Prince Philip — the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, and a central determine in British public life for nearly three-quarters of a century — has died, the royal household introduced Friday. He was 99.
“It’s with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen pronounces the demise of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” Buckingham Palace stated in a press release. “His Royal Highness handed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Citadel. Additional bulletins will made in the end. The Royal Household be a part of with individuals world wide in mourning his loss.”
The prince had been admitted to the hospital earlier this 12 months to obtain remedy for an an infection and surgical procedure for a preexisting coronary heart situation. He was launched in mid-March.
Married for greater than 70 years, Philip was the longest-serving royal consort in British historical past. He was by his spouse’s facet as she oversaw a rustic and a royal household that has been reworked wildly from when she first assumed the throne within the early 1950s.
“He has, fairly merely, been my energy and keep all these years,” the Queen stated in 1997, in a speech to mark their 50th anniversary, “and I, and his entire household, and this and lots of different international locations, owe him a debt higher than he would ever declare, or we will ever know.”
Collectively, the pair had 4 youngsters — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward — in addition to eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Philip accomplished greater than 22,000 solo public engagements, gave nearly 5,500 speeches, made greater than 600 international journeys, and was concerned in additional than 780 organizations and charities throughout his in depth time in public life. He typically jokingly referred to himself as “the world’s most skilled plaque-unveiler.”
The often gaffe-prone prince lastly formally retired from his royal duties in 2017, on the age of 96, though he continued to be seen at weddings and different occasions.
Theresa Might, the previous prime minister, stated on the time of the prince’s retirement that the UK owed Philip their “deepest gratitude” for his a few years of service to the nation: “From his steadfast assist for Her Majesty the Queen to his inspirational Duke of Edinburgh Awards and his patronage of lots of of charities and good causes, his contribution to our United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the broader world will likely be of giant profit to us all for years to return.”
Born on a eating room desk on June 10, 1921, in Corfu, Greece, Philip was the one son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg. He was the youngest of 5 youngsters, with 4 older sisters.
Following a coup, his household left Greece in December 1922 after his uncle, King Constantine I, abdicated. The younger prince was spirited away in a crib usual out of a fruit field. The exiled household initially moved to France earlier than spreading out throughout Europe. Along with his mom institutionalized with schizophrenia, Philip was despatched to quite a few faculties, together with Cheam prep college in England, Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, and the Gordonstoun Faculty in Moray, Scotland. “I simply needed to get on with it,” the prince later stated, of his tumultuous childhood.
All through this time, Philip is claimed to have hardly ever seen his mother and father. Towards the tip of his childhood his uncle, Lord Mountbatten, was believed to be his essential guardian. Two of his sisters married members of the Nazi Occasion, and when one died in a 1937 aircraft crash, Philip was photographed marching together with Nazis in her funeral procession in Germany. The prince himself, although, was by no means a member of the Nazi Occasion. Certainly, after college, Philip attended Britannia Royal Naval School in Dartmouth, Devon, earlier than combating the Axis powers in World Struggle II.
It was whereas he was on the naval faculty that Philip was requested to indicate 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth and her sister, Princess Margaret, round throughout a go to by their father, King George VI, in 1939. (The 2 had first met as youngsters at a 1934 wedding ceremony.) Following the encounter, Philip and Elizabeth, distant cousins, saved in contact and years later fashioned a relationship.
With the outbreak of World Struggle II, Philip was persuaded by his uncle to hitch the navy, reasonably than the air power. “It appeared simpler to hitch [the military] than be known as up,” he instructed the BBC in 1995. “It was inevitable that I used to be going to be in one of many providers throughout the struggle. Folks of that age — we simply did. However, I imply, earlier than that it hadn’t actually occurred to me. I had vaguely thought, What may I do? Bit troublesome being stateless.”
In 1941 he labored aboard HMS Valiant within the Mediterranean, and in 1944 he rose to the rank of first lieutenant. He was available to witness the Japanese give up in Tokyo Bay in 1945, in addition to the Allied prisoners of struggle being launched to British ships. “These individuals have been naval individuals. They have been emaciated … tears pouring down their cheeks, they only drank their tea, they actually couldn’t communicate,” he later recalled. “It was a most extraordinary sensation.”
After the struggle, the prince finally returned to the UK, however the Telegraph reported that in letters to Princess Elizabeth he stated he was “nonetheless not accustomed to the concept of peace,” claiming to be “reasonably fed up with every part and feeling that there was not a lot to look ahead to and reasonably grudgingly accepting the concept of occurring within the peacetime navy.”
By the summer season, although, his relationship with the long run monarch had blossomed, and he wrote in a later letter, “To have been spared within the struggle and seen victory, to have been given the prospect to relaxation and to re-adjust myself, to have fallen in love fully and unreservedly, makes all one’s private and even the world’s troubles appear small and petty.”
Overseas-born and an exiled royal, Philip was a controversial alternative as a husband for the long run Queen, however love gained out. Philip and Elizabeth have been engaged in 1946, though the princess’s father, George VI, requested for the announcement to be delayed till after his daughter’s 21st birthday, so the information was solely made official in July 1947. Round this time, Philip renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles (his father was the grandson of King Christian IX of Denmark) and have become a British topic, adopting the surname Mountbatten.
On Nov. 20, 1947, Philip and Princess Elizabeth have been married at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony broadcast on radio to 200 million individuals world wide. Some 10,000 congratulatory telegrams have been despatched to the couple, whereas the newlyweds additionally acquired greater than 2,500 wedding ceremony items. Simply earlier than the wedding, Philip was formally given the title of Duke of Edinburgh. (The Queen in the end bestowed the title of prince upon him in 1957.)
