Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and consort to Queen Elizabeth II, dies at 99

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and consort to Queen Elizabeth II, dies at 99
Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, is dead at 99 (Getty Images)

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II passed away on April 9, 2021. He was 99 years old. He is survived by his wife, his children, including the Prince of Wales, Charles, Princess Royal, Anne, Duke of York, Prince Andrew, Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, his grandchildren, who include Princes William and Harry, as well as his great-grandchildren.

The Duke of Edinburgh was transferred to St Bartholomew's Hospital on March 1, almost two weeks after he was admitted to King Edward VII's Hospital, where he was admitted as a "precautionary measure" on February 16. Buckingham Palace had announced at the time that the duke required observation for an existing heart condition.


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For the past several months, Prince Philip had been staying at Windsor Castle after a brief stay in his home at Wood Farm in Sandringham in the summer of 2020. Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II had received the Covid-19 vaccinations earlier this year which were administered by a household doctor at Windsor Castle. 

(L-R) Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during "The Patron's Lunch" celebrations for The Queen's 90th birthday at The Mall on June 12, 2016 in London, England (Getty Images)

Born into royalty

Prince Philip was born into Greek and Danish royal families in Greece, but his family was exiled from the Meditteranean country when he was an infant. He was educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, and joined the British Royal Navy when he was 18 years old.

The year after he joined the British Navy, he began corresponding with the then-13-year-old Princess Elizabeth, who he had first met five years ago. A few years later, Philip asked Elizabeth's father, King George VI for his daughter's hand in marriage. The king agreed on one condition — that the formal announcement of the engagement would wait until Elizabeth turned 21 years old the following year. According to reports, the king and his wife were reluctant to approve the marriage out of fear that their daughter was "too young."

Philip's path into the British royal family was not easy. Following the Second World War, his German relations sparked fears as to whether he would be accepted as a member of the royal family in postwar Britain. Upon becoming engaged to Elizabeth, Philip dropped his Greek and Danish royal titles, and became a naturalized British subject, taking the surname Mountbatten, from his maternal grandparents. On his marriage to Elizabeth, he was conferred upon the titles of Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich.

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, circa 1952. (Getty Images)

As part of the British royal family

After the couple's honeymoon, Prince Philip returned to the navy, first in a desk job at the Admiralty, and then a staff course at the Naval Staff College. He was first stationed in Malta, before being posted as the first lieutenant of the destroyer HMS Chequers, the lead ship of the 1st Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean Fleet. He was promoted to lieutenant commander in 1950.

When Elizabeth became the queen in 1952, Prince Philip became the consort to her. According to insiders, the queen and duke were said to have a strong relationship throughout their marriage, with the queen once declaring that he would have "place, pre-eminence and precedence" next to her "on all occasions and in all meetings, except where otherwise provided by Act of Parliament," which meant that he took precedence over Prince Charles except in the British Parliament. As consort to the Queen, Philip supported his wife in her duties as sovereign, accompanying her on various ceremonies and tours.

Philip was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the oldest-ever male member of the British royal family. In August 2017, at the age of 96 years old, Prince Philip retired from his royal duties and had completed over 22,000 solo engagements since 1952.

Prince Philip was portrayed numerous times on screen, more recently and famously by Matt Smith and Tobias Menzies in Netflix's 'The Crown'. He was also portrayed by Christopher Lee in 'Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story', and James Cromwell in 'The Queen'.

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