was that of a bluff upper-class Englishman, but he was also fluent in German and French and had some Greek. His grandfather Prince William of Denmark – whose sister Alexandra married the British king Edward VII – was invited by the government in Athens to become king of Greece in 1863 when he was 17. William was a disposable younger son, so his family said yes.

He married the Grand Duchess Olga, a granddaughter of Tsar Nicholas I. Yet one of their daughters wrote: “He always drilled into us that we were Greek and nothing else.” One of their disposable younger sons, Andrew, was to become Prince Philip’s father. Andrew trained as a soldier, speaking Greek as his first language. He married Princess Alice of Battenberg, sister of Lord Louis Mountbatten, later Earl Mountbatten of Burma.

Christened Philippos, Philip was his parents’ only son, after four daughters. By then his grandfather, who ruled Greece as George I, had been assassinated by a Greek in 1913, and his successor, Philip’s uncle Constantine, had been deposed four years later for failing to support the allied powers, including Britain and France, in the first world war.

After the three-year reign of his second son, Alexander, Constantine was reinstated by referendum in 1920. Two years later he was again overthrown, in a military upheaval. George V of Britain, son of great-aunt Alexandra, sent a naval cruiser to rescue Andrew, who was facing trial for treason, and his young family. The year-old Philip was placed in an orange box and rowed out to the ship with the rest of the family.

Prince Philip of Greece in traditional costume, c1930. Photograph: AP

Permanent exile was to be the first experience of Philip’s life. He was brought up in St Cloud, on the edge of Paris. His family lived on the charity of relatives: his elder sisters dressed in hand-me-down clothes. Their father, bereft of military command, had no occupation and abandoned the family, retreating to gamble in the casinos of Monte Carlo. Their mother, Princess Alice, who was deaf, suffered from schizophrenia and was confined to an asylum for much of Philip’s childhood, though she recovered, becoming a nun and setting up an Orthodox nursing order. She would eventually go to live at Buckingham Palace, where she died in 1969 at the age of 84.

Philip grew versed in keeping up appearances while “skint”, one of his favourite words, being shuffled between boarding schools, first in Paris, then Germany and latterly Scotland, and spending his holidays with relatives, including his sisters, two of whom had married into the German aristocracy and whose husbands became Nazis. Once asked about his childhood home in an interview, he replied: “What do you mean, ‘home’? You get on with it. You do. One does.”

From early childhood he was taken often to Britain to visit his maternal grandmother, the Marchioness of Milford Haven her husband (and cousin), Prince Louis of Battenberg, a former first sea lord, had been created marquess in 1917 after anglicising his surname to Mountbatten. When Philip was asked to tea at Buckingham Palace, Queen Mary found him “a nice little boy with very blue eyes”.

He grew up a male tearaway in a female-dominated family. A report from his first school in Paris found him rugged, boisterous, full of energy, polite. After an English preparatory school, Cheam, he went to a secondary school founded in Germany by Hahn. In 1934, he was transferred to Gordonstoun, the Scottish boarding school Hahn established after his exile as a Jew from Germany. It was the nearest thing to an unchanging home for Philip and he was strongly influenced by its values.

Prince Philip of Greece, seated, in costume for a school production of Macbeth at Gordonstoun, 1935. Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty Images

Hahn’s vision was to “build up the imagination of the boy of decision and the willpower of the dreamer … so that in future, wise men will have the nerve to lead the way that they have shown and men of action will have the vision to imagine the consequences of their decisions”. Hahn also spoke of “training soldiers who at the same time are lovers of peace”.

He sought to instil a commitment to public service, self-reliance and self-control in his pupils – only 30 of them in Philip’s day. Hahn’s influence can be seen in the duke’s award scheme, in Philip’s interest in outdoor activities and in his choice of Gordonstoun for his sons’ education. Philip had loved the school – he said it brought him intense happiness and excitement.

