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Prince Philip dies: Flags fly at half-mast in UK as public mourns Duke of Edinburgh

Flags across the UK are today flying at half mast as the nation remembers the life of Prince Philip after his death was announced by the Queen this morning.

A huge outpouring of grief has seen thousands of tributes online with heartfelt words for Her Majesty – who was described by one well-wisher as having ‘lost the brightest jewel in her crown’.

Flowers were carefully placed in front of the gates at Buckingham Palace and at Windsor Castle, where notices shared the news of the Duke’s death.

He spent his final days at the family’s Berkshire home with his wife after a 28-night stay in hospital for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.

As the longest serving consort in British history, the Prince was a popular but often misunderstood figure in the eyes of the public.

Some people found his gaffes and outbursts offensive while most believed he was comical – but millions across the country united in grief at his death today.

Hundreds revealed the heartbreaking news had left them in tears while others could not believe the Duke had died having been a figure throughout their lives.

People gather outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire after the announcement regarding the death of Prince Philip on Friday

A young boy lays flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in London after the heartbreaking announcement today

A young boy lays flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in London after the heartbreaking announcement today

Windsor Castle is pictured as crowds start to gather outside following the announcement that HRH Prince Philip has died today

Windsor Castle is pictured as crowds start to gather outside following the announcement that HRH Prince Philip has died today

A woman arrives to lay a bunch of flowers outside Buckingham Palace in central London on Friday afternoon after the announcement of the death of Prince Philip

A woman arrives to lay a bunch of flowers outside Buckingham Palace in central London on Friday afternoon after the announcement of the death of Prince Philip

A woman lays a bunch of flowers at the gates of Buckingham Palace in central London on Friday afternoon after the announcement of the death of Philip

A woman lays a bunch of flowers at the gates of Buckingham Palace in central London on Friday afternoon after the announcement of the death of Philip

A police officer stands next to bouquets of flowers outside Buckingham Palace after the announcement on Friday at lunchtime

A police officer stands next to bouquets of flowers outside Buckingham Palace after the announcement on Friday at lunchtime

The scene outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire as the announcement of the death of The Duke of Edinburgh becomes public

The scene outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire as the announcement of the death of The Duke of Edinburgh becomes public

People prepare to leave flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in London, on Friday. Buckingham Palace officials say Prince Philip died this morning

People prepare to leave flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in London, on Friday. Buckingham Palace officials say Prince Philip died this morning

Two men are pictured preparing to leave flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in central London on Friday afternoon

Two men are pictured preparing to leave flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in central London on Friday afternoon

Two women are pictured preparing to leave flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in central London this afternoon

Two women are pictured preparing to leave flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in central London this afternoon

People are pictured gathering outside Buckingham Palace in central London on Friday afternoon after the announcement of his death

People are pictured gathering outside Buckingham Palace in central London on Friday afternoon after the announcement of his death

Flags were lowered across the country today as a sign of respect to the Duke, with Buckingham Palace (pictured) and Downing Street leading the way

Flags were lowered across the country today as a sign of respect to the Duke, with Buckingham Palace (pictured) and Downing Street leading the way

Union Flags fly at half-mast on top of Downing Street after it was announced Prince Philip died on Friday morning aged 99

Union Flags fly at half-mast on top of Downing Street after it was announced Prince Philip died on Friday morning aged 99

An official notice announcing the death of Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is placed on the gates of Buckingham Palace in central London

An official notice announcing the death of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh is placed on the gates of Buckingham Palace in central London

Britons expressed their sorrow at the loss of the Duke of Edinburgh and passed on their good wishes to the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family

ROYAL WEBSITE TRIBUTE TO DUKE OF EDINBURGH

The royal website’s usual functions have become temporarily unavailable following the announcement of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

The web page, www.royal.uk, instead has become a memorial page with a black background and smiling image of Philip.

It features the short announcement from Buckingham Palace announcing the death of the 99-year old.

