Prince Philip: The Duke of Edinburgh Dies Aged 99

9 April 2021, 12:05 | Updated: 10 April 2021, 00:34

Buckingham Palace has confirmed the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, has died
Buckingham Palace has confirmed the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, has died. Picture: Getty

By Kate Buck

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

Announcing his passing today, Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "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 join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

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A huge crowd gathers at the gates of Buckingham Palace today
A huge crowd gathers at the gates of Buckingham Palace today. Picture: PA

Tributes have poured in from all corners with Prime Minister Boris Johnson acknowledging Philip's "extraordinary life."

He said: "We mourn today with Her Majesty The Queen, we offer our condolences to her and to all her family and we give thanks, as a nation and a Kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh."

READ MORE: 'You'll be greatly missed': Harry and Meghan pay tribute to Prince Philip

Mr Johnson's fiancee Carrie Symonds tweeted: "So very sad to hear of the passing of HRH, the Duke of Edinburgh. An incredible life devoted to the Queen, his family and our country. Thoughts and prayers with Her Majesty and the Royal Family."

The Cabinet will meet at 5pm to pay tribute and for political discussions following Philip's death. Parliament will be recalled from its Easter recess on Monday, a day earlier than its scheduled return, for further tributes.

Huge crowds were gathering today at royal palaces but members of the public are being urged to stay away due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Officials have urged people not to travel to royal residences to pay tribute.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “The sad death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh has been announced by Buckingham Palace.  

“Although this is an extraordinarily difficult time for many, we are asking the public not to gather at Royal Residences, and continue to follow public health advice particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel.

“We are supporting the Royal Household in asking that floral tributes should not be laid at Royal Residences at this time.”

Prince Philip was admitted to hospital on Tuesday February 16 this year after feeling unwell. He walked unaided into the medical centre at King Edward VII's hospital in London where he received treatment.

READ MORE: Full obituary - Her Majesty's 'Strength and Stay'

READ MORE: Updates as the world pays tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh

He was visited by his son the Prince of Wales on Saturday February 18. Prince Charles spent about half an hour with his father before leaving to return to his Highgrove residence.

On February 23 the palace confirmed the duke was receiving treatment for an unspecified infection. He was then moved to St Bartholomew's Hospital on March 1 for further treatment for the infection and for testing on a pre-existing heart condition.

Crowds line the streets near Windsor Castle
Crowds line the streets near Windsor Castle. Picture: PA

He was discharged on March 16 after a month-long stay in hospital and returned to Windsor Castle.

After he was discharged from hospital, the Palace issued the following statement: "His Royal Highness wishes to thank all the medical staff who looked after him... and everyone who has sent their good wishes."

Philip - father to the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex - was just two months away from his 100th birthday in June.

He spent much of the Covid-19 crisis staying with the Queen at Windsor in HMS Bubble - the nickname given to the couple's reduced household of devoted staff during lockdown.

Members of the Royal Family continued with official duties while he was in hospital.

The Queen, 94, performed her first face-to-face event of the year, knighting a royal aide during a private socially-distanced ceremony at Windsor.

The Duke of Edinburgh decided, with full support of The Queen, to no longer carry out public engagements in May 2017.

Whilst he had recently suffered from a few illnesses, he had, for most of his life, enjoyed excellent health.

Following a successful naval career during which he saw active service in the Second World War, The Duke of Edinburgh began to focus on his work in support of The Queen following her Accession in 1952.

In 2009 he became the longest serving British consort (companion to the Sovereign), a distinction previously held by Queen Charlotte, George III’s consort.

His Royal Highness also had many interests which he pursued separately to his work with Her Majesty, including conservation, engineering, and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which he founded in 1956.

The Duke of Edinburgh was Patron, President or a member of over 780 organisations, with which he continued to be associated after his retirement, although he no longer played an active role by attending engagements.

Though probably best known for founding The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in 1956, His Royal Highness was also involved in the work of many more charities and organisations which reflected his wide-ranging interests in topics including conservation, sport, the military and engineering.