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Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip dead at the age of 99

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has died at the age of 99, Buckingham Palace has announced. A statement from Buckingham Palace said: ‘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.’ Other members of the Royal Family have been informed of his death and it is expected that flags across the country will be lowered to half mast. Mourners have already begun laying flowers outside Buckingham palace, where Royal household staff have placed a framed plaque announcing the Duke’s death. Police on horses moved people along as small crowds stopped to read the sign.

 

Buckingham Palace said further announcements will be made in due course, adding: ‘The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.’ The Duke, the longest-reigning consort in British history, had recently been treated at King Edward VII Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital for an infection. He returned to Windsor Castle on March 16 to be reunited with the Queen after spending a month in hospital – his longest ever stay. He initially received care for an infection but then underwent heart surgery for a pre-existing condition. Philip – father to the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex – was just two months away from his 100th birthday in June. Over the coming days funeral arrangements will be made for Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years.

 

Prince Philip’s school years were spent in various private institutions in Europe.

It was while he was away at one British boarding school that his exiled family began to fracture.

In 1930, when he was eight years old, his mother, Princess Alice, was committed to a secure psychiatric centre after suffering a nervous breakdown.

His father, Prince Andrew, retreated to the French Riviera with a mistress. Later, his four sisters married and moved to Germany.

Philip’s maternal relatives in the UK helped raise him and he later adopted their surname, Mountbatten – an anglicised form of the family name Battenberg.

By the time he went to Gordonstoun, a private school on the north coast of Scotland, Philip was tough, independent and able to fend for himself.

Its founder and headmaster was Jewish educational pioneer Kurt Hahn, who had been forced out of Germany for condemning the Nazis.

Prince Philip loved the school and its ethos – a focus on community service, teamwork, responsibility and respect for the individual that laid the foundations of how he wanted to live his life.

The UK’s political parties have suspended their campaigning for May’s local and national elections. The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats have all paused their campaigns, as have the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

 

The Duke of Edinburgh has made such a huge contribution to the success of the Queen’s reign. The Queen and Prince Philip were quite different in terms of character – the Queen, quite cautious and reserved, whereas the duke was full of self confidence – but together the partnership really worked.

He in support, a role which he adapted to and adjusted to and found he was rather well-suited to – he was utterly loyal in his belief in the importance of the role that the Queen was fulfilling – and in his duty to support her.

It was the importance of the solidity of that relationship, of their marriage, that was so crucial to the success of her reign. King Philippe of Belgium (here with Queen Mathilde last month) intends to speak to the Queen when possibleImage caption: King Philippe of Belgium (here with Queen Mathilde last month) intends to speak to the Queen when possible
A number of European heads of state have expressed their sympathies on the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.

King Philippe of Belgium has conveyed the condolences of the Belgian Royal Family to the Queen in a private message. A public message will be released soon, but the King hoped to speak to the Queen in person when it was possible.

 

King Carl Gustaf of Sweden has said he and Queen Silvia are “deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh”. “Prince Philip has been a great friend of our family for many years, a relation which we have deeply valued. His service to his country will remain an inspiration to us all”.

Taoiseach of Ireland Micheál Martin said he was “saddened to hear of the death of HRH, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time”.

Malta’s prime minister, Robert Abela, said he was “truly saddened by the loss of Prince Philip, who made Malta his home and returned here so often. Our people will always treasure his memory”.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said: “It is with great sadness that I learned about the passing of Prince Philip. May his soul rest in peace. I extend my deepest condolences to Queen Elizabeth II. In this hour of immense loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you & the people of the UK”.

Latvian President Egils Levits said: “My deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family on the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, won widespread respect for his steadfast and constant support of the Queen.

 

It was a desperately difficult role for anyone, let alone a man who had been used to naval command and who held strong views on a wide range of subjects.

Yet it was that very strength of character that enabled him to discharge his responsibilities so effectively, and provide such wholehearted support to his wife in her role as Queen.