The page displays the duke’s year of birth and year of death – 1921 to 2021.

A message at the bottom of the page reads: ‘The official website of the Royal Family is temporarily unavailable while appropriate changes are made.’

The statement reads: ‘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. Further announcements will be made in due course.

‘The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.’

A woman called Charlotte captured the mood when she posted on Twitter: ‘What a life you led. I don’t think the Queen could have done it without you. You were the brightest jewel in her crown.’

Corra Linn wrote: ‘To give you an idea of my emotional state right now, I spent the morning crying to Fearless and it looks like I’ll be spending my afternoon crying about Prince Philip.’

A woman called Elizabeth posted: ‘Am not embarrassed to say I’m crying, and have poured a glass of Fizz to toast his amazing life of service Rest in Peace, Prince Philip.’

Andy Oddy posted: ‘Politics aside you have to feel for the Queen as a human being. I recall when my own grandfather died aged 94 – it devastated my Gran after 72 years together.’

A man called Henry added: ‘Love is forever Red heart. No matter what your views are on the #RoyalFamily at this time Queen Elizabeth has just lost her soul mate of 73 years.

‘I can’t begin to imagine how devastated she must be feeling inside right now. Broken heart. Rest in eternal peace #PrincePhilip.’

The Royal Butler tweeted: ‘I am saddened to learn of the death of HRH Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh. A gentleman who I was proud to have served during my time in the Royal Household. I send my condolences to the Royal Family.’

Royal biographer Ingrid Stewart posted: ‘A very sad day indeed. Sending condolences to Her Majesty The Queen on the passing of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He has been a constant strength and guide during her reign.’

Kate Jamieson put: ‘So, very sad to hear that Prince Philip has died. A man dedicated to Queen and Country in more ways than one. Fair winds and following seas.’

Emma Webb wrote: ‘No words can describe how sad I am to hear of Prince Philip’s death. The absolute model of duty, kindness and good humour. The longest serving consort in British history.

‘When I met him as a nervous child, he made me laugh and I’ve adored him ever since.  A truly Great Man.’

Rebekha Fox said: ‘ So desperately sad to hear that Prince Philip has died. Surprised to find myself in tears.’ Matt Dukes wrote: ‘Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh.’ He added: ‘Our thoughts & prayers are with the Queen & the Royal Family at this very sad time.’

People gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace in London after the announcement regarding the death of Prince Philip

People gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace in London after the announcement regarding the death of Prince Philip

People stand in line to leave flowers and view an announcement regarding the death of Prince Philip in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace

People stand in line to leave flowers and view an announcement regarding the death of Prince Philip in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace

A woman lays flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in London after an announcement regarding the death of Prince Philip

A woman lays flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in London after an announcement regarding the death of Prince Philip

The scene outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire as the announcement of the death of The Duke of Edinburgh becomes public

The scene outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire as the announcement of the death of The Duke of Edinburgh becomes public

Windsor Castle draw huge crowds today as they started to gather outside following the announcement that Prince Philip had died

Windsor Castle draw huge crowds today as they started to gather outside following the announcement that Prince Philip had died

Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. Jockeys, owners and trainers stand during a minutes silence after Buckingham Palace announced Prince Philip died

Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. Jockeys, owners and trainers stand during a minutes silence after Buckingham Palace announced Prince Philip died

People queue to take pictures and look at a sign hanging on Buckingham Palace after the news Prince Philip had died

People queue to take pictures and look at a sign hanging on Buckingham Palace after the news Prince Philip had died 

LEADERS PAY TRIBUTE TO ‘MUCH-LOVED’ PHILIP

Tributes have been paid by political and religious leaders to the ‘much-loved’ Duke of Edinburgh after his death at the age of 99.

Speaking on a podium outside Downing Street on Friday, Boris Johnson said Philip would be remembered for his ‘steadfast support’ of the Queen, as well as his awards scheme which ‘inspired’ countless young people. The PM 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.’ Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said the duke ’embodied a generation that we will never see again’.

