Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh dies aged 99

·5-min read

Prince Philip has died aged 99.

In a statement posted to Instagram, the royal family confirmed the Duke of Edinburgh had passed away on Friday morning (local time) at Windsor Castle.

"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 statement read.

Britain's Prince Philip death announced
Britain's Prince Philip has died aged 99. Photo: AP

"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

Philip's life and royal career

Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II with her husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II with her husband Philip, Duke of Edinburgh married in 1947. Photo: Getty Images

Philip was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on 10 June 1921 to parents to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, and Princess Alice of Battenberg.

He renounced his Danish and Greek titles in 1947 in order to marry the then-Princess Elizabeth.

The pair wed on 20 November 1947, with Philip given the title Royal Highness by Elizabeth’s father George VI the day before. This means he was referred to as ‘Your Royal Highness’ by others but was not a Prince.

On the morning of the couple’s wedding, he was also made Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich of Greenwich in the County of London.

Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Imperial State Crown and the Duke of Edinburgh in uniform of Admiral of the Fleet
Prince Philip was a working member of the royal family from Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1952, to his retirement in 2017. Photo: Getty Images

In February 1957, five years after Elizabeth became Queen, she granted her husband the title of Prince, so he became known as His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Philip was never named king because royal protocol dictates that when a male marries into the royal family, he can’t take his wife’s title in the male form.

This means that wives of British kings become known as ‘queen consorts’ but husbands of ruling queens are given the title of ‘prince consort' though Philip never officially took the title.

Philip Queen
Philip Queen

In his almost seven decades of service, he completed 22,219 solo engagements, gave 5496 speeches and was a member, president or patron of 785 organisations.

He accompanied the Queen on all of her 251 official overseas visits, and also undertook 223 solo visits to 67 Commonwealth countries, and 385 visits to 74 other countries. He is also the oldest ever male royal in British history

Naval career

Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, husband of Princess Elizabeth resumes his attendance at the Royal Naval Officers' School at Kingsmoor in Hawthorn, Wiltshire.  (Photo by PNA Rota/Getty Images)
Philip joined the navy at 18 after finishing school. Photo: Getty Images

After Philip left school in 1939, he joined the Navy as a “special entry” cadet and was awarded Best Cadet prize. In 1941 he was appointed to battleship HMS Valiant in the Mediterranean Fleet, where he took fought against the Italian Navy. He was given special mention for his operation of searchlights during the action by his Commander-in-Chief.

He was promoted to sub-lieutenant and then became a lieutenant at 21. At the end of World War II, he served in the Pacific and was present in Tokyo Bay for the Japanese surrender in 1945. He was promoted to Commander in 1952, before leaving the navy the same year, after the Queen took the throne.

In the same year, he was also appointed Admiral of the Sea Cadet Corps, Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Cadet Force and Air Commodore-in-Chief of the Air Training Corps. When he turned 90, the Queen made him Lord High Admiral — head of the Royal Navy — by title only.


Duke of Edinburgh meet the recipients of Gold Awards of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Philip's death confirmed by Palace
The Duke of Edinburgh, pictured meeting the recipients of Gold Awards of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1992, leaves behind a rich legacy. Photo: Getty Images

In the 1950s Prince Philip set up The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme, which recognises young people for completing self-improvement exercises such as volunteering, expeditions, and developing personal interests. The scheme still operates all over the world, and it’s believed around eight million young people have taken part, across 132 countries.

He also championed conservation efforts in his time as a senior royal.

In 1960, Prince Philip initiated the ‘Countryside in 1970’ conferences, which resulted in him becoming the first President of the World Wildlife Fund in 1961.

He held the role until 1982 in when he became President Emeritus. He visited WWF projects in over 40 countries on five continents.

Prince Philip was also known for his support of science, and become a patron of the Industrial Society in 1952. In 1976 he started the Fellowship of Engineering which promotes excellence and education through engineering.

During his time as the Queen’s consort, Prince Philip authored several books on topics from Competition Carriage Driving to collections of his own speeches and essays.

Queen Elizabeth II with the Duke of Edinburgh and their children Prince Edward, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew, at Balmoral Prince Philip dies
Prince Philip is survived by his wife, the Queen, his four children, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Photo: Getty Images

Philip is survived by his wife of 73 years Queen Elizabeth.

The pair had four children together – Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.

They had eight grandchildren – Princes Harry, Prince William, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn.

They also had nine great-grandchildren – Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, Savannah Phillips, Isla Phillips, Mia Tindall, Lea Tindall and Princess Eugenie’s newborn son.

The Duke was set to celebrate his 100th birthday in June, an occasion Prince Harry and Meghan Markle had been anticipated to return to the UK to celebrate.

The Duke retired from public service in 2017 at the age of 96 and towards the end of his life was rarely seen out and about, last officially appearing in a snap with the Queen that was shared to Instagram to mark the pair's 73rd wedding anniversary.

The Duke enjoyed robust health for much of his life, only occasionally needing medical treatment in his late years.

In January 2019 he had to give up driving at the age of 97, after smashing into a car near Sandringham estate.

In December 2019 he was hospitalised for what was said to be planned treatment for an existing condition.

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