As male consort to a female sovereign, Prince Philip had no constitutional position. But no-one was closer to the monarchy, or of greater importance to the monarch, than he was.

Other political leaders from across the UK are among those paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh. Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster offered her “deepest sympathies” to the Queen and the Royal Family “at this sad time”, while Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill extended her “sincere condolences”. Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said he was “incredibly sad” to hear of the duke’s death.

“He served the crown with selfless devotion and will be sorely missed by the people of Wales and the many organisations he supported,” he said in a tweet.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has sent her “personal and deepest condolences” to the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family. “I am saddened by news that the Duke of Edinburgh has died,” she says in a tweet.

 

“I send my personal and deepest condolences – and those of @scotgov and the people of Scotland – to Her Majesty The Queen and her family.” As a young boy Philip’s family were drive from Corfu, the place of his birth, and were living in exile in Europe. In Paris, he lived in a house borrowed from a relative; but it was not destined to become a home.

In just one year, while he was at boarding school in Britain, the mental health of his mother, Princess Alice, deteriorated and she went into an asylum; his father, Prince Andrew, went off to Monte Carlo to live with his mistress; and his four sisters married and went to live in Germany. In the space of 10 years he had gone from a prince of Greece to a wandering, homeless, and virtually penniless boy with no-one to care for him.

Prince Philip married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen, and was the longest-serving royal consort in British history. The couple 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, followed in 1960 and finally the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, in 1964.

Boris Johnson ends his tribute by saying the Royal Family have lost “not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband, a proud and loving father, grandfather, and in recent years, great-grandfather”.

 

The prime minister quotes the Queen as once saying the country owed her husband a greater debt than “we should ever know”, adding that he was sure that estimate was correct.

“We mourn today with Her Majesty the Queen, we offer our condolences to her, and all her family and we give thanks, as a nation, and kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” he said.

In his tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, Boris Johnson said, “he helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life.”

He said he was an environmentalist and a “champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable”. Prince Philip also “shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people” with his Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, the prime minister said, and at literally tens of thousands of events “he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions”.

He said the duke would also be remembered above all for his “steadfast support” for the Queen – not just as her consort but as her husband, “her strength and stay for more than 70 years”. “It is to Her Majesty and the family that the nation’s thoughts must turn today.”

A framed notice of the death of Prince Philip has been placed on the railings of Buckingham Palace in central London.

 

The notice reads: “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 be made in due course. “The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Reacting to the news of Prince Philip’s death, leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, says: “The United Kingdom has lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip.

“Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country – from a distinguished career in the Royal Navy during the Second World War to his decades of service as the Duke of Edinburgh.

“However, he will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to the Queen.

 

“For more than seven decades, he has been at her side. Their marriage has been a symbol of strength, stability and hope, even as the world around them changed – most recently during the pandemic. It was a partnership that inspired millions in Britain and beyond.

“My thoughts are with the Queen, the Royal Family and the British people as our nation comes together to mourn and remember the life of Prince Philip.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is “with great sadness” that he received news of Prince Philip’s death from Buckingham Palace.

Paying tribute, he said the Duke of Edinburgh earned the affection of generations in the UK, across the Commonwealth and around the world.

“He was the longest serving consort in history, one of the last surviving people in this country to have served in the Second World War where he was mentioned in dispatches for bravery.”

The Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen were married for more than 70 years and Philip dedicated decades of his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch’s side.

He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history and officially retired from public engagements in the summer of 2017.

In a statement Buckingham Palace 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.”

Prince Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921 but was not Greek – his ancestry was Danish, German and British.

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.

His family was driven into exile in 1922 when King Constantine of Greece was deposed in a coup.

A British warship took the prince’s family to France when he was 18 months old – the young prince ferried to safety in a cot made of an orange box – and his early years were spent wandering as his family moved from country to country.

The young prince attended several European schools, including Gordonstoun, in Moray – where he later sent his sons – before becoming a cadet at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.

 

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The Duke of Edinburgh “passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle”, the palace said in a statement.