‘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,’ he tweeted.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said Philip was an ‘outstanding example of Christian service’.

In a statement, he said: ‘On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life.

‘He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special. The legacy he leaves is enormous.’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK has ‘lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip’. He said: ‘He will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to the Queen.’

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, highlighted the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as ‘an enormous part of Prince Philip’s legacy’.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said she was ‘saddened’ by the news and sent her ‘personal and deepest condolences, and those of the Scottish government and people of Scotland, to Her Majesty the Queen and her family’. Irish premier Micheal Martin tweeted: ‘Saddened to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time.’

Royal household staff have placed a framed plaque announcing the Duke of Edinburgh’s death on the front gates to Buckingham Palace.

Around 30 people have begun queuing to read the sign, as four police officers on horses have stopped small crowds from gathering.

The duke and the Queen were married for more than 70 years and Philip dedicated decades of his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch’s side.

‘He officially retired from public engagements in the summer of 2017.

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.

‘Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.’

The death of the duke comes in the midst of the worst public health crisis for generations as the UK and countries around the globe reel from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

It has also taken place in the aftermath of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell Oprah interview which left the monarchy in crisis after Meghan accused an unnamed royal of racism and the institution of failing to help her when she was suicidal.

Philip had returned to Windsor Castle on March 16 to be reunited with the Queen after spending a month in hospital – his longest ever stay.

He initially received care for an infection but then underwent heart surgery for a pre-existing condition.

Sam Flemming wrote: ‘Sad news today. Prince Philip served this country in WW2 and continued to serve with various charities and initiatives in peacetime.’

Dr Renier Palland put: ‘I am so shocked. Prince Philip passed away aged 99. Jeez. He lived an insane life. Philip was a world milestone no matter who or what he was/did. My heart is broken.’

Romana Tabak said: ‘I am truly sorry to hear this sad news. May God give him eternal rest.’ Tamma Simpson added: ‘My heartfelt prayers to Queen Elizabeth for the death of her husband Prince Philip.’

One man posted: ‘Long live his royal highness. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of the Queen. Rest in Peace.’ 

Another posted: ‘I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Prince Philip this morning. My thoughts are with the whole Royal Family.’

A woman added: ‘Rest well Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip, you will be forever remembered in the nation’s hearts.’

Will Harry and Meghan come back to the UK after Prince Philip’s death? Couple’s bombshell Oprah interview aired while he was in hospital

Prince Harry is preparing to return to the UK for the first time since leaving Royal duties after the death of Prince Philip – but questions remain over whether Meghan will join him.

Harry’s grandfather’s death comes weeks after they gave an interview to Oprah alleging racism in the Royal Family which aired while Philip was in hospital.

The Sussexes, who faced calls to postpone the interview because Philip was unwell, accused an unnamed royal, not the Queen nor the duke, of raising concerns about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone would be before he was born.

Since then, they have launched a charity, accepted lucrative business deals with Netflix and Spotify, given public talks, appeared on Zoom conferences, and on March 7, they criticised the Royal Family in a sit-down interview with Oprah that was viewed around the world.

Meghan is now pregnant with their second child and due to give birth sometime in the summer but she has not disclosed exactly when. The couple has not commented on any plan to return to the UK.

A source close to the family told DailyMail.com today: ‘Harry will absolutely do his utmost to get back to the UK and be with his family.

‘He will want nothing more than to be there for his family, and particularly his grandmother, during this awful time.

‘Meghan is obviously pregnant so she will need to take advice from her doctors about whether it is safe for her to travel, but I think Harry will definitely go.’

The duke had looked gaunt as he was driven away from King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London, having been pushed in a wheelchair to the waiting car.

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.

Philip briefly stepped out of retirement in July 2020 when he carried out a rare official public engagement at Windsor.

