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End of an era: Queen’s husband Prince Philip dies aged 99

Fri 9th Apr 2021 | Updated:

 

Prince Philip has died at the age of 99 Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

Born on June 10, 1921 in Greece, the Duke of Edinburgh was just months away from celebrating his 100th birthday.

Buckingham Palace statement

At noon London time, the Royal Family released a statement.

"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."

Governor-general David Hurley said it was a "sad and historic day". Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been informed.

Governor-general: "Sad and historic day"

Governor-General David Hurley said it was his "solemn and melancholy duty" to announce the death" and it was a "sad and historic day"

He had informed the Prime Minister.

"As we mourn, we should also reflect and give thanks for His Royal Highness' lifetime of service, devotion and commitment."

"And commitment to the Commonwealth and the many hundreds of organisations - including many here in Australia - of which he served as Patron and for whom he was a passionate advocate and supporter."
Mr Hurley said Prince Philp had visited Australia 21 times.

"He was a popular, engaged and welcome visitor to our shores.

"His impact was profound - not least on the more than 775,000 young Australians who have participated in The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award since it began here in 1959.

"As we reflect and remember, we think especially of Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family, who have lost a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

"On behalf of the Australian people, I extend our deepest condolences to Her Majesty and family, the people of the Commonwealth and to all those who share in this sad news.

"We give thanks for the Duke of Edinburgh's service, his loyal and loving devotion to Her Majesty and his commitment to Australia, The Commonwealth and all her people.

"May he Rest in Peace."

Prime Minister: "Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow"

In a statement, PM Morrison said Prince Philip "embodied a generation that we will never see again".

He said the Prince was "no stranger to Australia".

Mr Morrison highlighted his naval service and the many hundreds of thousands of Australians who participated in the Duke of Edinburgh's Award program.

"Australians send our love and deepest condolences to Her Majesty and all the Royal Family.

"The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia".

Boris Johnson: "Out thoughts are with the Queen"

Speaking outside 10 Downing St, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Prince Philip, "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."

The Duke, he said, was an environmentalist "long before it was fashionable".

Mr Johnson remarked on his "steadfast support" for the Queen.

"It is to Her Majesty and the Family that the nation's thoughts must turn today."

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was "saddened" to hear of the death and sent her "personal and deepest condolences" to the Queen.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also called out the Duke's award scheme.

"On behalf of the New Zealand people and the Government, I would like to express my sincere condolences to Her Majesty and to all the Royal Family."

Recent hospitalisations

Philip was taken to the King Edward VII Hospital in London in February as "a precautionary measure, on the advice of His Royal Highness's Doctor, after feeling unwell".

He was released on March 16 after a four-week stay and a heart operation.

The latest hospitalisation, the Duke of Edinburgh's longest, renewed concerns about Philip's health.

Prince Philip made increasingly rare public appearances after retiring from public duties in 2017 at the age of 96, following a two-night hospitalisation for an infection. He then had a hip operation in 2018.

In January 2019, he emerged unscathed after his vehicle was involved in a car accident that injured two people near the monarch's Sandringham estate in eastern England.

He spent four nights at King Edward Hospital in December 2019, where he was treated for what was described as a "pre-existing condition" and was discharged on Christmas Eve that year.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Prince Philip and the Queen, 94, made few public or private appearances. He attended the wedding ceremony of his granddaughter Princess Beatrice last July, shortly before celebrating his 73rd wedding anniversary.

The longest-serving consort in British history, Philip was born on the island of Corfu with Danish and Greek royal titles.

When he was 18 months old, his uncle, King Constantine of Greece, was forced to abdicate and Philip fled the country with his parents and four sisters, initially settling in France.

Philip had been formally introduced to Princess Elizabeth, the future queen, in July 1939 and they kept in touch during the war, meeting on a number of occasions. The pair married in Westminster Abbey in London in 1947.

Their first child, Prince Charles, was born 1948, followed by Princess Anne in 1950, Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964.

The couple celebrated their platinum wedding in November 2017 at Windsor, with Prince Philip a constant presence at the side of the monarch, who has referred to him as her "strength and stay".

He shelved his personal ambitions to support his wife, sharing her sense of duty and tradition and put his energy behind numerous charities including the World Wildlife Fund For Nature and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Yet his public appearances caused offence at times. In 1986, on a visit to China, he reportedly told students from Edinburgh University: "If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slit-eyed."

- with AFP

Originally published as Prince Philip dies aged 99