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 broadcasts the demise of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” Buckingham Palace said in an announcement. “His Royal Highness handed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Fortress. Additional bulletins will made in the end. The Royal Household be part of with folks all over the world in mourning his loss.”
The prince had been admitted to the hospital earlier this 12 months to obtain therapy 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 remodeled wildly from when she first assumed the throne within the early Fifties.
“He has, fairly merely, been my power and keep all these years,” the Queen mentioned in 1997, in a speech to mark their fiftieth anniversary, “and I, and his entire household, and this and lots of different international locations, owe him a debt better 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 virtually 5,500 speeches, made greater than 600 overseas journeys, and was concerned in additional than 780 organizations and charities throughout his intensive 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, said 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 tons of of charities and good causes, his contribution to our United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the broader world shall be of big profit to us all for years to return.”
Born on a dining room table 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 normal 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 colleges, together with Cheam prep college in England, Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, and the Gordonstoun College in Moray, Scotland. “I simply needed to get on with it,” the prince later said, of his tumultuous childhood.
All through this time, Philip is alleged to have hardly ever seen his dad and mom. Towards the top of his childhood his uncle, Lord Mountbatten, was believed to be his important 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 Faculty in Dartmouth, Devon, earlier than preventing the Axis powers in World Battle 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, stored in contact and years later shaped a relationship.
With the outbreak of World Battle II, Philip was persuaded by his uncle to affix the navy, quite than the air power. “It appeared simpler to affix [the military] than be known as up,” he advised the BBC in 1995. “It was inevitable that I used to be going to be in one of many providers throughout the battle. Individuals 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 readily available to witness the Japanese give up in Tokyo Bay in 1945, in addition to the Allied prisoners of battle being launched to British ships. “These folks had been naval folks. They had been emaciated … tears pouring down their cheeks, they only drank their tea, they actually couldn’t converse,” he later recalled. “It was a most extraordinary sensation.”
After the battle, the prince ultimately returned to the UK, however the Telegraph reported that in letters to Princess Elizabeth he mentioned he was “nonetheless not accustomed to the thought of peace,” claiming to be “quite fed up with all the things and feeling that there was not a lot to stay up for and quite grudgingly accepting the thought of happening within the peacetime navy.”
By the summer season, although, his relationship with the longer term monarch had blossomed, and he wrote in a later letter, “To have been spared within the battle and seen victory, to have been given the prospect to relaxation and to re-adjust myself, to have fallen in love utterly 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 longer term Queen, however love received out. Philip and Elizabeth were engaged in 1946, though the princess’s father, George VI, requested for the announcement to be delayed till after his daughter’s twenty first 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 had been married at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony broadcast on radio to 200 million folks all over the world. Some 10,000 congratulatory telegrams had been despatched to the couple, whereas the newlyweds additionally obtained 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 youngster, 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 had been visiting Kenya. The Duke of Edinburgh was the one who advised Princess Elizabeth that her father had died and that she was the brand new Queen of England. She was simply 25 years outdated.
The Queen’s ascension to the throne meant the top of Philip’s naval profession. “It was naturally disappointing,” he later mentioned. “I had simply been promoted to commander and the actual fact was that essentially the most fascinating a part of my naval profession was simply beginning.” In 2011, to mark the prince’s ninetieth birthday, the Queen bestowed him with the title of Lord High 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 strong 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 count on me to do?’ all of them regarded clean. That they had no thought, no person 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 a long time 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, quite than politics. “If we’ve bought this extraordinary variety on this globe, it appears awfully foolish for us to destroy it,” he mentioned in a 2011 interview. “All these different creatures have an equal proper to exist right here, we now have 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 mentioned. “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’d be in bother.”
In 1956, Philip additionally arrange the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award program to encourage younger folks 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 all over the world.
Later in life, Philip grew to become notorious for his typically controversial and racist remarks throughout royal visits. Throughout a tour of a Scottish factory in 1999, for instance, he mentioned of a fuse field, “It seems to be as if it was put in by an Indian.” And a 12 months earlier, he mentioned to a British trekker in Papua New Guinea, “You managed to not get eaten, then?” His remarks typically triggered complications for the royal household, portray him as an out-of-touch relic from one other period.
However his cousin, Countess Mountbatten, advised the BBC that the prince’s off-the-cuff, plain-speaking fashion really endeared him to many individuals. “He all the time speaks his thoughts, typically not essentially with a excessive diploma of tact,” she mentioned. “However then again, I feel that folks have come to count on that of him, they usually actually quite get pleasure from 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 nasty day and it’s fairly arduous work,” he mentioned. “Get him on an excellent 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 neighborhood revered the prince as a deity and the embodiment of an historical warrior.
In 2011, it was introduced Philip can be lowering his royal duties following his ninetieth birthday.
He told the BBC on the time, “I reckon I’ve finished my bit so I need to get pleasure from myself a bit now, with much less accountability, much less frantic dashing about, much less preparation, much less making an attempt to think about one thing to say.”
In December of that 12 months, he spent various days within the hospital after experiencing chest pains. He was additionally admitted to a hospital resulting from a bladder an infection in 2012, and in June 2013 spent 10 days on the London Clinic after present process belly surgical procedure.
In April 2016, Philip joined the Queen in celebrating her ninetieth birthday at a sequence of occasions throughout the nation. He also hosted Barack and Michelle Obama, then the president and first woman, at Windsor Fortress, driving them into the property himself.
The prince underwent hip substitute surgical procedure in April 2018. He additionally survived a automobile crash at Sandringham Palace in January 2019, by which his automobile collided with one other and overturned. He later wrote to a girl who was injured within the different automobile to inform her he was “deeply sorry.”
In Might 2017, it was announced that Philip can be standing down from his royal duties.
A press release from Buckingham Palace mentioned 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 complete assist of The Queen,” the palace mentioned.
Recalling how the prince was the primary royal to put in computer systems in his workplace, historian Christopher Lee advised the BBC in 2017 that the prince must be remembered as a naturally curious man.
“He’ll need to know concerning the massive points. He’ll know each single contact, nuance on Brexit, for instance. He’s briefed on everyone he’s more likely to meet, even folks he won’t ever meet and he takes it in,” Lee mentioned. “I feel he’s by no means stopped being an admiral. Admirals are like that, they should 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.
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