The duke looked in fine form as he made his way down the steps to the Castle’s quadrangle for a socially distanced ceremony to hand over his Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles role to the Duchess of Cornwall, who was almost 100 miles away at Highgrove.

He showed he had lost none of his mischievous sense of humour when he joked with one of the soldiers about their fitness levels.

Social media tributes continued to pour in. Eddie Webbe posted: ‘RIP. Prince Philip! I’m devastated that he didn’t reach 100 years old. He was an incredible man with full of life.

‘My condolences go to The Queen, The Royal Family and The British Public who loved him. Prince Philip’s legacy lives on. Thank you Prince Philip!’

Jen Son put: ‘My condolences to all of his legitimate & illegitimate children, Grandchildren & of course to HRH Queen Elizabeth, who must be absolutely devastated, after a lifetime together. No matter how expected this may have been, still sad to lose a loved one.’

A woman called Freya wrote: ‘Omg i’m absolutely devastated about prince philip, i think i need a week off of work to mourn.’

Another said: ‘Prince Philip has died-I don’t care about the monarchy, etc, as such-I’m just thinking of Elizabeth losing her husband of >70 years. I know I’d be devastated to lose hubs.

‘Death is something that comes to all of us-but I don’t know what I’d do if he went before me!’

One man tweeted: ‘My heart goes out to Queen Elizabeth, I remember when my grandpa died, my grandma was devastated, and they’d been together 49 years. Elizabeth and Prince Philip were married 74 years.’

Amy Lowe put: ‘Very sad to hear Prince Philip has died at 99. RIP x also the queen must be devastated I hope she will be okay.’

Kirsten posted: ‘With the heaviest heart and genuine tears this is the saddest news. Thinking of my beloved Queen and her family at this time. Wonderful husband – may you rest in peace Prince Philip.’

Daisy Churchill added: ‘The Queen has always been a remarkable example, alongside her always Prince Philip, Her Rock. Always been Proud to say ‘This is My Country’, through tears now I repeat them.’

In April 2020, the duke released his first major statement since his retirement, praising key workers including refuse and postal staff, for keeping essential services running during the pandemic.

He was also pictured with the monarch at the Berkshire castle to mark his 99th birthday on June 10, at the secret lockdown wedding of his granddaughter Princess Beatrice on July 17 and with the Queen to mark their 73rd wedding anniversary in November.

On December 18, Philip released a rare public message praising teachers and school staff for their efforts teaching the nation’s children during the pandemic.

The Queen and Philip spent a quiet Christmas in 2020 at Windsor alone, except for their staff, and Buckingham Palace announced on January 9 2021, during England’s third national lockdown, that they had both received their Covid-19 vaccinations.

But the duke was hospitalised for a month from the middle of February, eventually having heart surgery.    

The Queen and Philip spent a quiet Christmas in 2020 at Windsor alone, except for their staff, and Buckingham Palace announced on January 9 2021, during England's third national lockdown, that they had both received their Covid-19 vaccinations. Pictured: Buckingham Palace today

The Queen and Philip spent a quiet Christmas in 2020 at Windsor alone, except for their staff, and Buckingham Palace announced on January 9 2021, during England’s third national lockdown, that they had both received their Covid-19 vaccinations. Pictured: Buckingham Palace today

A man prepares to leave flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in London on Friday afternoon

A man prepares to leave flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in London on Friday afternoon

Windsor Castle as crowds start to gather outside following the announcement that HRH Prince Philip has died today

Windsor Castle as crowds start to gather outside following the announcement that HRH Prince Philip has died today

‘A very sad day for our country’: Susanna Reid, Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden and Phillip Schofield lead stars paying a heartfelt tribute to Prince Phillip after his death was announced at the age of 99

  • Stars including Phillip Schofield, Piers Morgan and Eamonn Holmes took to social media to share their sympathies to the Royal Family after the Duke Edinburgh’s death was announced on Friday
  • Her Majesty announced death of her husband of 73 years at midday and joins ‘the world in mourning’
  • Philip was in Windsor after being treated for an infection and pre-existing heart condition for 28 nights
  • After retiring, Philip spent much of his time at Windsor and at Queen’s private Sandringham estate in Norfolk
  • Duke was the longest-serving consort in British history and the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch

Piers Morgan has joined a slew of stars paying tribute to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, after his death was announced on Friday at the age of 99.