Philip stayed with English relatives, family friends and sometimes with the bursar of Gordonstoun. All of them found him cheerfully adaptable, with no aristocratic conceit. His cousin Alexandra, Queen of Yugoslavia, remembered him, on holiday with her family in Venice, as “a huge, hungry dog, perhaps a friendly collie who never had a basket of his own”. His liking for women also stood out. “Blondes, brunettes, red-headed charmers, Philip gallantly and quite impartially squired them all,” according to Alexandra.

H e entered the Royal Navy aged 17. His uncle Louis Mountbatten, who had taken over his upbringing and was ever anxious to act as royal fixer-in-chief, claimed this was due to his influence, but Philip disliked being thought of as dependent on him. Philip came 16th out of 34 successful candidates in the navy’s Dartmouth exams after studying at a crammer. While his spelling was atrocious, he got almost full marks in the examination interview. He took care to stress that he had been following his father’s and grandfather’s, rather than his uncle’s, example. Philip said: “I suspect [Mountbatten] tried too hard to make a son of me.”

He was first introduced to the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth during a royal visit to the college. Maybe she was more smitten with the handsome, blond, blue-eyed youth, five years older than her, than he was with the adolescent princess. Nothing in his copious later utterances hinted at a romantic nature, and the Dartmouth meeting turned out to have been engineered by Mountbatten.

Philip Mountbatten, second from left, with, from left, Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, King George VI and Princess Margaret at Buckingham Palace, 1947. Photograph: Popperfoto

Philip won two awards at Dartmouth as best cadet and was enlisted as a midshipman on the eve of the second world war. Kept away from naval action until Greece entered the war, he had his first taste of gunfire off Libya and Sicily, and became one of the navy’s youngest first lieutenants.

As second-in-command of HMS Wallace during the allied landings in Sicily in July 1943, he helped save many lives by launching a wooden raft to burn, give off smoke and act as a decoy to a German bomber. He spent much of the war patrolling for U-boats in the North Sea. In 1942, he saw Elizabeth again, at a dance at the Duke of Kent’s home. Within two years he had become a virtual orphan following his father’s death in occupied France in 1944. He was bequeathed little money but was occasionally asked to stay at Windsor Castle while on leave, where he watched Elizabeth act, tap-dance and sing in a family pantomime. The princess might have been besotted, but the courtiers were not, and the footmen noted gleefully when they unpacked his weekend valise that it contained no spare shoes – his only pair was holed – pyjamas or slippers.

He was thought to be no gentleman and, in immediate postwar days, to be little better than a German: the diplomat Harold Nicolson wrote of him that he was “rough, ill-mannered, uneducated and … probably not faithful”.

The impoverished young serviceman’s name was not in the first XI of the Queen’s list of acceptable suitors, but by 1946 he was being invited to Balmoral, where he became engaged to Elizabeth. “It was sort of fixed up,” he said. “After all, if you spend 10 minutes thinking about it – and a lot of these people spent a great deal more time thinking about it – how many obviously eligible young men, other than people living in this country, were available?”

The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Elizabeth at Broadlands, Hampshire, during their honeymoon, November 1947. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

The engagement had to be kept secret, but leaked. The palace denied it. In a newspaper poll, 40% disapproved of him because of his foreign background and Germanic relatives. Philip acquired British citizenship, rejecting the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg surname in favour of Mountbatten. In July 1947, the engagement was finally announced. The couple married the following November in the first big public spectacle during postwar austerity. The clothing ration had to be relaxed to provide a wedding dress. Elizabeth took her corgi Susan on the honeymoon. Philip caught a cold.

K ing George wrote to Elizabeth: “I can see you are sublimely happy with Philip, which is right, but don’t forget us.” Honours unprecedented in his family were showered on him: a seat in the Lords, £10,000 a year – a handsome sum in those days – from public funds, the freedom of London, the dukedom and freedom of Edinburgh and a desk job at the Admiralty. Prince Charles was born a year after the wedding, Princess Anne in 1950. In 1949, Philip went to sea again, based in Malta, where Elizabeth joined him – perhaps the only time in their marriage when they could lead relatively normal lives as a young service couple. It was anyway a period that they remembered as so idyllic that they returned to the island in 2007 after their 60th wedding anniversary.

