Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Dead At Age 99, Buckingham Palace Confirms

Apr. 9 2021, Updated 3:14 p.m. ET

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Rest in peace. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has passed away at age 99 on Friday, April 9.

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"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," the Royal Family Twitter account wrote.

Source: The Royal Family/Twitter
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“Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss. Visit http://royal.uk to read the announcement in full."

Queen Elizabeth II's husband was admitted to London's King Edward VII Hospital on February 16. At the time, the Palace stated it "was a precautionary measure" since he was "feeing unwell," and he was expected to stay there just "for a few days of observation and rest.”

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In March, the palace said Philip was being "transferred from King Edward VII’s Hospital to St Bartholomew’s Hospital where doctors will continue to treat him for an infection, as well as undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition."

“The Duke remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week,” they added. 

A few days later, the Palace revealed he "underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital" on March 4. “His Royal Highness will remain in hospital for treatment, rest and recuperation for a number of days."

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He was discharged in March after a 28-day stay — his longest ever. "The Duke of Edinburgh has today been discharged from King Edward VII's Hospital and has returned to Windsor Castle, following treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition," Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time. 

"His Royal Highness wishes to thank all the medical staff who looked after him at both King Edward VII's Hospital and St Bartholomew's Hospital, and everyone who has sent their good wishes," they added.

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Although Philip is best known for his role in the British monarchy, he was born on the Greek Island of Corfu on June 10, 1921. He was the sixth child of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg.

Philip didn't have the ideal childhood: since his parents separated, he was shuffled around and attended schools in several countries. He first attended a school in Paris, but was then sent to the U.K. to live with his maternal grandmother. While there, four of his older sisters married German princes, and around the same time, their mother entered an asylum, as she was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Philip then moved to Germany and attended school there since it was of low cost due to his sisters' new family connections. Meanwhile, the siblings' father was living in Monte Carlo.

Unfortunately, Philip had little contact with his mom during those years, and he suffered another family tragedy when in 1937, his sister Cecile, her husband and their kids were killed in a car accident.

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He then went on to attend the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, which is where he crossed paths with the Queen, as she toured the campus with her parents in 1939. However, the future spouses had actually met several years prior when they both attended the same wedding.

After reconnecting at Dartmouth, the two hit it off and started exchanging love letters — but Philip admitted he had no clue they would end up married one day. "As far as I was concerned it was a very amusing experience, going on board the yacht and meeting them, that sort of thing,” he later recalled. “And that was that."

By 1942, during World War II, Philip became a sub-lieutenant with the British Royal Navy. That summer, at age 21, he became one of the youngest men to be promoted to first lieutenant.

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In 1946, Philip asked Elizabeth's father, King George VI, for her hand in marriage; he accepted, but insisted that a formal announcement of their engagement would have to wait until the following year when Elizabeth turned 21.

To prep for the marriage, he became a British citizen and commoner in 1947, which meant giving up his royal ties to the throne in Greece and Denmark, where he was sixth in line. That July, the lovebirds revealed their engagement to the public.

On November 19 of that same year, his soon-to-be father-in-law gave him the Royal Highness title, and on his wedding day, he was named Duke of Edinburgh.

After the pair's honeymoon, Philip resumed his position in the navy, and he wound up receiving several more promotions; but according to one biography, his marriage was far from perfect. To start, he insisted Elizabeth adopt his surname Mountbatten, but the idea was shot down by Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Elizabeth’s grandmother, Queen Mary

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According to biographer Gyles Brandreth, the disgruntled duke remarked: "I am nothing but a bloody amoeba. I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his own children."

However, once Churchill was out of office and Mary passed, Elizabeth issued an Order in 1960 that stated descendants not bearing royal tiles may use the surname of Mountbatten-Windsor.

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The pair went on to have four children: sons Charles, Prince of Wales, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Essex, and daughter Princess Anne.

Though Philip didn't always have the best relationship with the press, he always fulfilled his royal duties, attending over 22,000 engagements until he formally retired in 2017.

In the 2010s, his health started to decline. He was in and out of the hospital for several ailments, including a bladder infection, a blocked coronary artery and hip surgery. In 2019, he gave the public a scare when he was involved in a car accident while he was behind the wheel. He underwent a "precautionary check-up" but was found to have no serious injuries.

The royal didn't face any charges in the accident, however, the following month, he gave up his driver's license.

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In December 2019, he entered the hospital to be treated for "a pre-existing condition." He maintained a relatively private life during his final years, but in April 2020, he publicly thanked frontline workers for their dedication amid the pandemic.

"As we approach World Immunization Week, I wanted to recognize the vital and urgent work being done by so many to tackle the pandemic," he shared. "By those in the medical and scientific professions, at universities and research institutions, all united in working to protect us from COVID-19."

Continued Philip: "On behalf of those of us who remain safe and at home, I also wanted to thank all key workers who ensure the infrastructure of our life continues; the staff and volunteers working in food production and distribution, those keeping postal and delivery services going, and those ensuring the rubbish continues to be collected."

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