Prince Philip, the husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, has died at age 99.
In a statement, the 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. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
Philip, also known by his official title of the Duke of Edinburgh, was the longest-serving British consort. He married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947 after a courtship that charmed a country still reeling from the ravages of World War II.
In his seven decades of service, Philip often accompanied the Queen on royal engagements, and conducted thousands of his own solo appearances. He once referred to himself as “the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler,” while the Queen lauded him as her “constant strength and guide.”
Philip continued making public appearances well into his 90s, retiring only in August 2017. He supported a number of philanthropic endeavors and was associated with around 800 organizations. He founded the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme, a youth development program that operates in more than 130 countries and territories around the world, including in Canada.
After retiring, Philip spent much of his time at the Queen’s rural Sandringham estate. He was occasionally seen in later years at private family events such as the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Windsor Castle.
The duke was born the Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on the Greek island of Corfu in 1921. He left Greece, aged 18 months, with his family when King Constantine was forced to abdicate after a revolt by Greece’s war-stretched military forces. The family moved first to Paris and later, in 1928, to England.
Philip had an itinerant childhood, educated variously in the United Kingdom, France and Germany. He became a decorated naval officer for his service during World War II, and when peace returned, rekindled an earlier friendship with Elizabeth that quickly blossomed into a public romance.
To marry, the duke renounced his Greek title, became a naturalized British subject and took the surname Mountbatten, derived from his mother’s side of the family. The marriage ceremony was held at Westminster Abbey in 1947.
Philip and Elizabeth have four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.