After Buckingham Palace announced his passing on Friday, celebrities took to social media to reflect on Prince Phillip’s life and offer their sympathies to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II. 

Leading the pack was Piers who described it as ‘a very sad day for our country,’ while Eamonn Holmes, who had been presenting This Morning when the news broke, simply wrote: ‘HRH Prince Phillip has died #RIP.’

Piers tweeted: ‘RIP Prince Philip, 99. A truly great Briton who dedicated his life to selfless public duty & was an absolute rock of devoted support to Her Majesty, The Queen, as the longest-serving royal consort to any British sovereign. A very sad day for our country. Thank you, Sir.’ 

Moving: Piers Morgan has joined a slew of stars paying tribute to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh , after his death was announced on Friday at the age of 99

Moving: Piers Morgan has joined a slew of stars paying tribute to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh , after his death was announced on Friday at the age of 99

Tragedy: After Buckingham Palace announced his passing on Friday, celebrities including Phillip Schofield took to social media to reflect on Prince Phillip's life and offer their sympathies to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II

Tragedy: After Buckingham Palace announced his passing on Friday, celebrities including Phillip Schofield took to social media to reflect on Prince Phillip’s life and offer their sympathies to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II

Tragic: Buckingham Palace announced the death of Prince Philip at just after midday on Friday - and described the Queen's 'deep sorrow'

Tragic: Buckingham Palace announced the death of Prince Philip at just after midday on Friday – and described the Queen’s ‘deep sorrow’

Phillip Schofield shared an image of his own experience meeting Phillip, writing on Instagram Stories: ‘Farewell to a remarkable man, terrifying to attempt to interview but great fun to be with.’

The Apprentice star Karren Brady tweeted a snap of the Duke, writing: ‘Very sad to hear that the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip has passed away. My thoughts are with HRH & the Royal Family.’

Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman reflected on her own experience meeting Prince Phillip several years earlier, tweeting: ‘I went for a private lunch with The Queen at Buckingham Palace quite a few years ago. They were both in their 80s and Prince Philip and she were flirting with each other madly and laughing. Theirs was a love and a marriage of more than 73 years. Deepest condolences Ma’am.’

Geri Horner, who had Phillip’s son Prince Charles in the past, also tweeted: ‘Very sad news about Prince Philip. He was a character. Like a very naughty grandfather. RIP. God Bless The Queen!’ 

Sad: His death plunges the nation and the Royal Family into mourning, and brings to an end Philip's lifetime of service to Britain and to Elizabeth, the Queen who adored him since her teens

Sad: His death plunges the nation and the Royal Family into mourning, and brings to an end Philip’s lifetime of service to Britain and to Elizabeth, the Queen who adored him since her teens

Upset: Eamonn Holmes, who had been in the midst of presenting This Morning when the news broke, tweeted the news

Upset: Eamonn Holmes, who had been in the midst of presenting This Morning when the news broke, tweeted the news

Upsetting: Stars including Carol Vorderman, Geri Horner and Dan Wootton also tweeted their own tributes to His Royal Highness following the news of his death

Upsetting: Stars including Carol Vorderman, Geri Horner and Dan Wootton also tweeted their own tributes to His Royal Highness following the news of his death

BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan shared an image of Phillip to her Instagram Stories, writing: ‘Whatever you think of the instituaton you can still recognise a decent husband. The definition of backbone, support and selflessness. Rest in peace Prince Phillip.’

80s singer Boy George tweeted: ‘Very sad news about Prince Philip. He was a character. Like a very naughty grandfather. RIP. God Bless The Queen!’ 

