- Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband and the longest-serving consort of any British monarch, has died at age 99.
NBC News: Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.
A statement posted on the royal family’s website Friday morning said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces 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. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
The prince married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen, and was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.
In March, the Duke of Edinburgh left hospital after a month-long stay for treatment.
He underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at another London hospital – St Bartholomew’s.
Prince Philip and the Queen had four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Their first son, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, was born in 1948, followed by his sister, the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, in 1950, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, in 1960 and the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, in 1964.
Prince Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921.
His father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, a younger son of King George I of the Hellenes. His mother, Princess Alice, was a daughter of Lord Louis Mountbatten and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
In his active years, Philip helped set a new course for the monarchy under a young queen, championing Britain itself.
Philip spent 65 years supporting the queen, retiring from his public role in 2017 and staying largely out of the view since. In his active years, he helped set a new course for the monarchy under a young queen, championing Britain itself, as well as environmental causes, science and technology.
Philip’s relationship with the young Princess Elizabeth began as a story of young love. “We behave as though we had belonged to each other for years,” Elizabeth wrote in a letter to her parents shortly after they married.
Over the years, the queen acknowledged Philip’s deep influence on her, calling him her “strength and stay” in a speech on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997.
“I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know,” she said at the time.
The intensely private prince will likely be remembered for his early efforts to help modernize the royal family’s image during a time of great change for Britain and the world, especially at the outset of Elizabeth’s reign in 1952. He also developed a reputation for the occasional brusque comment and crass, if not racist jokes.
“The queen inherited from her father a model of monarchy that was very hands off, old-fashioned and slightly invisible,” said Sarah Gristwood, a historian and the author of “Elizabeth: The Queen and the Crown.”
Philip helped bring the royals to life on television rather than through radio reports. He was the first member of the royal family to do a televised interview and he presented a show on a royal tour of the Commonwealth. He is also said to have had a hand in televising the queen’s coronation in 1953 and in organizing a groundbreaking 1969 television documentary about the family.
At age 7, he moved to England, where he lived at Kensington Palace, now home to Prince William. Philip lived there with his paternal grandmother, Victoria Mountbatten, and later attended Gordonstoun, a boarding school in Scotland.
At 18, Philip joined the Royal Navy and graduated from the Britannia Royal Naval College as a top cadet. He saw active duty from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean, and in 1945 at the end of World War II, he was in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered.
Prince Philip as a naval officer inspecting soldiers of the naval school in Corsham, England in 1946 .
Prince Philip as a naval officer inspecting soldiers of the naval school in Corsham, England in 1946.ullstein bild via Getty Images
Philip’s military career was truly central to his character, unlike perhaps other royals, according to Ashley Jackson, a professor of imperial and military history at King’s College London.
“It’s easy to look at the military career of a royal male and see it as a rite of passage, but with Philip one needs to look beyond that,” he said. “He joined when he wasn’t anywhere near marrying the future queen. This was a career path for a Greek prince,” he added. “This wasn’t a brief dalliance in the military. It’s important to note that he’s clearly an exceptional officer.”
Then known as Philip Mountbatten, he first met his cousin Elizabeth in 1934 at a family wedding. The two are both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria.
The couple exchanged letters while Philip was overseas during the war, only occasionally seeing each other. They would go out driving in Philip’s “tiny MG” sports car, as well as dancing at London nightclubs.