Prince Philip, a Royal Stalwart and the Queen's Husband of 72 Years, Is Dead at 99
The Queen's husband was the longest-serving British consort in history.
This story originally appeared on Business Insider
Prince Philip, the husband to Queen Elizabeth II who became the longest-serving British consort in history, has died at the age of 99.
Buckingham Palace announced on Friday that the Duke of Edinburgh died earlier in the morning.
"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," the palace said in a statement obtained by Insider. "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."
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The duke was hospitalized for four weeks earlier this year in what the palace initially described as a precautionary measure. He was admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital in London on February 16.
The palace said in its initial statement that the royal was expected to "remain in hospital for a few days of observation and rest."
A representative for the duke announced on February 23 that he was being treated for an infection and was "comfortable and responding to treatment."
He was then transferred to St Bartholomew's Hospital, a specialist cardiovascular hospital in London, on March 1.
The palace said Philip underwent a "successful procedure" for a preexisting heart condition on March 3, and he ultimately returned to Windsor Castle on March 16.
The duke and Queen Elizabeth received coronavirus vaccinations in January, and the royal correspondent Victoria Murphy reported back in February that his hospital admittance was not related to COVID-19.
Philip previously was hospitalized in December 2019 for a preexisting condition, a palace representative said at the time, and in June 2017 for treatment for an infection.
The royal couple had marked their 72nd wedding anniversary in November.
They married shortly after World War II, in which he served as a member of the Royal Navy. In addition to a lifetime standing by the Queen's side, he went on to serve as a figurehead for charity organizations like the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Prince Philip was born as "Prince of Greece and Denmark" on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece. His mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg.
His family left Greece while Prince Philip was just 18 months old amid political instability in the country. His uncle Constantine I was forced to abdicate as the country's king.
Philip first met the Queen when they were both children, at a wedding in 1934.
Philip and the then-Princess Elizabeth announced their engagement in July 1947, and they were married November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey. Philip gained the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich upon the marriage.
After the conclusion of his successful naval career, he was appointed admiral of the Sea Cadet Cops, colonel-in-chief of the Army Cadet Force, and air commodore-in-chief of the Air Training Corps in 1952.
The following year he was promoted to admiral of the fleet, field marshal, and marshal of the Royal Air Force — the highest ranks in the British navy, army, and air force.
The royal began to focus his work in support of the Queen, however, following her accession.
Philip was patron, president, or member of more than 780 organizations. He founded the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh's Award youth program.
The duke's list of titles and honors were added to throughout the years. For instance, the honor of knighthood was presented to him from nations across the world, including Greece and Denmark (Knight of the Order of the Elephant) and Ethiopia and Brazil.
In 2009 he became the longest-serving British consort, a title given to the companion to the sovereign.
Outside his royal duties, the Duke of Edinburgh was a keen sportsman, with a passion for polo, carriage driving, and sailing.
Renowned for his cheeky and sometimes offensive sense of humor, he retired from public life in May 2017 at the age of 95, and he once said he "couldn't imagine anything worse" than reaching the age of 100.
He is survived by four children, eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.