The Duke of Edinburgh – Prince Philip – has died, Buckingham Palace has said.
He was taken to hospital over Christmas in 2011 for treatment for a blocked artery. In 2012 he was admitted to hospital during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee with a bladder infection, and in 2013 had an exploratory operation on his abdomen.
But it was not until May 2017, after carrying out more than 20,000 solo public engagements, that the 96-year-old retired from his own programme of royal duties, occasionally stepping out to support the Queen for big events.
No official details have been released yet about the Duke’s funeral, but it is understood he will be given a royal ceremonial funeral rather than a state funeral, in line with his wishes.
The Queen will sign off the final plans in the coming days.
Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark was born on the island of Corfu in 1921.
At the age of 18, the prince joined the Royal Navy as a cadet.
He saw active service during the Second World War, serving in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean, and was mentioned in despatches for his bravery.
In 1947 he renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles, took on the surname of Mountbatten and became a naturalised British subject ahead of his marriage to Princess Elizabeth.
Their wedding was the first great state occasion after the end of the Second World War.
His commitment to the Queen was unfaltering. He gave up his career in the Navy in order to support her in her role as monarch.
The Queen has described Prince Philip as her “constant strength and stay”.
They had four children – Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward – and he was a much loved grandfather and great-grandfather.
He saw himself as a moderniser within the British monarchy, orchestrating the first royal walkabout – but he was also known for his forthright views and off-the-cuff remarks.
Prince Philip’s concern for young people inspired him to create the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, and he supported more than 800 charities and good causes – focusing on his interests in wildlife conservation, technology and sport.
Since the 1940s Prince Philip was an ever present figure in the life of the UK and leaves behind his own considerable legacy.
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.”
The Duke was married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years and became the longest-serving consort in British history.
Prince Philip Biography
According to Wikipdia, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, 10 June 1921 – 9 April 2021) was a member of the British royal family as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families. He was born in Greece, but his family was exiled from the country when he was an infant. After being educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the thirteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934. During the Second World War he served with distinction in the Mediterranean and Pacific Fleets.
After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish titles and styles, became a naturalised British subject, and adopted his maternal grandparents’ surname Mountbatten.
He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, he was granted the style His Royal Highness and created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by King George VI. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, and was made a British prince in 1957.
Philip had four children with Elizabeth: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the couple not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which has also been used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
A sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving. He was a patron, president, or member of over 780 organizations, and he served as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a self-improvement program for young people aged 14 to 24. He was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the longest-lived male member of the British royal family. Philip retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, aged 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952, and died on 9 April 2021, at the age of 99, after noticeably declining health.
Condolences from Scotland
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “saddened” by the death of the duke of edinburgh.
She tweeted: “I send my personal and deepest condolences – and those of scotgov and the people of Scotland – to Her Majesty The Queen and her family.”
The prince married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen, and was the longest-serving royal consort in British history. In March, the Duke of Edinburgh left hospital after a month-long stay for treatment.
He underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at another London hospital – St Bartholomew’s.
Prince Philip Books
The prince has authored a number of books:
- Selected Speeches – 1948–55 (1957, revised paperback edition published by Nabu Press in 2011) ISBN 978-1245671330
- Selected Speeches – 1956–59 (1960)
- Birds from Britannia (1962) (published in the United States as Seabirds from Southern Waters) ISBN 978-1163699294
- Wildlife Crisis with James Fisher (1970) ISBN 978-0402125112
- The Environmental Revolution: Speeches on Conservation, 1962–1977 (1978) ISBN 978-0846414537
- Competition Carriage Driving (1982) (published in France 1984, second edition 1984, revised edition 1994) ISBN 978-0851315942
- A Question of Balance (1982) ISBN 978-0859550871
- Men, Machines and Sacred Cows (1984) ISBN 978-0241111741
- A Windsor Correspondence with Michael Mann (1984) ISBN 978-0859551083
- Down to Earth: Collected Writings and Speeches on Man and the Natural World 1961–87 (1988) (paperback edition 1989, Japanese edition 1992) ISBN 978-0828907118
- Survival or Extinction: A Christian Attitude to the Environment with Michael Mann (1989) ISBN 978-0859551588
- Driving and Judging Dressage (1996) ISBN 978-0851316666
- 30 Years On, and Off, the Box Seat (2004) ISBN 978-0851318981
- Royal Australian Navy 1911–1961 Jubilee Souvenir issued by authority of the Department of the Navy, Canberra (1961)
- The Concise British Flora in Colour by William Keble Martin, Ebury Press/ Michael Joseph (1965)
- Kurt Hahn by Hermann Röhrs and Hilary Tunstall-Behrens (1970)
- The Art of Driving by Max Pape (1982) ISBN 978-0851313399
- Yachting and the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club by Graeme Norman (1988) ISBN 978-0867770674
- National Maritime Museum Guide to Maritime Britain by Keith Wheatley, (2000)
- The Royal Yacht Britannia: The Official History by Richard Johnstone-Bryden, Conway Maritime Press (2003) ISBN 978-0851779379
- 1953: The Crowning Year of Sport by Jonathan Rice, (2003)
- British Flags and Emblems by Graham Bartram, Tuckwell Press (2004) ISBN 978-1862322974
- Chariots of War by Robert Hobson, Ulric Publication (2004) ISBN 978-0954199715
- RMS Queen Mary 2 Manual: An Insight into the Design, Construction and Operation of the World’s Largest Ocean Liner by Stephen Payne, Haynes Publishing (2014)
- The Triumph of a Great Tradition: The Story of Cunard’s 175 Years by Eric Flounders and Michael Gallagher, Lily Publications (2014) ISBN 978-1906608859