Prince Philip, the longest serving royal consort in British history who was a constant presence at Queen Elizabeth II’s side for decades, died on Friday aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is a profound loss for the 94-year-old monarch, who once described him as her “strength and stay all these years”.
Queen Elizabeth announced his passing “with deep sorrow” after he died peacefully in the morning at Windsor Castle, west of London, the palace said in a statement.
“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss,” the statement said.
The outspoken former Navy commander devoted much of his life as the Queen’s husband to charity work — but was notorious for numerous gaffes, some of them causing offence.
He was admitted to hospital on February 16, and went home after a month during which he was treated for a pre-existing heart condition and an infection.
Prince Philip death | Tributes pour in from around the world
Announcing his passing, BBC television played the national anthem over a picture of Prince Philip in his prime, dressed in military dress uniform.
Flags were lowered to half-mast on royal and government buildings and a notice announcing his death pinned to the gates of Buckingham Palace.
“We give thanks, as a nation and a kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said outside 10 Downing Street.
Mr. Johnson said Prince Philip had “earned the affection of generations” at home, in the Commonwealth and across the world after first serving in the Royal Navy and then over nearly eight decades beside the queen.
Tributes poured in from the U.S., Europe and Commonwealth countries including Australia, India and New Zealand.
Condolences were also expressed by leaders in Ireland, where in 2011 the queen and Philip paid the first royal state visit for a century following generations of enmity with Britain.
Prior to this year’s crisis over relations with the Queen’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, the monarchy had to weather the 1997 death in a car crash of Prince Harry’s mother Princess Diana.
The couple, who celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November, had been living largely in isolation at Windsor Castle, west of London, because their age put them at heightened risk from COVID-19.
Prince Philip and the Queen — isolated in what they called “HMS Bubble” — received their first vaccinations against the virus in January.
Prince Philip was no stranger to health issues.
He was previously fitted with a stent in 2011 after suffering from a blocked artery.
He also had a hip operation in 2018 and in January 2019, he emerged unscathed after his vehicle was involved in a traffic accident that injured two people near the monarch’s Sandringham estate in eastern England.
Modi hails his career
Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute on Friday to Prince Philip who visited the former British colony four times, not always helping to mend ties.
Mr. Modi praised his “distinguished” military career. “My thoughts are with the British people and the Royal Family on the passing away of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” Mr. Modi said on Twitter.
“He had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace.”