Defiant: Gabby Logan shared her own post for Phillip on Instagram Stories, saying he can always be recognised as a 'decent husband'

Defiant: Gabby Logan shared her own post for Phillip on Instagram Stories, saying he can always be recognised as a ‘decent husband’

Alison Hammond wrote: ‘RIP Prince Phillip, our thoughts are with the Queen and family!!’ 

Myleene Klass shared a snap of her experience meeting Prince Phillip while she was a member of the band Hearsay, writing: ‘Just had to cross over to the newsroom to deliver the sad news of the passing of Prince Phillip.’

On Instagram Georgia Toffolo wrote: ‘I am so sad to hear that Prince Phillip has died. Married to our Queen for more than 70 years, what a wonderfully special union they had. He kept up his public service well into his 90s, showing the world the true definition of duty. RIP.’ 

Her Majesty The Queen announced her husband’s death at midday on Friday. Buckingham 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. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss’.  

His death plunges the nation and the Royal Family into mourning, and brings to an end Philip’s lifetime of service to Britain and to Elizabeth, the Queen who adored him since her teens.  

Her Majesty is now expected to enter an eight-day period of mourning. She will not carry out any duties, even in private, while laws will not be given the Royal Assent and affairs of state will also be paused. A further period of official Royal Mourning is expected to continue for 30 days.

Officials at Buckingham Palace are now preparing for a royal ceremonial funeral at Windsor Castle in Berkshire in keeping with Philip’s wishes, with a military procession also expected in London – Covid laws permitting.

The Queen is in ‘deep sorrow’ following her husband’s death. 

‘He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years,’ Her Majesty said at their Golden Wedding banquet in 1997. ‘I and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.’

The quizzical, witty, faithful – and often controversial – the Duke was the Queen’s greatest source of support, her confidant and the man she relied on above all others.

Until his death, Philip was the longest-serving consort in British history and the oldest partner of a reigning monarch, who despite his ill health took part her first royal engagement of 2021 last week.

He was a great-grandfather of ten, with the most recent addition to his wider family being Zara and Mike Tindall’s baby son Lucas Philip Tindall on March 21 – soon after Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s son August, who was born on February 9. 

Philip’s lifelong role was to ensure that he never let The Queen down and their long-lasting marriage was one of the world’s best known relationships.

Reflecting their love in her Diamond Jubilee speech to Parliament in 2012, the Elizabeth said: ‘During these years as your Queen, the support of my family has, across the generations, been beyond measure. Prince Philip is, I believe, well-known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide.’

The couple married in November 1947 – she a 21-year-old sheltered princess, he a swaggering Royal Navy officer with Greek and Danish royal blood, who had only recently seen active service during World War Two.

From that moment, the day Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten became the Duke of Edinburgh, Philip – a private, enigmatic man of strong character – was always there, one step behind, ready to lend the Queen a helping hand.

Following his retirement from public life in August 2017, he kept a low public profile.

In recent months the couple have lived through the coronavirus pandemic together, at Sandringham in Norfolk, during a summer break at Balmoral Estate in Scotland and latterly in what was dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’ at Windsor Castle from October 2020.

The pair received their coronavirus inoculations together at Windsor in January, and the virus was quickly ruled out as the cause of his admission to London’s King Edward VII hospital on February 16.

Buckingham Palace had initially said it was a precautionary measure because the Duke was feeling unwell, and his grandson Prince William said after a week of treatment that he was ‘OK’ but doctors were ‘keeping an eye on him’.

The palace then revealed the Duke was being treated for an ‘infection’, with his youngest son Prince Edward adding that the Royal Family were ‘keeping our fingers crossed’.

But concerns grew when, after two weeks at the private King Edward VII, Philip was transferred to St Bartholomew’s NHS hospital in central London with the palace saying he would ‘undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition’.

He then underwent a heart operation and was transferred back to King Edward VII’s, before eventually leaving on March 16 and returning to Windsor Castle by car following 28 days in hospital.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk