Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died.
The longest-serving consort in British history and the oldest member of the royal family, Philip died peacefully Friday, April 9, at Windsor Castle. He was 99.
The news comes nearly two months after Philip was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London on Feb. 16. At the time, Buckingham Palace said in a statement that it was a precautionary measure recommended by his doctor after Philip was feeling unwell. He underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition and received treatment for an infection, NBC News confirmed. He returned home to Windsor on March 16.
When Prince Philip married then-Princess Elizabeth over 73 years ago on Nov. 20, 1947, he assumed the arguably difficult role of a prince consort, one very few men have held in royal history, requiring him to forever live in his wife’s shadow.
Prince Philip was born June 21, 1921, into Greek and Danish royalty on the Greek island of Corfu. His uncle King Constantine I was overthrown in a military revolt that ultimately led the banishment of the rest of the Greek royal family in 1922. Philip was just a year old when his family fled to France, which became his home for the rest of his childhood, though he attended boarding schools in Germany and England.
Philip went on to join the Royal Navy. As a cadet, he caught the eye of then 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth. Both great-great-grandchildren of Britain’s Queen Victoria, they were distant relatives.
The two exchanged letters and developed a romance that led to their Nov. 20, 1947, wedding at Westminster Abbey in a ceremony that was broadcast on radio throughout the world. Prior to the ceremony, Philip abandoned his Greek and Danish royal titles and took on the surname Mountbatten from his mother’s family.
He received the title Duke of Edinburgh at the time of their wedding.
The couple went on to have four children: Prince Charles, the first in line to the British throne, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. They have eight grandchildren, including Prince Harry and Prince William, and 10 great-grandchildren.
“He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years,” the queen said about her husband in a Facebook post released by the royal family’s account on the prince’s 95th birthday.
Philip left his naval career for royal duties once his wife ascended to throne in 1952. He and Elizabeth, who was 25 at the time, were on an official trip to Kenya when her father, King George VI, died. It was Philip who broke the news to his wife.
In his early years, Philip was widely viewed as a dashing young man who was a bit of a flirt and possessed an acerbic wit. But that sharp tongue also led him to be known for a series of public gaffes that followed him for decades.
During a trip to Scotland, he asked a driving instructor: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to get them through the test?” And he famously won the hearts of the Scottish Women’s Institute by telling them, “British women can’t cook.”
In more recent years, Prince Philip has suffered from health problems, including a blocked coronary artery in 2011. A bladder infection in June 2012 led him to miss some of the celebrations in honor of his wife’s Diamond Jubilee. And a hip surgery in April 2018 had many questioning whether he would go to Prince Harry’s wedding to the former Meghan Markle, though he ultimately did attend. In December 2019, he was admitted to the hospital for observation and treatment in relation to a pre-existing condition.
Philip retired from royal duties in the fall of 2017.
- June, 10, 1921
- Corfu, Greece
- April, 09, 2021
- Windsor, United Kingdom
Cause of Death
- old age
- St. George's Chapel
- Berkshire, England