England, April 9: Prince Philip, the longest-serving royal consort in British history and a constant presence at Queen Elizabeth II’s side for decades, died Friday aged 99, Buckingham Palace announced.
The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is a profound loss for the 94-year-old monarch, who once described him as her “strength and stay all these years“.
The outspoken former navy commander devoted much of his life as the queen’s husband to charity work — but was notorious for numerous gaffes, many deemed downright offensive.
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
He was admitted to hospital on February 16 and went home after a month during which he was treated for a pre-existing heart condition and an infection.
Announcing his passing, BBC television played the national anthem over a picture of Philip in his prime, dressed in military dress uniform.
Flags were lowered to half-mast on royal and government buildings and a notice announcing his death pinned to the gates of Buckingham Palace.
“We give thanks, as a nation and a kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said outside 10 Downing Street.
Johnson said Philip had “earned the affection of generations” at home, in the Commonwealth and across the world after first serving in the Royal Navy and then over nearly eight decades beside the queen.
Philip retired from public duties in 2017 at the age of 96.
His death came just months before his 100th birthday in June — an event typically marked in Britain with a congratulatory message from the queen, who is now Britain’s longest-serving monarch.
The couple, who celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November, had been living largely in isolation at Windsor Castle, west of London because their advanced age put them at heightened risk from Covid-19.
Philip and the queen received their first vaccinations against the virus in January.