They had expected their semi-private life to last for a good 20 years. But George VI fell ill in 1949, and in February 1952 died of lung cancer at the age of 56. Philip and Elizabeth were on tour in Kenya, at the start of a lengthy overseas visit, when he broke the news to his young wife. “He looked as if you’d dropped half the world on him,” said his equerry, Mike Parker. There was some truth in this. Just when he and his wife had embarked on their young family-forming years, Philip, at 30, found himself consort to the Queen, head of an empire rapidly becoming the Commonwealth but still monarch of 16 countries.

The Queen and Prince Philip taking tea during a state visit to Japan in 1975. Photograph: Reginald Davis/Rex Features

His diminished status as the sovereign’s consort, pledging his allegiance to his wife at her coronation as her “liege man of life and limb and earthly worship”, without a career of his own, was irksome at first. He rationalised and sublimated the boredom as his duty – something well recognisable to men of his generation – primarily to his wife and then to the institution and the country. He always turned up at the right place and time, well-prepared and on top of his brief. At meetings of the organisations with which he was associated, he could be relied on to ask well-informed questions and not allow platitudes or sloppy thinking to prevail. The Queen remained devoted to him, calling him “my strength and my stay”.

In the early years, he found a refuge and substitute for the naval wardroom in the Thursday Club, an all-male drinking and dining den dedicated to badinage and practical jokes. It met above a Soho restaurant. Members included the Conservative politician Iain Macleod, the film star David Niven, the mouth-organist Larry Adler and the osteopath Stephen Ward, who became a pivotal figure in the 1963 Profumo scandal.

The Ward link inspired a famous Private Eye cartoon cover showing Philip’s coronation robe cast off in the bedroom of Ward’s friend, Christine Keeler. No evidence emerged to support such gossip, although Parker’s estranged wife claimed in a book in 1982 that Philip and Parker habitually slipped out of Buckingham Palace to carouse together under the noms de guerre Murgatroyd and Winterbotham.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at the closing ceremony of the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. Photograph: Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images

Yet the struggle to define a role was earnest and honest. “I do not have a job,” Philip wrote to his 1991 biographer, Tim Heald. “I never set about planning my career. I had two general ideas. I felt that I could use my position to attract attention to certain aspects of life in this country, and that this might help to recognise the good things and expose the bad things. I also believed I might be able to start various initiatives. You might ask whether all this rushing about (on public duties) is to any purpose. Am I just doing it to look as if I’m earning my keep or has it any national value?”

Although he was energetic, industrious and by far the best public speaker in the family, virtually no public discussion took place on how he could be useful. His wife was shy and constitutionally obliged to be non-partisan, which set limits on his public role if he was not to appear a publicity-hog or usurper. Early on, he was dogged by Lord Beaverbrook’s paranoid press campaign over his and his uncle’s German connections, a feud that was resolved between Mountbatten and Beaverbrook’s heir Sir Max Aitken in the 1970s. The equally mass-selling Mirror press under Hugh Cudlipp ran self-consciously “cheeky-chappie” protest editorials whenever he bumped into controversy.

Later, the press would construct a highly partial picture of an insensitive and pugnacious figure, which took no account of his more genial and empathetic private relations. This reached its apogee in accusations after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales that he had harried and bullied her as her marriage broke down, whereas it became clear, as his letters to her were divulged during her belated inquest, that he had been concerned and understanding of her plight.

The Duke of Edinburgh, left, with Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, 1997. Photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/AP

At her funeral in 1997, it was Philip who reassured his grandson William, who was nervous about walking behind the coffin. “If you walk, I will walk with you,” he said.

Philip wrote his own speeches, and many of his so-called outbursts had a knack of being prescient. Early in the 1950s, he told the Society of Motor Manufacturers that thanks to traffic congestion, “it will soon be quicker to go on foot”. In 1960, he advocated “forgiving one’s enemies” to the Anglo-German Association. He denounced “crude, industrial philosophies in agriculture” that would do immense social and demographic damage.

