LONDON – The Duke of Edinburgh has died, Buckingham Palace has announced.
Philip, 99, was the longest-serving consort in British history.
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 Prime Minister was informed of the news a short time ago by the Queen’s private secretary.
A senior royals coffin would usually lie in state in Westminster Hall for four days so that the public can pay their respects, but due to Coronavirus Royal Protocol may have to adapt.More than 200,000 people paid their respects for the Queen Mother when her body was laid in state for three days.
Prince Phillip could be laid to rest in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where both the Queen Mother and her father, King George VI, are buried.
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.
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.