Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, dies at age 99


Michael Garnett

Prince Philip waves to the crowd at an event from 2012.

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and established husband of reigning Queen Elizabeth II tragically passed on Friday at Windsor Castle, just over two months before his 100th birthday. 

The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving royal spouse in British history, accompanying the Queen for longer than her six decades at the throne. His death, which was announced by Buckingham Palace, was said to have occured peacefully. The Prince had been hospitalized multiple times in the last several years for a variety of ailments. Most recently, Philip received treatment for a supposed infection and to undergo a heart procedure. 

After marrying Elizabeth in November of 1947, Philip quickly made his impression international. A beaten up Britain was continuing to recover from World War II, and Philip worked to ensure the monarchy would prevail in the country exclaiming, “We have got to make this monarchy thing work.” He often appeared alongside his wife on royal visits, while standing in for her on certain occasions. The public has often admired Prince Philip for his undying support of his wife throughout her reign as Queen. He stood true to his endeavors until May 2017, when he announced his retirement from public life at the age of 95. 

Public figures around the world today promptly took to the internet to express their grievances for the heartbreaking loss of the British royal. “Good Morning Britain” host Susanna Reid tweeted, “Sad news about the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. Such a huge loss for the Queen and his family. His has been her constant, steadfast support.”

Former U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement just hours after the news of Philip’s death, regarding their lasting impression of the Prince. The pair described Philip as, “kind and warm, with a sharp with and unfailing good humor.” Referencing their first meeting in 2009, the Obamas went on to say “The Queen and Prince Philip put us at ease with their grace and generosity, turning a ceremonial occasion into something far more natural, even comfortable.”

Following the death of the Prince, an expected eight days of national mourning are likely to occur. However, due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the United Kingdom, officials are discouraging crowds from paying their respects in public. Philip will not have a state funeral and will not lie in state, but instead his body will lie at rest in Windsor Castle prior to the funeral in St. George’s Chapel. The country will long mourn the death of the Prince, just in different fashion than usual as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.