In the early 70s, he said Britain was living beyond its means: “Anyone who believes North Sea oil alone is going to get us out of trouble would also believe that social security is available at a pawnbroker’s shop.” In 1977, the year of his wife’s silver jubilee, he compared the British economy to dry rot in a house: “You don’t know when it starts, you don’t know when the crisis is, but gradually the place becomes uninhabitable.”

But, in the absence of intelligent public debate, it grew too easy for those he attacked to dismiss him as a loose cannon. On a visit to Canada, the frustration boiled into his angriest, though still controlled, public remark: “It is a complete misconception to imagine that the monarchy exists in the interests of the monarchy. It does not. It exists in the interests of the people, in the sense that we do not come here for the benefit of our health, so to speak. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves. Judging by some of the programme we are required to do – and how little we get out of it – you can assume that it is done in the interests of the Canadian people and not our own interest.”

The Duke of Edinburgh and members of the royal family watch a fly-past from the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Trooping of the Colour in 2012. Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

His sense of resignation about his position was apparent. In 1999, he said in an interview: “What you wish to be remembered for has nothing to do with it. You can wish for all sorts of things. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.”

B y the time of his 90th birthday, Philip acknowledged the need to step down from some of his public commitments: “It’s better to get out before you reach the sell-by date.” Reviewing the course of his life in television interviews held no fascination for him. As he explained to Fiona Bruce of the BBC, when he had first asked what he was to do, no one could tell him so he proceeded by trial and error. Six decades later, having been involved with more than 800 organisations, he still had a quite uncluttered view of the uses and limitations of being a figurehead. Barely concealing his impatience with Bruce’s questions and making little effort to charm, he did admit to a desire to slow down: “I reckon I’ve done my bit. I want to enjoy myself now with less responsibility, less frantic rushing about, less preparation, less trying to think of something to say … The memory’s going … Yes, I am just sort of winding down.”

Yet he scarcely did so. In 2011, he accompanied his wife on a potentially difficult state visit to Ireland and on an arduous tour of Australia. Although beginning to look more frail and slightly stooping, he remained ever-present and seemingly indestructible at the Queen’s side until the Christmas weekend, when he was rushed to hospital with chest pains for an emergency heart operation – the first significant, publicly acknowledged, illness of his life. A stent was inserted into his coronary artery and he was kept in for four days. Reports suggested he was chafing at the experience and, on his release, he headed straight for the shooting party at Sandringham.

The day after standing with the Queen for four hours in pelting rain onboard the Spirit of Chartwell during the Thames pageant to mark her diamond jubilee in June 2012, he was taken to hospital with a bladder infection. The Queen had to attend a concert at Buckingham Palace and a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on her own and cast a somewhat forlorn figure. When asked if he was feeling better as he left King Edward VII’s hospital five days later, he replied: “Well, I wouldn’t be coming out if I wasn’t.”

The Duke of Edinburgh, second from left, with members of the royal family during the diamond jubilee pageant on the River Thames, June 2012. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA

The following summer he had abdominal surgery. It took until May 2017 for him to announce that he would be retiring, by not taking on new engagements from the following autumn. His wedding anniversary that year marked seven decades at his wife’s side.

Beyond his public service and personal relationships, there was one organisation in which Philip had some clout as an executive – the monarchy itself. Among his first acts as consort was to free palace servants of the 18th-century obligation to powder their hair with flour and starch on state occasions, a “ridiculous and unmanly” rule, he called it. He part-modernised the economies of the royal estates, got rid of debutantes at court, was the first royal to master television and the first modern one to write books and articles. He insisted that his children, unlike their royal predecessors, went to school, and backed Prince Charles’s eagerness to go to university.

At the end of it all, as Prince Albert wrote: “The position of a prince consort requires that a husband should entirely sink his own individual interests in that of his wife.” Philip, with a less assertive wife than Victoria but also a weak constitutional position, maintained a stubborn profile. And he ended by printing his own name as well as his own bloodline on some of the generations after him: Mountbatten-Windsor. For an exile who began with so few cards to play, it was no small accomplishment.

