Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and the husband of Britain's long-serving Queen Elizabeth II, a critical figure in shaping the modern royal family over 7 decades, has died.
The Prince, who died at 99, was just months away from his 100th birthday. His passing was confirmed by the royal family on Twitter
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.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 9, 2021
His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. pic.twitter.com/XOIDQqlFPn
The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) April 9, 2021
Further announcements will be made in due course.
Visit https://t.co/utgjraQQv5 to read the announcement in full.
Read the official royal statement below:
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 Duke was married to Queen Elizabeth II for more than 70 years and became the longest-serving consortin British history. He carried out an active public schedule into his 90s, though he retired from public duties back in 2017, when he made his final official appearance at a Royal Marine parade at Buckingham Palace. Still, he continued to make appearances reflecting his own charitable interests.
The Prince's sometimes outspoken remarks in later years made him a target of progressives around the world, and that anger was seemingly reinvigorated after the Prince's grandson, Prince Harry, and his wife, Megan Markle, accused the Royal Family of racism during a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey.
A meme featuring a photo of the elderly prince being driven back from the hospital went viral, as some twitter users joked that the Prince was "afraid" to meet Princess Diana in the afterlife.
While the Prince died a royal, his early years were marked by hardship. Prince Philip’s father effectively abandoned the family when the prince was 9, and his mother suffered a nervous breakdown and spent many years in mental health clinics. Prince Philip eventually was sent to live with relatives in England. He was sent to boarding school at Gordonstoun, a private institution in Scotland with a reputation for strict discipline.
After graduation, the prince attended the Royal Naval College in the town of Dartmouth, where he met the future queen, during a visit by the royal family in 1939. Philip, then 18, was taken to see the 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth and her sister who were playing with a clockwork train, according to a biography of the Prince. Allegedly, the new friendship was sealed with ginger crackers and lemonade, and by a game of tennis.
WSJ wrote that Philip's passing marks "the start of a generational transition for Britain’s royal family, which has been a bastion of stability for the nation since Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne in 1952." Queen Elizabeth is increasingly stepping back from royal duties, with their eldest son, Prince Charles, and grandson Prince William (along with his wife, Catherine, Dutchess of Cambridge) moving to take over instead.