Prince Philip died at age 99 on Friday. In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
The husband of Queen Elizabeth II, Philip was the longest-serving consort in British history. Since 1952, Philip participated in more than 22,000 public engagements. He was known for his sense of humor and frankness, his passion for the monarchy and his advocacy of wildlife conservation, athletics and science.
His comments frequently upset people. In 2002, he asked a group of Indigenous Australians “Do you still throw spears at each other?” told the President of Nigeria, who was dressed in traditional robes, “You look like you’re ready for bed!” in 2003.
Philip returned to Windsor Castle on March 16th after spending about a month in the hospital with heart issues.
Elizabeth and Philip were married for 73 years. He retired from public duties in August of 2017, but still attended the weddings of their grandchildren, including: Prince Harry to Meghan Markle in May 2018, Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank in Oct. 2018 and Princess Beatrice to Edoardo Mozzi in July 2020.
His last public event was a military ceremony at Buckingham Palace in July 2020.
Philip was never crowned king, but Elizabeth credited him with a lot behind the scenes.
Elizabeth and Philip met in 1934 at a wedding of his cousin to her uncle; they were third cousins through Queen Victoria. They met again five years later when she was 13 and he was 18, and their relationship began to blossom. Philip asked for her hand in marriage in 1946, and while he approved of the match, he delayed a formal announcement until Elizabeth turned 21 the next year. They married on November 20th, 1947 in Westminster Abbey. After her father died in 1952, she was coronated in June of 1953.
MOURNING & FUNERAL
The Queen has entered an eight-day mourning period. The funeral arrangements are being modified due to COVID. The funeral will take place next Saturday; his coffin will be processed through Windsor Castle.
The funeral will be at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle at 3 p.m. U.K. time (10 a.m. ET) and will be broadcast live. The first details were confirmed at a briefing held by palace officials on Saturday.
It will be known as a ceremonial royal funeral and not a state funeral, which are generally reserved for monarchs. The funeral plans take into account the country's COVID guidelines and is “much reduced in scale with no public access,” a palace spokesman said.
On Saturday, the Queen shared a tribute to her late husband. “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than we would ever claim, or we shall ever know,” the queen expressed in a photo shared to the Royal Family’s social media channels.
“At the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, the Duke of Edinburgh swore to be Her Majesty’s ‘liege man of life and limb,'” the caption also read. “The Duke was a devoted consort (companion to the Sovereign) for almost 70 years, from Her Majesty’s Accession in 1952 until his death.”
His grandson Harry and his wife Meghan paid tribute to Philip by taking down their Archewell Foundation website and replacing it with a message of mourning.
“In Loving Memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021,” the dedication says. “Thank you for your service…you will be greatly missed.”
Meghan, who is pregnant with their second child, will not join Harry in the U.K., nor will their son Archie.
“The Duke of Sussex is planning to attend. The Duchess of Sussex has been advised by her physician not to travel. So the duke will be attending,” a royal spokesman said at a briefing on Saturday afternoon.
Harry is set to return in the coming days. It will be his first time in the U.K. in more than a year, and the first time he will see family members since he and Meghan left their senior royal roles.