He is survived by the Queen, their four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Philip Mountbatten-Windsor, Duke of Edinburgh, Baron of Greenwich, Earl of Merioneth, born 10 June 1921 died 9 April 2021

This article was amended on 21 April 2021 to clarify some details related to the timeline of the Greek monarchy in the 1800s.


Prince Philip, longest-serving consort of reigning British monarch, dies at 99

April 9 (UPI) -- Prince Philip, the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch, died on Friday, Buckingham Palace announced. He was 99.

The duke of Edinburgh died after spending weeks in London hospitals and undergoing an unspecified heart procedure March 4 for a pre-existing condition. He first entered King Edward VII's Hospital on Feb. 16.

"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The royal family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

The statement was shared on the social media accounts of royal family members and Buckingham Palace placed an announcement on its gates.

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. pic.twitter.com/XOIDQqlFPn&mdash The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 9, 2021

A number of world leaders issued statements mourning the loss.

"He was the longest-serving consort in history and one of the last surviving people in this country to have served in the Second World War," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

"Like the expert carriage driver that he was, 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."

"On behalf of all the people of the United States, we send our deepest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the entire royal family, and all the people of the United Kingdom on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip," U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement.

"The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the Armed Forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more."

"Laura and I are saddened to learn the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh," former U.S. President George W. Bush said. "He represented the United Kingdom with dignity and brought boundless strength and support to the sovereign."

"We are sorry to hear that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has passed away," the library of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter tweeted.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Philip was "the consummate public servant and will be much missed in Israel and across the world."

Philip was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on June 10, 1921, in Greece, to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. At birth, he was in line for the thrones of both countries.

As a baby, Philip and his family were evacuated to France after his uncle, Greek King Constantine I, was forced to abdicate as a result of losing the Greco-Turkish War. He was educated in various schools in France, England, Germany and Scotland, and ultimately entered the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.

Philip served with the British forces during World War II in various stints aboard the HMS Ramillies, HMS Kent, HMS Shropshire, HMS Valiant, HMS Wallace and HMS Whelp. He obtained the rank of commander before leaving the military in 1952.

Philip became engaged to then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 after several years of courtship through her teenage years.

The couple married Nov. 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey, one day after King George VI bestowed upon Philip the titles duke of Edinburgh, earl of Merioneth and baron Greenwich. Having renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles, Philip adopted his grandfather's surname, Mountbatten -- an Anglicized version of Battenberg.

Elizabeth ascended to the throne and Philip became her consort in 1952 when George VI died. The queen would go on to become the longest-serving monarch in English history.

The duke made his final official public appearance in 2017, attending the Royal Marines charity parade outside the queen's London residence. In the 65 years of Elizabeth's reign before he retired, Philip made 22,219 solo engagements and 5,496 speeches.

In the years just before and after his retirement, Philip was beset by a number of health issues, including hip replacement surgery in 2018, heart problems and infections.

He was patron of more than 750 organizations and had a particular interest in sports, including competitive carriage driving. He was chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, founded in 1956 to encourage youth physical activity, volunteerism, skills and travel.

"It's what I like to describe as a 'do-it-yourself' growing up kit," the duke said of the program.

Prince Philip is survived by wife Queen Elizabeth children Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward grandchildren Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn and great-grandchildren Savannah Phillips, Isla Phillips, Prince George, Mia Tindall, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Lena Tindall, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, August Brooksbank, Lucas Philip Tindall, and Harry and Meghan Markle's yet-to-be born daughter.


Remembering Prince Philip, The Longest-Serving Consort In British History

Britains' Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, has died at age 99.

Prince Philip, the royal consort of Queen Elizabeth II, died this morning at Windsor Castle in England. The Duke of Edinburgh was 99 years old.

NPR's London correspondent, Frank Langfitt, joins us from Belfast, where he is covering the recent violence in Northern Ireland. Frank, just tell us more about Prince Philip's story and what the British public thought of him.

FRANK LANGFITT, BYLINE: Yeah. Prince Philip spent his early years actually traveling throughout Europe. He was of royal descent himself and eventually had gotten to know the royal family and eventually married Queen Elizabeth.

