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Britain’s Prince Philip has died aged 99

The husband of Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.
Apr 9th 2021, 12:06 PM 141,812 201

PRINCE PHILIP, THE Duke of Edinburgh, has died.

He was 99. 

The royal was Queen Elizabeth II’s loyal husband for seven decades following their marriage in 1947.

The news was confirmed by the British royal family this afternoon. 

A statement from 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.”

The Union Jack flag on Buckingham Palace is flying at half mast following his death this morning.

Increased numbers of police officers are patrolling beside the palace gates where small groups of passers-by have also gathered.

Prince Philip died at Windsor Castle weeks after being discharged from a month-long stay in hospital.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh at Downing Street just before 12.30pm today.

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.”

‘The strength’

And although he often hit the headlines for the wrong reasons, thanks to various off-the-cuff and sometimes ill-judged remarks, the Queen regarded him as “the strength” behind the throne.

Royalty - Engagement of Princess Elizabeth and Lieut. Philip Mountbatten - London Source: PA Archive/PA Images

Philip met the then Princess Elizabeth just before the outbreak of World War II, and they exchanged letters while he served with the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean and the Pacific.

After their marriage, they spent time in Malta, where he was posted – only for their lives to be changed overnight by the premature death of her father, king George VI, in 1952.

He once admitted the curtailment of his promising naval career was “disappointing”, but said that “being married to the queen, it seemed to me that my first duty was to serve her in the best way I could”.

Although he had a reputation for coldness towards his children, many observers consider Philip the glue that held the royal family together as their offspring went through a series of divorces in the 1990s.

In a rarely seen softer side to the prince, it emerged that the late Diana, princess of Wales addressed him as “Dearest Pa” in letters in which he offered solace over her deteriorating marriage to his eldest son Prince Charles.

He has also been credited for the way he tried to protect Charles and Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry, from media attention following Diana’s death in 1997.

In a rare interview to mark his 90th birthday in 2011, the prince said he carved out his role by “trial and error”.

“There was no precedent. If I asked somebody, ‘What do you expect me to do?’ they all looked blank. They had no idea,” he told the BBC.

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Royal visit to Lord's Source: Arthur Edwards

Philip had a keen interest in scientific and technological research, and was also an early champion of the conservation movement.

He served as the first president of the British branch of the World Wildlife Fund from its foundation in 1961 to 1982.

Many of his charities also involve young people, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a scheme to build life skills that has been completed by more than eight million young people since 1956.

‘I’ve done my bit’ 

Philip was born on a kitchen table on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, the only son of prince Andrew of Greece – the younger brother of Greece’s king Constantine I – and princess Alice of Battenberg.

Aged just 18 months, his family were evacuated on a British navy ship from politically unstable Greece, with the infant reputedly carried in a cot made from an orange box.

They settled in Paris, and at seven Philip was sent away to school in England.

He became a Royal Navy cadet following the outbreak of war in 1939. By 1945, he was a first lieutenant and was in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender.

When he married he gave up his titles as a prince of Greece and Denmark – and became a naturalised British subject.

- With reporting from Sean Murray, AFP 

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Daragh Brophy


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