Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband and consort of Queen Elizabeth II, died at age 99, the royal family announced Friday. The royal was beloved by people from the United Kingdom, as well as his native Greece and Denmark. Europe and much of the Commonwealth nations are currently mourning his passing.
"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," the royal family's Twitter account announced Friday. "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."
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. pic.twitter.com/XOIDQqlFPn— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 9, 2021
Prince Philip was hospitalized on Tuesday, Feb. 16, in what Buckingham Palace called a "precautionary measure." However, according to a report by The Associated Press, his ailment was not believed to be related to COVID-19, so details on his cause of death remain scarce. The Duke even received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine along with the Queen back in January. Philip is the longest-serving consort of a monarch in British history. His relationship with the queen spanned eight decades, going all the way back to their teenage years.
Philip and Elizabeth first met in 1934 when Philip was 13 years old and Princess Elizabeth was just 8. At the age of 18, Philip joined the British Royal Navy. He began corresponding regularly with the then-Princess during his service, while she was just 13. Philip served with fleets in the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific Ocean during World War II. His brothers-in-law through his sister both fought for the German army. By the end of the war, Philip had achieved the rank of first lieutenant. He returned home in January of 1946.
King George VI granted Philip permission to marry Princess Elizabeth, and the two officially announced their engagement in 1947. Philip had a claim of royal titles in Greece and Denmark, but he abdicated them in order to be with the future queen. He became a naturalized British subject and married Princess Elizabeth in November of that very year.
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II had four children together — Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and of course Charles, Prince of Wales; as well as the grandfather of Princes William and Harry.
In his decades of service to the crown, Philip showed unwavering support to the queen. He sat by her side for some of her biggest achievements, while reaching several milestones of his own. He served as the Queen's Privy Council for Canada starting in 1957 and patronized at least 800 organizations. He was a major advocate of physical fitness and proactive health care, thanks in large part to his passion for sports.
Prince Philip's longevity has been heavily remarked on by the press. The sight of him with a bandage on has been enough to cause alarm among the populace, but he proved resilient. This past April, he underwent a full hip replacement but was walking without assistance just over a month later at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding.
Prince Philip's passing sent shock waves through the royal family and among royal admirers. So far, plans for his funeral have not been announced.