He was known, I think, in different ways in this country over time. People did make fun of him. He has - was seen as short-tempered. He would tell jokes that were off-color, things that we would now consider - and even years ago - politically incorrect kind of remarks. If you look at the Daily Mirror, they - a number of newspapers here would carry - every year or two, they would say, you know, his hundred most, you know, improper remarks. One was back in '69 when I guess there were some financial questions. He said, well, if we go into the red next year, I'll have to give up polo. And that was one of the more minor ones.

That said, there was also a lot of affection for him and, I think, respect in the sense that, you know, when you do a job for a very, very long time and you really put your energy into it, people give you a lot of credit for that. He was very dutiful. He did thousands and thousands of royal events supporting the queen. It was a pretty thankless job in some respects and not a great job necessarily to have.

Today, Boris Johnson, the prime minister, said that we give thanks to him - the nation and the kingdom give thanks to him for an extraordinary life and his extraordinary work.

MARTIN: I always found it interesting that by royal protocol, he actually wasn't supposed to stand next to the queen. He was always supposed to be a couple steps behind, right?

LANGFITT: Yeah. And it - and not - I mean, we know that "The Crown" is fiction - right? - the Netflix series. But we also know that some of it is true. And it does - the different actors who portrayed him got at the very frustrating and strange role that he had. And so I think that's probably how a lot of people, certainly in the United States, would be familiar with him.

MARTIN: Right. He was hospitalized in recent weeks. I mean, he was 99. But can you tell us more about his health condition?

LANGFITT: Yeah. He had - this is not a surprise. I think that we've all been waiting to see when this might happen because he had been in, I think, for an undisclosed heart condition. And he was very frail. And if people saw pictures of him, he was, you know, remarkable at 99 but still, you know, someone who was clearly very, very late in life.

MARTIN: So what does his death symbolize, do you think, for the royal family and the United.

MARTIN: . Kingdom at this moment?

LANGFITT: . I think, Rachel, it's the beginning of the end of an era. The queen is 94, a very robust 94. But it also comes at a time that the monarchy is facing a lot of big challenges, which happen in cycles in this country - Prince Andrew's relationship with Jeffrey Epstein and the accusations against Prince Andrew, which he denies that he was involved with at least one underage woman the departure of Harry - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to the United States with a whole new business model that challenges kind of the way the monarchy is run and recently on the "Oprah" show talking about - accusing the royals - at least one royal of racism. Now you have an unpopular heir to the throne, Prince Charles. He's not seen very well here. So you have an institution that is arcane in some ways and, once again, has to figure out a way to remain relevant to this country.

MARTIN: NPR's Frank Langfitt reporting on the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Thank you so much, Frank.

LANGFITT: You're very welcome, Rachel.

Copyright © 2021 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR&rsquos programming is the audio record.


Prince Philip, Longest-Serving Consort in British History, Dies at 99

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband and consort of Queen Elizabeth II, died at age 99, the royal family announced Friday. The royal was beloved by people from the United Kingdom, as well as his native Greece and Denmark. Europe and much of the Commonwealth nations are currently mourning his passing.

"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," the royal family's Twitter account announced Friday. "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."

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. pic.twitter.com/XOIDQqlFPn

&mdash The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 9, 2021

Prince Philip was hospitalized on Tuesday, Feb. 16, in what Buckingham Palace called a "precautionary measure." However, according to a report by The Associated Press, his ailment was not believed to be related to COVID-19, so details on his cause of death remain scarce. The Duke even received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine along with the Queen back in January. Philip is the longest-serving consort of a monarch in British history. His relationship with the queen spanned eight decades, going all the way back to their teenage years.

Philip and Elizabeth first met in 1934 when Philip was 13 years old and Princess Elizabeth was just 8. At the age of 18, Philip joined the British Royal Navy. He began corresponding regularly with the then-Princess during his service, while she was just 13. Philip served with fleets in the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean during World War II. His brothers-in-law through his sister both fought for the German army. By the end of the war, Philip had achieved the rank of first lieutenant. He returned home in January of 1946.

