The Royal Family has announced that its patriarch, Prince Philip, has died at the age of 99. A statement concerning the Duke of Edinburgh's death was released early this morning, April 9, on the Royal Family's official website.
"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," the announcement, posted on the gates of Buckingham Palace, read. "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."
Philip was born in 1921, a direct descendant of both Greek and Danish royalty. He spent his early years in Greece, France, and Germany, before moving to the United Kingdom to join the Royal Navy in 1939 — the same year that he would begin his courtship with then-princess Elizabeth. Their courtship would span several years (and a World War) before they were engaged and subsequently tied the knot in 1947.
Over the next several years, Philip and Elizabeth had four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward. When Elizabeth became queen in 1953, the duke devoted his time to helping his wife adjust to life as a monarch, supporting the Crown from behind the scenes. s At the same time, Philip had many duties to fulfill as the "first gentleman of the land," his responsibilities taking him all around the world before he officially retired from royal life after completing more than 22,000 solo engagements.
But Philip's life as a royal wasn't without controversy; the duke was well-known for speaking brashly in public, often making headlines for the problematic comments shared during many of his engagements. Drama also followed him into 2019, when he famously had to surrender his driver's license after he crashed his car into another vehicle and injured its passengers.
Philip largely stayed out of the public eye following the incident. Early this year, the he spent a full month in the hospital for treatment of an infection as well as a heart-related surgery. He was released on March 16 and sent home, where he would pass peacefully several weeks later as the longest-serving royal consort in British history.
Philip is survived by his wife the Queen, their children, and their many grandchildren.