🚨 Breaking: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, dies aged 99

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Prince Philip, whom the Queen described as her "strength and stay" during her record-breaking reign, passed away at Windsor Castle on Friday
The palace said in a statement:

"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces 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 Duke was last seen in public on March 16 as he left the private King Edward VII hospital, where he had been recuperating following heart surgery at St Bartholomew’s Hospital
He had been admitted to the private King Edward VII hospital on Feb 16 for "rest and observation" after feeling unwell
That stay was extended. The palace revealed he was being treated for an infection. After 13 nights, he was transferred to St Bartholomew’s for specialist cardiac treatment. Royal aides said that on March 3, he underwent "a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition"
He was carefully shielded as he left the King Edward VII hospital in a wheelchair and was helped into a car for the 27-mile trip back to Windsor Castle, where he was reunited with the Queen following 28 nights as an in-patient, his longest ever hospital stay
Previously, the Duke was last seen in public in July 2020, when, despite his advanced years, he briefly returned to royal duties to hand over his role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles
The Duke left strict isolation at Windsor Castle to be honoured by one of his oldest military ties after 67 years of service, accepting thanks and touching good wishes of “fair winds and following seas”
He was also pictured at Princess Beatrice's wedding that month, and photographed alongside the Queen for his 99th birthday in June
Last November marked the release of the last official photograph, when the Duke was pictured with the Queen at Windsor Castle as they admired a card made by their great grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, ahead of their 73rd wedding anniversary
Since March 2020, the Duke had largely lived in strict isolation at Windsor, as a lockdown precaution against Covid-19.

It was a welcome silver lining of the pandemic that allowed the Duke and Her Majesty to spend those last few months together
His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, who has died aged 99, was the longest serving royal consort in British history

"He has, quite simply, been my main strength and stay all these years and I owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim or we shall ever know” - Her Majesty The Queen
"He and the Queen were unique in modern public life in not seeking the approbation of the public or caring much what people thought of them. They simply got on with the job and sometimes took wry satisfaction in questioning whether others were getting on with theirs"
"A peripatetic and often traumatic childhood had helped to shape the Duke’s forthright and fiercely independent character. Having more royal blood in his veins than the Queen did, he was also never going to be dazzled by her status"
"He was alert to the danger of the monarchy becoming a museum piece...and had no time for what he called 'fundungus', or false trappings. He disliked unnecessary pomp, and 'zoo teas', where the people gawped at their Sovereign"
"Like the Queen, he liked to meet the people who did the job and to learn what made them tick. On royal visits, when time was limited, he could come across as abrupt, even aggressive. But at all times he welcomed a frank exchange and he liked people to stand up to him"
The Queen and Prince Philip through the ages, in pictures

"I declare this thing open, whatever it is"

His quest for a more informal image for the monarchy came with the television film, Royal Family, screened in 1969, which allowed cameras inside the royal residences to see the Royal family off-duty. The Queen was seen mixing a salad at Balmoral, while the Duke barbecued a steak
He was also the author of many charitable initiatives, most famously the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme. Having been taught by Kurt Hahn, the German educator who founded Gordonstoun, he saw merit in helping young people to mature by tackling a wide variety of challenges
The Duke was far ahead of his time in fighting for the conservation of wildlife and the environment. In 1961, he became president of the World Wildlife Fund in the United Kingdom, a position he held until 1982. From 1981 to 1996 he was the charity’s international president
"Safer not to be too popular; you can’t fall too far"

"RIP Philip, you did your duty and even made us laugh. The country will miss you"

Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh in Downing Street:

“He helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said:

"The United Kingdom has lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip. [He] dedicated his life to our country...However, he will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to the Queen"
The First Minister of Scotland tweeted her tribute
As a mark of respect to the Duke of Edinburgh, the Union Flag above Buckingham Palace is flying at half mast.

The same tribute is being marked on Downing Street
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, tweeted his condolences
"Although Prince Philip had such a strong personality, and never hesitated to express his views bluntly, he also knew his place" | Writes @CharlesHMoore

The Queen and Prince Philip in pictures: a royal love story never forgotten

Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said:

"On behalf of the Jewish communities of the Commonwealth, I send our most profound condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family on the passing of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh"
The Prime Minister of Australia:

"Australians send our love and deepest condolences to her Majesty and all the Royal family. The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia"
Here is the reaction from the DUP leader Arlene Foster
The notice placed on the railings of Buckingham Palace will be removed shortly in an attempt to stop crowds gathering.

The notice is part of the tradition of the monarchy
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed a national memorial service will be held in Wellington to honour the Duke.

She said: "Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen at this profoundly sad time"
The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford said:

"It is with sadness that we mourn the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit"
Boris Johnson said: "Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world"

Mourners begin gathering at Buckingham Palace to pay tribute to Prince Philip

Watch live ⬇️

Boris 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"
Parties in Scotland have suspended campaigning for the Holyrood election following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was among those paying tribute north of the border
"As a friend, he was generous and always ready to support. When asked for help or a favour, he invariably responded positively if at all possible" | Writes Greville Howard

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich was born on a kitchen table in Corfu

As recently as two years ago, the Duke was photographed driving a four-in-hand around the grounds of Windsor Castle

Prince Philip: A timeline of his 99-year life

Plans for the next generation of royals to "step up" have been in place since before the Duke's retirement

"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"

A spokesman for King Edward VII's Hospital in London said:

"It is with the deepest sorrow that we learned this morning of the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. All of our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and members of the Royal Family"
Professor Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, where the Duke was a Senior Fellow, said:

"The Trustee Board and Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering are deeply saddened to learn of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh"
"I think the main lesson we have learnt is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient in any happy marriage... You can take it from me, the Queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance"

"All the courtiers said he was entirely the wrong person to choose. They said it for lots of reasons, but the fact is he was wrong. The Queen is very reserved, diligent person. He isn't. He was a naval officer and he was also quite funny"


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