Queen Elizabeth II’s husband of 70+ years, Prince Philip, has sadly passed away.
A statement post by the Royal Family on Friday 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 devastating news comes after the 99-year-old was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital in London earlier this year. While his health was not affected by COVID-19 related issues, the Prince had reportedly been feeling unwell for a short period of time. Buckingham Palace announced the royal had been taken to receive care as “a precautionary measure” due to doctor’s advice:
“The duke is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days for observation and rest.”
A source shared with ET that the Duke of Edinburgh had traveled by car to the hospital, affirming that this was not an emergency situation at the time. He supposedly walked into the hospital unaided, as well. He spent weeks in the care of doctors and even underwent heart surgery last month. He was released just about three weeks ago. Both Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth received coronavirus vaccinations in January, news they made public to avoid speculation or inaccuracies in media reporting. They have been staying in Windsor Castle throughout England’s lockdown.
His Royal Highness had been fairly healthy throughout his later years, undergoing a few various procedures such as a planned hip replacement surgery in 2018, treatment for a blocked coronary artery in 2011, and exploratory surgery of his abdomen in 2013. He even managed to remain unscathed following a controversial car crash in 2019.
At the age of 96, the Queen’s loyal husband retired from public duties to enjoy more rest and relaxation as many public events had begun to take a toll on his body. Following some absences of events during Christmas time in 2017 per doctor’s recommendations, the palace announced Philip would no longer accept event invitations. While still making appearances at gatherings of his choosing, other members of the family stepped up to support the monarch with Philip’s (well-earned) absence.
Philip is known as part of the British Royal family, but he was actually born to Greek and Danish royalty. However, his family was exiled from Greece when he was still a baby. They moved across Europe, where he was educated in France, Germany, and England. At 18 he joined the British Royal Navy — in 1939, in time to fight in World War II. During this time he began writing letters to teenage Princess Elizabeth, whom he’d met when they were both children.
He actually had to pull a little Megxit of his own and renounce his former royal titles and become a naturalized British subject to marry Elizabeth. (He was also given the title of the Duke of Edinburgh.) Because he was already a knight, he ended up with the unusual title of His Royal Highness Sir Philip Mountbatten.
Their royal wedding was the event of 1947, broadcast by radio to over 200 million listeners worldwide.
Over the years he continued to serve his adopted nation, becoming the patron of over 800 organizations, supporting both the environment and industry, both sport and education.
He is survived by his wife, and children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward — as well as eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
What a life.
[Image via John Rainford/Anwar Hussein/WENN.]