Prince Philip dead: The Duke of Edinburgh dies aged 99

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·11 min read

Watch: Prince Philip death - The Duke of Edinburgh dies, aged 99

The Duke of Edinburgh has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The Palace said in a statement: “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. 

"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

The Palace said more announcements would be made and added: "The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss." 

Prince Philip, husband and consort to Queen Elizabeth II, recently spent four weeks in hospital where he underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition, his longest stay ever.

A notice announcing the death was placed outside Buckingham Palace, and mourners came to place flowers at the gates.

The government has issued a reminder about the current COVID guidelines to people who are thinking of gathering in the wake of the Duke's death.

Harry and Meghan, who are in now in California having stepped back from their senior royal roles, updated the website of their non-profit to reflect the news.

It now reads: "In loving memory of the Duke of Edinburgh" and the dates 1921-2021.

The website also said: "Thank you for your service...You will be greatly missed."

The Royal Family website was updated to reflect the sad news, with a note adding: "The official website of the Royal Family is temporarily unavailable while appropriate changes are made."

An official notice announcing the death of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is placed on the gates of Buckingham Palace in central London on April 9, 2021. - Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip, who recently spent more than a month in hospital and underwent a heart procedure, died on April 9, 2021, Buckingham Palace announced. He was 99. (Photo by Ian West / POOL / AFP) (Photo by IAN WEST/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
The official notice of Philip's death placed on the gates of Buckingham Palace. (Ian West/AFP)
Harry and Meghan's foundation, Archewell, added this short tribute on its website. (Archewell)
Harry and Meghan's foundation, Archewell, added this short tribute on its website. (Archewell)

Read more: What happens next after Prince Philip's death?

Tributes have poured in from around the world, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson who said he had "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".

He said: "He [Philip] was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.

“With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.

“We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen.

“Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her ‘strength and stay’, of more than 70 years.

“And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation’s thoughts must turn today.

“Because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 09: The official Royal announcement of the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is seen on the gates of Buckingham Palace on April 09, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. HRH passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
The official Royal announcement of the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is seen on the gates of Buckingham Palace. (John Phillips/Getty Images)
File photo dated 09/08/51 of Princess Anne in the arms of Princess Elizabeth, with the Duke of Edinburgh, holding Prince Charles, in the grounds of Clarence House, their London residence. The Duke of Edinburgh celebrates his 99th birthday Wednesday.
Princess Anne in the arms of Princess Elizabeth, with the Duke of Edinburgh, holding Prince Charles, in the grounds of Clarence House, in August 1951. (PA Images)

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said in a statement: “The United Kingdom has lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip.

“Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country – from a distinguished career in the Royal Navy during the Second World War to his decades of service as the Duke of Edinburgh.

“However, he will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to the Queen.

“For more than seven decades, he has been at her side. Their marriage has been a symbol of strength, stability and hope, even as the world around them changed – most recently during the pandemic. It was a partnership that inspired millions in Britain and beyond.

“My thoughts are with the Queen, the Royal Family and the British people as our nation comes together to mourn and remember the life of Prince Philip.”

The Royal Family website has been changed to allow updates to be made. (Royal Family)
The Royal Family website has been changed to allow updates to be made. (Royal Family)
ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE  16:  Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive in an open carriage on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot on June 16, 2011 in Ascot, United Kingdom.    (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive in an open carriage on Ladies Day at Royal Ascot in 2011. (Anwar Hussein/WireImage)

Read more: Prince Philip: The story of a devoted husband to his beloved 'Lilibet' Queen

Liberal Democrats leader Sir Ed Davey tweeted: "Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country. We will always be grateful for his amazing service. 

"We shouldn’t forget Prince Philip was a much-loved husband, father, grandfather & great grandfather. So our thoughts are with The Queen and the whole Family at this difficult time."

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said in a statement: "He consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service. During his naval career, in which he served with distinction in the Second World War, he won the respect of his peers as an outstanding officer.

"On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life. He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special."

US president Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden said: "On behalf of all the people of the United States, we send our deepest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the entire royal family, and all the people of the United Kingdom on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

"Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly. From his service during World War II, to his 73 years alongside the Queen, and his entire life in the public eye — Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family.

"The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the armed forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more. His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavours he shaped.

"Jill and I are keeping the Queen and to Prince Philip’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in our hearts during this time."

Watch: Prime Minister: 'We mourn with the Queen'

Floral tributes are seen against the railings at the front of Buckingham Palace in central London on April 9, 2021 after the announcement of the death of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. - Queen Elizabeth II's husband Prince Philip, who recently spent more than a month in hospital and underwent a heart procedure, died on April 9, 2021, Buckingham Palace announced. He was 99. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Flowers at the railings at the front of Buckingham Palace. (Tolga Akmen/AFP)

Mark Drakeford, first minister of Wales, said: "Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit.

“We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his children and their families on this sad occasion."

Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheal Martin posted on Twitter: “Saddened to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: “Today, we mourn the loss of an extraordinary man, who devoted his life to public service and helping others. I extend my deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and the entire Royal Family at this sad time.”

Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister of Australia, said in a statement: “For nearly 80 years, Prince Philip served his Crown, his country and the Commonwealth.

“His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was, in the words of Her Majesty, her ‘strength and stay’.

“He embodied a generation that we will never see again."

Prime minister of Canada Justin Trudeau said: "A man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others, Prince Philip contributed so much to the social fabric of our country – and the world.

"Prince Philip will be remembered as a decorated naval officer, a dedicated philanthropist, and a constant in the life of Queen Elizabeth II.

"The thoughts of all Canadians are with her and the entire Royal Family as they mourn this significant loss."

Picture released 18 November 2007 shows Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh walk at Broadlands, Hampshire, earlier in the year. - Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are to mark their diamond wedding anniversary in reserved style 19 November 2007 before jetting off to Malta to revive golden memories of their newlywed youth. Queen Elizabeth, 81, is known to cherish the time they spent on the Mediterranean island as a young couple, out of Britain and out of the spotlight in the years before she inherited the throne aged 25 in 1952. (Photo by Fiona HANSON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by FIONA HANSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh walk at Broadlands, Hampshire in an image to mark their diamond wedding anniversary in November 2007. (Fiona Hanson/AFP)

Former US president Barack Obama reflected on meeting him during a state tour, and said: "The Queen and Prince Philip immediately put us at ease with their grace and generosity, turning a ceremonial occasion into something far more natural, even comfortable. 

"Prince Philip in particular was kind and warm, with a sharp wit and unfailing good humor. It was our first introduction to the man behind the title, and in the years since, our admiration for him has only grown. We will miss him dearly."

It was confirmed on Friday afternoon that Philip would not have a state funeral, nor would he lie in state.

Philip will lie at rest in Windsor Castle ahead of a funeral at St George's Chapel, the same place where his grandson Prince Harry married in May 2018, as well as his granddaughter Princess Eugenie in October of that year.

The College of Arms confirmed: "The funeral arrangements have been revised in view of the prevailing circumstances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and it is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral." 

Prince Philip - who was often said to keep a firm grip over Royal Family affairs - retired from royal duties in 2017 aged 96.

Philip, who once described himself as the "world's most experienced plaque unveiler", was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch.

He was the oldest-ever male member of the British Royal Family.

He made his final solo public engagement on 2 August 2017 when he met the Royal Marine Corp.

Born into the Greek and Danish royal families, Philip Mountbatten's education included a spell at Gordonstoun School.

He went on to join the Royal Navy and served with the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets in the Second World War.

He married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and gave up his promising naval career when she became Queen in 1952, following the unexpected death of her father, King George VI.

Since then he has served tirelessly alongside the Queen, who was aged 27 at the time, carrying out thousands of appearances and engagements over nearly seven decades.

He also set up the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, which in the 1950s was designed to bridge a gap between leaving school and beginning national service.

Over the decades it’s been completed by millions of teenagers and operates in many different countries.

File photo dated 02/06/1953 of Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Imperial State Crown, and the Duke of Edinburgh, in the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet, waving from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Queen's Coronation. The Royal couple will celebrate their platinum wedding anniversary on November 20.
Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Imperial State Crown, and the Duke of Edinburgh, in the uniform of Admiral of the Fleet, waving from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Queen's Coronation in June 1953. (PA Images)

Philip stepped down from his public duties in August 2017 with the full support of the Queen. He did attend the weddings of his grandchildren Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie, in May and October 2018.

He also attended his granddaughter Princess Beatrice’s royal wedding in July 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, and Lady Gabriella Windsor's in May 2019.

Philip and the Queen spent more time together than they had for some time during the coronavirus pandemic, living together at Windsor Castle for most of the year.

He had retired to Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate but moved to be with his wife.

The Duke had faced a number of health scares in recent years after suffering from a bladder infection and a blocked coronary artery. 

He also had abdominal and hip surgery in recent years.

Princess Elizabeth and Lieut. Philip Mountbatten, whose engagement was announced, pose for their first engagement pictures at Buckingham Palace.
Then Princess Elizabeth and Lieut. Philip Mountbatten, after their engagement was announced in 1947, at Buckingham Palace. (PA Images)

He spent four days at King Edward VII hospital in London just before Christmas 2019, on the advice of his doctor and was discharged in time for the usual family celebrations in Sandringham.

In February 2021, he was admitted to the same hospital, on his doctor's advice, after feeling unwell. 

It came after the duke had received the first coronavirus vaccine, and the palace said it was not linked to COVID-19.

He ended up spending four weeks in hospital, which was his longest ever stay, and included a procedure on his heart.

The duke was sent home from the private hospital to recuperate at home, but died in Windsor Castle about three weeks later.