Prince Philip has died at age 99.
“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,” Buckingham Palace said a statement on Friday. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
It continued, “The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss. Further announcements will be made in due course.”
The outspoken royal — who was often said to keep a firm grip over royal family affairs — retired from royal duties in 2017 at age 96.
Philip, who dubbed himself the “world’s most experienced plaque unveiler,” was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch.
He was the oldest-ever male member of the British royal family, and was father to Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. His eight grandchildren include Prince William and Prince Harry.
He made his final solo public engagement on Aug. 2, 2017 when he met the Royal Marine Corp.
Born into the Greek and Danish royal families, Philip’s education included a spell at Gordonstoun School.
He went on to join the Royal Navy and served with the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets in World War II.
Philip Mountbatten married Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and gave up his promising naval career when she became queen in 1952, following the unexpected death of her father, King George VI. She was 27 at the time.
Since then he has served alongside the queen, carrying out thousands of appearances and engagements over nearly seven decades.
He also set up the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, which in the 1950s was designed to bridge a gap between leaving school and beginning national service. Over the decades it’s been completed by millions of teenagers and operates in many different countries.
Philip stepped down from his public duties in August 2017 with the full support of the queen. He did attend the weddings of grandchildren Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie, in May and October 2018, respectively.
He also attended granddaughter Princess Beatrice’s secret royal wedding in July 2020, held during the coronavirus pandemic, and Lady Gabriella Windsor’s nuptials in May 2019.
He and his wife spent more time together than they had for some time during the coronavirus pandemic, living together at Windsor Castle for most of the year. He had retired to Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate but moved to be with his wife.
Buckingham Palace said it was not due to his health, though the duke has faced a number of scares in recent years. Abdominal surgery, bladder infections and a blocked coronary artery saw him being admitted to the hospital on a number of occasions. The royal also underwent hip surgery in April 2018.
He spent four days at King Edward VII hospital in London just before Christmas 2019 on the advice of his doctor and was discharged in time for the usual family celebrations in Sandringham.
In February 2021, he was admitted to the same hospital, on his doctor’s advice, after feeling unwell.
This visit came after the duke received the first coronavirus vaccine, though the palace said it was not linked to COVID-19.
Funeral plans will be confirmed in the coming days.
Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, led the reactions to the news on Friday:
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