The Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth‘s husband and “strength and stay” for 73 years, has died aged 99.
A statement from Buckingham Palace 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.”
He was the longest serving consort in British history, and was only months away from his 100th birthday in June.
Philip had returned to Windsor Castle on 16 March to be reunited with the Queen after spending a month in hospital – his longest stay. He initially received care for an infection but then under went heart surgery for a pre-existing condition.
An official notice of his death was posted on the railings of Buckingham Palace, as is traditional, but was being removed shortly afterwards to avoid crowds gathering.
The coronavirus pandemic will have a major impact on the carefully laid plans for the duke’s funeral. With restrictions still in place amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the public elements of the final farewell will not be able to take place in their original form.
Philip’s health had been slowly deteriorating for some time. He announced he was stepping down from royal engagements in May 2017, joking that he could no longer stand up. He made a final official public appearance later that year during a Royal Marines parade on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
Source: The Guardian