Prince Philip dies aged 99
- Credit: Matthew Usher
The Duke of Edinburgh has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.
Prince Philip was the longest-serving consort in British history.
A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “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.
“Further announcements will made in due course.
“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.
“With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.
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“We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen."
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “I join with the rest of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in mourning the loss of His Royal Highness Prince Philip and give thanks to God for his extraordinary life of dedicated service.
“He consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service. During his naval career, in which he served with distinction in the Second World War, he won the respect of his peers as an outstanding officer."
The British Army tweeted: “It is with deep sorrow that we received the news of the death of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer added: “The United Kingdom has lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip.
“Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country – from a distinguished career in the Royal Navy during the Second World War to his decades of service as the Duke of Edinburgh."
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “I am saddened by news that the Duke of Edinburgh has died. I send my personal and deepest condolences – and those of the Scottish government and the people of Scotland – to Her Majesty The Queen and her family.”
The Duke officially retired from public engagements in the summer of 2017.
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.
The Duke had previously looked gaunt as he was driven away from King Edward VII’s Hospital following a stay in central London earlier this year.
The coronavirus pandemic will have a major impact on the carefully laid plans for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
Organisers are said to be “desperately anxious” not to stage anything that attracts mass gatherings, one source said.
The Union Jack flag on Buckingham Palace is flying at half mast following the news this morning.
A framed plaque announcing the Duke's death has also been placed at the front gates of the palace.
Members of the public have also started laying flowers at the foot of the gates.
Mounted police reminded those gathered to adhere to social distancing guidelines and remain two metres apart from other groups.