The Duke of Edinburgh stood by and behind The Queen for 70 years, and was known for his active charity work, and quick tongue.
In a brief statement, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has passed away. He has been by the side of his wife Queen Elizabeth II for more than seven decades.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” the royal communication ends curtly, adding that “further announcements will be made in due course.”
A royal of many courts
Born in Mon Repos, in the Greek island of Corfu, in June 10, 1921, the Duke was the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg, who was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. Because of his paternal ancestry—through his grandfather George I of Greece and great grandfather Christian IX of Denmark—he is a prince of both countries.
Prince Philip got better acquainted with his future wife in 1939, when he was asked by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I to escort their children in a tour of the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. The then 13-year-old Elizabeth was smitten, and the two started corresponding regularly.
Philip and Elizabeth wed on November 20, 1947 in Westminster Abbey. BBC Radio broadcasted the ceremony to roughly 200 million people around the world.
The Prince was Britain’s longest-serving consort, only the second man married to a British monarch in 300 years. He was the first British royal to fly on a helicopter, was an avid polo player until his 50s as well as a yachtsman, pilot, and artist.
Words and actions
In a 2007 Washington Post piece by Paul Duggan, Prince Philip is described as some who is willing to stir the pot a little by saying an odd thing or two in the course of his royal duties.
“Given that he’s a fountain of political incorrectness—and unapologetic to boot—many in the queen’s realm find him rude and offensive, like a ghastly old uncle, hopelessly out of touch with modern sensibilities,” Duggan writes.
The Duke retired from his royal duties in August 2017, but remained associated with around 780 charities and organizations and active in public engagements. He is most well-known for founding The Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1956, which encourages school children to be involved in their respective communities through volunteer work, exercise, and skill learning.
Health and long life
Last January, both the Prince and the Queen were vaccinated for COVID-19. A month later, the Duke felt unwell and was admitted to King Edward VII’s hospital as a precautionary measure. He was treated for an infection and had a heart procedure, and was hospitalized for four weeks, finally being discharged on March 16.
In just over two months, The Prince would have celebrated his 100th birthday.