After honeymooning on the Balmoral property in Scotland, the newlyweds moved to Malta, the place Philip resumed his profession within the navy, rising to the rank of commander. In 1948, Philip and Elizabeth had their first little one, Prince Charles, who was born at Buckingham Palace. His sister, Princess Anne, was born two years later.
On Feb. 6, 1952, King George VI died whereas Philip and his spouse have been visiting Kenya. The Duke of Edinburgh was the one who instructed Princess Elizabeth that her father had died and that she was the brand new Queen of England. She was simply 25 years previous.
The Queen’s ascension to the throne meant the tip of Philip’s naval profession. “It was naturally disappointing,” he later stated. “I had simply been promoted to commander and the very fact was that probably the most fascinating a part of my naval profession was simply beginning.” In 2011, to mark the prince’s 90th birthday, the Queen bestowed him with the title of Lord Excessive Admiral of the Navy, the ceremonial head of the power, in a transfer seen by some as recognition of the sacrifices he made professionally for his spouse.
Because the male consort to a robust girl in a nonetheless historically conservative period, Philip struggled for a while to forge an identification. “There was no precedent,” he later recalled. “If I requested any person, ‘What do you anticipate me to do?’ all of them appeared clean. That they had no thought, no one had a lot thought.”
The prince occupied himself, partly, by changing into a certified pilot and by spearheading modernization efforts at Buckingham Palace and different royal residences.
He additionally undertook a substantial quantity of charity work throughout his lifetime, together with championing environmentalism throughout his many years with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Whereas insisting he wasn’t “a bunny hugger,” Philip framed his ardour for conservation as a matter of practicality, reasonably than politics. “If we’ve bought this extraordinary variety on this globe, it appears awfully foolish for us to destroy it,” he stated in a 2011 interview. “All these different creatures have an equal proper to exist right here, we have now no prior rights to the Earth than anyone else, and in the event that they’re right here, let’s give them an opportunity to outlive.”
Pure historian and broadcaster David Attenborough described the prince as extraordinarily educated and recalled being intimidated by him on their first assembly. “He’s formidable, he’s daunting, partly due to his place, but additionally as a result of he’s a really appreciable mind,” Attenborough stated. “The primary time I met him, it was completely clear that in the event you turned up and also you hadn’t mastered the papers, he would detect it in a short time and you’ll be in bother.”
In 1956, Philip additionally arrange the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program to encourage younger individuals to finish social and bodily improvement duties. The favored scheme, impressed by Philip’s personal time at Gordonstoun, continues to this present day in dozens of nations world wide.
Later in life, Philip turned notorious for his generally controversial and racist remarks throughout royal visits. Throughout a tour of a Scottish manufacturing facility in 1999, for instance, he stated of a fuse field, “It seems to be as if it was put in by an Indian.” And a 12 months earlier, he stated to a British trekker in Papua New Guinea, “You managed to not get eaten, then?” His remarks typically precipitated complications for the royal household, portray him as an out-of-touch relic from one other period.
However his cousin, Countess Mountbatten, instructed the BBC that the prince’s off-the-cuff, plain-speaking model really endeared him to many individuals. “He at all times speaks his thoughts, generally not essentially with a excessive diploma of tact,” she stated. “However however, I believe that individuals have come to anticipate that of him, they usually actually reasonably take pleasure in it they usually suppose, how good to listen to any person really say what they suppose.”
Philip’s environmental adviser, Martin Palmer, who first met the duke in 1985 and cofounded the Alliance of Religions and Conservation with him in 1995, acknowledged he may very well be prickly. “Get him on a foul day and it’s fairly onerous work,” he stated. “Get him on a very good day, and you actually do not need to be with anyone else.”
Maybe the prince’s most passionate followers, although, lived on a small island in Vanuatu. There, a distant group revered the prince as a deity and the embodiment of an historic warrior.
In 2011, it was introduced Philip can be decreasing his royal duties following his 90th birthday.
He instructed the BBC on the time, “I reckon I’ve achieved my bit so I need to take pleasure in myself a bit now, with much less accountability, much less frantic speeding about, much less preparation, much less making an attempt to consider one thing to say.”
In December of that 12 months, he spent plenty of days within the hospital after experiencing chest pains. He was additionally admitted to a hospital as a result of a bladder an infection in 2012, and in June 2013 spent 10 days on the London Clinic after present process stomach surgical procedure.
In April 2016, Philip joined the Queen in celebrating her 90th birthday at a sequence of occasions throughout the nation. He additionally hosted Barack and Michelle Obama, then the president and first woman, at Windsor Citadel, driving them into the property himself.
The prince underwent hip alternative surgical procedure in April 2018. He additionally survived a automobile crash at Sandringham Palace in January 2019, through which his car collided with one other and overturned. He later wrote to a lady who was injured within the different car to inform her he was “deeply sorry.”
In Might 2017, it was introduced that Philip can be standing down from his royal duties.
An announcement from Buckingham Palace stated the Duke of Edinburgh had “determined that he’ll not perform public engagements from the autumn of this 12 months.”
“In taking this determination, The Duke has the total assist of The Queen,” the palace stated.
Recalling how the prince was the primary royal to put in computer systems in his workplace, historian Christopher Lee instructed the BBC in 2017 that the prince must be remembered as a naturally curious man.
“He’ll need to know in regards to the massive points. He’ll know each single contact, nuance on Brexit, for instance. He’s briefed on everyone he’s prone to meet, even individuals he won’t ever meet and he takes it in,” Lee stated. “I believe he’s by no means stopped being an admiral. Admirals are like that, they must be, and admirals by no means retire.”
Correction: The Queen and Prince Philip have 10 great-grandchildren. A earlier model of this story misstated the quantity.