Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has died at the age of 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.
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. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
The statement continued: “The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
Prince Philip’s death comes just weeks after he was discharged from hospital, where he underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition after feeling unwell. His passing is a significant moment for the UK after he has been by the Queen’s side for her entire 68-year reign on the throne.
The BBC interrupted its normal programming and went dark as it brought viewers and listeners news of the Duke of Edinburgh’s demise. An official notification of his death was also placed outside of Buckingham Palace, while the Palace’s union jack was lowered to half-mast.
The BBC interrupts normal programming to announce Prince Philip's death. pic.twitter.com/tGSbiPT4WB
— Jake Kanter (@Jake_Kanter) April 9, 2021
Speaking on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street, Prime minister Boris Johnson said Prince Philip “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.”
Prince Philip was born on June 10, 1921, on the Greek island of Corfu and he served in the Royal Navy with distinction during World War II. He married Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and was by her side during her coronation to the throne in 1953. Together, they had four children, eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
The Queen famously described him as her “strength and stay” and there will be much made about his public service during his time at the heart of the crown. He was also responsible for helping modernize the institution and, in 1969, was an enthusiastic supporter of an unprecedented BBC documentary on the royal family, titled Royal Family. He was an environmental campaigner and created youth awards scheme, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. He retired in 2017.
Prince Philip was no stranger to controversy, however, and was known for making racist and sexist comments. For example, on a state visit to China in 1986, he notoriously told British students: “If you stay here much longer, you’ll be all slitty-eyed.”
Interest in Prince Philip, as with the entire British monarchy, has increased following The Crown’s arrival on Netflix. He was portrayed by Matt Smith and Tobias Menzies, while Jonathan Pryce will play him from Season 5 onwards.
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