The palace has announced the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Phillip, husband and consort to Queen Elizabeth II, recently spent four weeks in hospital, his longest stay ever.
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.”
Prince Philip was very involved with the affairs of the Royal family until his retirement at age 96 in 2017.
Philip, described himself as “world’s most experienced plaque unveiler”, and he was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch.
He was the oldest-ever male member of the British Royal Family. And he made his final solo public engagement on 2 August 2017 when he met the Royal Marine Corp.
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Early life of Prince Philip
Born into the Greek and Danish royal families, to begin his education, Philip Mountbatten attended 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 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 their union he has served with 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.
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Over the decades millions of teenagers have participated in the award scheme taking place in many different countries.
With the full support of his wife, the Queen, Philip stepped down from his public duties in August 2017. Although, he was present at the wedding ceremony of his grandchildren Prince Harry and Princess Eugenie, in May and October 2018 respectively.
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.
Buckingham Palace said it was not due to his health, though the Duke has faced a number of scares in recent years.
Abdominal surgery, bladder infections and a blocked coronary artery seeing him admitted to hospital on a number of occasions, as well as hip surgery in April 2018.
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.
Funeral plans will be announced in the coming days.