King George VI granted Philip permission to marry Princess Elizabeth, and the two officially announced their engagement in 1947. Philip had a claim of royal titles in Greece and Denmark, but he abdicated them in order to be with the future queen. He became a naturalized British subject and married Princess Elizabeth in November of that very year.

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II had four children together &mdash Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and of course Charles, Prince of Wales as well as the grandfather of Princes William and Harry.

In his decades of service to the crown, Philip showed unwavering support to the queen. He sat by her side for some of her biggest achievements, while reaching several milestones of his own. He served as the Queen's Privy Council for Canada starting in 1957 and patronized at least 800 organizations. He was a major advocate of physical fitness and proactive health care, thanks in large part to his passion for sports.

Prince Philip's longevity has been heavily remarked on by the press. The sight of him with a bandage on has been enough to cause alarm among the populace, but he proved resilient. This past April, he underwent a full hip replacement but was walking without assistance just over a month later at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding.

Prince Philip's passing sent shock waves through the royal family and among royal admirers. So far, plans for his funeral have not been announced.


Prince Philip, a Royal Stalwart and the Queen's Husband of 72 Years, Is Dead at 99

Prince Philip, the husband to Queen Elizabeth II who became the longest-serving British consort in history, has died at the age of 99.

Buckingham Palace announced on Friday that the Duke of Edinburgh died earlier in the morning.

"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh," the palace said in a statement obtained by Insider. "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."

The duke was hospitalized for four weeks earlier this year in what the palace initially described as a precautionary measure. He was admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital in London on February 16.

The palace said in its initial statement that the royal was expected to "remain in hospital for a few days of observation and rest."

A representative for the duke announced on February 23 that he was being treated for an infection and was "comfortable and responding to treatment."

He was then transferred to St Bartholomew's Hospital, a specialist cardiovascular hospital in London, on March 1.

The palace said Philip underwent a "successful procedure" for a preexisting heart condition on March 3, and he ultimately returned to Windsor Castle on March 16.

The duke and Queen Elizabeth received coronavirus vaccinations in January, and the royal correspondent Victoria Murphy reported back in February that his hospital admittance was not related to COVID-19.

Philip previously was hospitalized in December 2019 for a preexisting condition, a palace representative said at the time, and in June 2017 for treatment for an infection.

The royal couple had marked their 72nd wedding anniversary in November.

They married shortly after World War II, in which he served as a member of the Royal Navy. In addition to a lifetime standing by the Queen's side, he went on to serve as a figurehead for charity organizations like the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Prince Philip was born as "Prince of Greece and Denmark" on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece. His mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg.

His family left Greece while Prince Philip was just 18 months old amid political instability in the country. His uncle Constantine I was forced to abdicate as the country's king.

Philip first met the Queen when they were both children, at a wedding in 1934.

Philip and the then-Princess Elizabeth announced their engagement in July 1947, and they were married November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey. Philip gained the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich upon the marriage.

After the conclusion of his successful naval career, he was appointed admiral of the Sea Cadet Cops, colonel-in-chief of the Army Cadet Force, and air commodore-in-chief of the Air Training Corps in 1952.

The following year he was promoted to admiral of the fleet, field marshal, and marshal of the Royal Air Force &mdash the highest ranks in the British navy, army, and air force.

The royal began to focus his work in support of the Queen, however, following her accession.

Philip was patron, president, or member of more than 780 organizations. He founded the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh's Award youth program.

The duke's list of titles and honors were added to throughout the years. For instance, the honor of knighthood was presented to him from nations across the world, including Greece and Denmark (Knight of the Order of the Elephant) and Ethiopia and Brazil.

In 2009 he became the longest-serving British consort, a title given to the companion to the sovereign.

Outside his royal duties, the Duke of Edinburgh was a keen sportsman, with a passion for polo, carriage driving, and sailing.

Renowned for his cheeky and sometimes offensive sense of humor, he retired from public life in May 2017 at the age of 95, and he once said he "couldn't imagine anything worse" than reaching the age of 100.

He is survived by four children, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.


Watch the video: Prince Philip funeral service: Full stream I NewsNOW from FOX (August 2022).

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