The Buckingham Palace has announced the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip – husband of Queen Elizabeth.
A statement from 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. The Royal Family joins with people around the world in mourning his loss”.
The Duke was married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years. He is the longest-serving consort in British history.
Prince Philip’s health had been slowly deteriorating for some time. He announced he was stepping down from royal engagements in May 2017, joking that he could no longer stand up. He made a final official public appearance later that year during a Royal Marines parade on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
Since then, he was rarely seen in public, spending most of his time on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk. He moved to with her at Windsor Castle during the lockdown periods throughout the Covid-19 pandemic;and where the couple quietly celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November 2020. He also celebrated his 99th birthday in lockdown at Windsor Castle.
Flags on landmark buildings in Britain were being lowered to half-mast as a period of mourning was announced.
No official details have been released yet about the Duke’s funeral,;but it is understood he will be given a royal ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral, in line with his wishes.
The Queen will sign off the final plans in the coming days, according to royal sources.
Into his 90s, Prince Philip carried out a busy programme of public engagements, reflecting his own charitable interests. He also travelled around the country supporting the Queen, both on state occasions and royal visits.
However, he was taken to hospital over Christmas in 2011 for treatment for a blocked artery.
In 2012, he was admitted to hospital during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a bladder infection. And in 2013, had an exploratory operation on his abdomen.
Despite having hip surgery in April 2018, he attended the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a month later. The duke then spent four nights at King Edward VII hospital in London before Christmas 2019,;for observation and treatment in relation to a “pre-existing condition”.
Prince Philip also spent a month in the hospital this year before being released on March 16 to return to Windsor Castle.
The Queen’s “constant strength and stay”
Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born on the island of Corfu in 1921. At the age of 18, the prince joined the Royal Navy as a cadet.
He saw active service during the Second World War, serving in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean. He was mentioned in despatches for his bravery.
In 1947, he renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles, took on the surname of Mountbatten and became a naturalized British subject ahead of his marriage to Princess Elizabeth.
Their wedding was the first great state occasion after the end of the Second World War. His commitment to the Queen was unfaltering as he gave up his career in the Navy in order to support her;in her role as monarch.
The Queen has described Prince Philip as her “constant strength and stay”. They had four children – Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.
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