Prince Philip, the Greece-born royal who as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-serving consort to a British sovereign, died Friday. He was 99. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” the royal family announced. “Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
The Duke of Edinburgh’s death came 12 days before Queen Elizabeth’s 95th birthday on April 21. Under a long-standing plan known as “Operation Forth Bridge,” his death ushers in a period of national mourning. Philip, whom the queen referred to as “my strength and stay,” was hospitalized in February after “feeling unwell,” and was treated for an infection and a preexisting heart condition, Buckingham Palace said. He was released a month later after undergoing a heart procedure. The Duke of Edinburgh supported his wife throughout an unprecedented time of social, economic, technological, political change and family crises. The Duke of Edinburgh was known as one of the hardest-working members of the royal family during his tenure alongside the country’s longest-reigning monarch.
Philip married then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and marked their 73rd wedding anniversary on Nov. 20, 2020. At age 96 in August 2017, Prince Philip retired from official royal duties with the “full support of the queen,” according to Buckingham Palace. Fourteen prime ministers held office while Philip was British consort — companion to the sovereign — from Winston Churchill in 1952 through Johnson.