Prince Philip dies aged 99 after life dedicated to Queen and country

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The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip has died aged 99.

The announcement of the death of the Queen's husband was made in a statement by Buckingham Palace at 12pm on Friday.

It reads: "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 join with people around the world in mourning his loss.

"Further announcements will be made in due course."

The Duke's death will now prompt a period of national mourning, and, of course, for his widow the Queen, 94, four children Charles, Anne, Andrew, Edward, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Senior royals, political figures and global leaders will lead tributes to a figure who has been a cornerstone of Britain for most of our lifetimes.

His death comes just two months after he was taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London on February 16 after "feeling unwell".

A spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time: "His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital in London, on Tuesday evening.

Prince Philip’s life in pictures – from tragic start to Queen’s lifelong companion

"The Duke's admission is a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness's Doctor, after feeling unwell."

They added: "The Duke is expected to remain in hospital for a few days of observation and rest."

He spent a full month in hospital, his longest ever stay, and left on March 16. Photos of him in the back of a car leaving King Edward are understood to be the last images ever taken of Philip in public.

He and the Queen had been isolating at Windsor Castle during the Covid pandemic.

On Saturday, January 9, Buckingham Palace announced they had been given the coronavirus vaccination.

Meanwhile, Philip stepped down from royal duties in 2017 at the age of 96 and was later involved in a horror car crash in January 2019 which saw his Land Rover overturn.

He also sparked fears for his health at the end of 2019 when, in December, he was rushed to hospital following a fall while suffering from the flu.

The steadfast Duke, however, ploughed on to cement his reputation for being an extremely popular and influential member of the family.

He carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements and was the founder of his Duke of Edinburgh award scheme which provided opportunities to millions of young adults.

His sad death now makes him the first senior member of the Royal Family to die since the Queen Mother in 2002, having been at the Queen’s side throughout her record reign.

His life started dramatically when he fled Greece aged just two, along with his mum and dad, after they were forced to evacuate the country during the Greco-Turkish War.

Young Philip was apparently smuggled out in the dead of night in an orange crate.

He spent a chunk of his upbringing in Germany which was in the grip of the rise of Nazism, with his mother, before studying at Gordonstoun School in Scotland.

He then joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18, before meeting a 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark to Prince George, Duke of Kent.

From July 1939, he then started corresponding with the Princess who would later become his wife and our Queen.

During the Second World War, he served with distinction in the Mediterranean and Pacific Fleets.

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  • After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth.

    Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles, became a naturalised British subject, and adopted his maternal grandparents' surname Mountbatten.

    He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, he was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich.

    Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became Queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, and was formally made a British Prince in 1957.

    Philip and the Queen had four children together; Charles, the Prince of Wales, Anne, the Princess Royal, Andrew, Duke of York, and Edward, Earl of Wessex.

    Philip was a family man who loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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    After the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, he warmed the hearts of the nation by walking behind her coffin to offer moral support to 15-year-old William and Harry, 12, who were unsure about whether they were up to performing the important task in front of the world.

    He had been integral in Charles’ decision to propose marriage to Diana in 1981 and many felt Philip ultimately pressured the heir to the throne into making a decision.

    The Duke also exchanged a series of letters with Diana when the marriage fell apart, expressing his sadness while urging both of them to assess their behaviour from the point of view of the other.

    Philip was also known for his jocular sense of humour and knack for making inappropriate jokes or gaffes.

    Among them was warning British students in China in 1986 they may go "slit-eyed” and joking that a man blinded by an IRA bomb clearly hadn’t retained much eyesight “judging by his tie”.

    When rumours of his engagement to then Princess Elizabeth were rife, the Queen Mother was apparently sceptical at the idea, branding Philip a “Hun” over his German past, suggesting he was not worthy to be marrying into the family.

    It’s safe to say that the Duke swiftly dispelled such thoughts and became a treasured member of The Firm.

    Later the Queen Mother is said to have changed her tune, branding the Duke “a true English gentleman”.

    Philip leaves behind his wife, the Queen, four children, grandchildren William, Harry, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

    He is also survived by great-grandchildren George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie, Isla, Savannah, Mia, Lena and Archie.

    • Prince Philip
    • Queen
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