PRINCE Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.
The prince married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen, and was the longest-serving royal consort in British history.
The couple had four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
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 be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
The royal was taken to London’s King Edward VII Hospital on February 16 after feeling unwell.
Two weeks later, he was transferred to St Bart’s Hospital for treatment for an infection and heart condition.
Buckingham Palace then announced on Tuesday, March 16 he had been released from hospital and was in “good spirits” and “comfortable”.
Philip had dedicated his life to the Queen and tragically died just before his 100th birthday in June this year.
And his death comes after a turmoil 12 months for the royals after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry quit the royal family.
Prince Philip has been one of the hardest working royals – since 1952 he attended 22 219 solo engagements and 637 overseas tours in a career marked by his famous gaffes, wit and wisdom.
He had retired from his public duties at the age of 96 in 2017 after 65 years of public life.
But despite retiring, the Royal last year issued a message of thanks to NHS workers facing the coronavirus pandemic. He also made rare appearance in public to pass his role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles to Camilla Parker Bowles.
In recent years, the duke had recently struggled with ill-health, spending time in hospital before Christmas in 2019 following a fall.
He was also involved in a car crash in January 2019 after his vehicle collided with another vehicle near Sandringham estate. His health scares have included heart problems, arthritis, abdominal surgery and bladder infections.
In April 2018 he had a hip replacement operation but had recovered well for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding a month later.
The royal was born on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, to parents Princess Anne of Battenberg and Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.
Soon after his birth, his family was banished from Greece and as a baby he was carried onto a British naval vessel in an orange crate. He then went onto be educated at The Elms then onto Chem School before going to school in Germany.
In 1942, he became first lieutenant of HMS Wallace, at 21-years-old was one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy.
He married Elizabeth in 1947 at the Westminster Abbey, described as her “constant strength”, after the pair met at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark and Prince George, Duke of Kent, in 1934.
The royal pair then went on to have four children together – Charles, Prince of Wales, born 1948, Anne, Princess Royal, born 1950, Andrew, Duke of York, born 1960; and Edward, Earl of Wessex born 1964.