UK NEWS

Prince Philip, husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, is dead at 99

The Duke of Edinburgh has died at the age of 99, Buckingham Palace confirms, after a period of ill-health that saw him forced to stand down from royal engagements.

Prince Philip, husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, is dead at 99
Stephen Hird REUTERS

Buckingham Palace has announced the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at the age of 99. Prince Philip was married to Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving British monarch in history.

Prince Philip’s health had been deteriorating for some time but has still be seen at public events in recent years, despite stepping down from official royal engagements in 2017 due to health issues.

Queen mourns the loss of her beloved husband

Prince Philip had been part of the British Royal Family for 73 years, renouncing his Greek and Danish royal titles in 1947 ahead of his marriage to Princess Elizabeth.

A statement from Buckingham Palace 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.”

In response to his death UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised his work with his own Duke of Edinburgh charity, saying he "inspired the lives of countless young people".

At Downing Street address on Friday, Johnson said: "He 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."

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that she was saddened by the news, saying: "I send my personal and deepest condolences - and those of scotgov and the people of Scotland - to Her Majesty The Queen and her family."

Ill-health had plagued Prince Philip for some time

The Duke of Edinburgh had been a visible presence by the Queen’s side for much of his life but deteriorating health had forced him to step down from royal engagements in May 2017. His final official appearance came during a Royal Marines parade in Buckingham Palace that year.

However he was still able to attend some important events in the last years of his life, and was in attendance for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018. In 2019 he was hospitalised for four nights in London’s King Edward VII hospital for treatment related for a pre-existing condition.

He and the Queen spent much of 2020 in lockdown at Windsor Castle, where the couple quietly celebrated both their 73rd wedding anniversary, and the Prince’s 99th birthday.

Across the United Kingdom Union Jack flags will be lowered to half-mast as a period of national mourning is observed.