Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who served as consort to his wife Queen Elizabeth II for more than 60 years, has died at the age of 99.
- Born in Greece to royalty, he escaped political turmoil as a baby
- Prince Philip became Queen Elizabeth II’s trusted adviser and father to her children
- He was a patron of more than 800 organisations and a staunch supporter of the armed services
- Prone to gaffes, he sometimes became a target for media ridicule
The duke had suffered failing health in recent years, and retired from royal duties in 2017.
On March 16 he had been released from London’s King Edward VII hospital, after being admitted a month before as a “precautionary measure”.
A statement from Buckingham Palace at the time of his admission said he had been sent to hospital on the advice of his doctor after feeling unwell.
However the royal family continued to give an upbeat assessment of his health, with his youngest son Prince Edward saying he was “a lot better” and was “looking forward to getting out”.
On March 1, Prince Philip was transferred to St Bartholomew’s hospital, also in London, where tests were carried out on a pre-existing heart condition. A procedure for that condition was successfully carried out on March 4.
“His Royal Highness will remain in hospital for treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days,” the palace said afterwards. He was later sent back to Edward VII to recover.
Prince Philip was previously admitted to King Edward VII just before Christmas in 2019 for treatment for a pre-existing condition, and remained there for several days.
The prince, who would have turned 100 in June, retired from public life in August 2017 but occasionally made appearances at royal engagements.
He spent Christmas 2011 in hospital after an operation to clear a blocked artery and he missed the end of celebrations to mark the Queen’s 60th year on the throne in 2012 after being hospitalised with a bladder infection.
In 2013, the Greek-born former naval officer underwent “an exploratory operation following abdominal investigations”.
He was admitted to hospital in 2017 for treatment for an infection, also arising from a pre-existing condition, and last year spent 10 days in hospital for hip replacement surgery.
In January 2019, Prince Philip was unhurt when his Land Rover flipped after a collision with another car near Sandringham.
He gave up his driving licence after police gave him a warning for driving without wearing a seatbelt.
Known for his forthright manner, Prince Philip was a key source of support for the Queen, who described him as her “strength and stay” throughout their 73-year marriage and her record-breaking reign.
Prince Philip is survived by his wife the Queen and his children Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward and their families.
Who is Prince Phillip!
Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families. He was born in Greece, but his family was exiled from the country when he was an infant. After being educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the thirteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934. During the Second World War he served with distinction in the Mediterranean and Pacific Fleets. 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 titles and styles, 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 granted the style His Royal Highness and created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by King George VI. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, and was made a British prince in 1957.
Philip had four children with Elizabeth: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the couple not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which has also been used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
A sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving. He was a patron, president, or member of over 780 organisations, and he serves as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a self-improvement program for young people aged 14 to 24. He was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the longest-lived male member of the British royal family. Philip retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, aged 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952, and died on 9 April 2021, at the age of 99.