World mourns as Queen Elizabeth loses husband

Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace said on Friday.

“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 palace said in a statement.

The Duke of Edinburgh, as he was officially known, had spent four weeks in a UK hospital earlier this year to receive treatment for an infection and have a heart procedure, but returned to Windsor in early March.

He had been by the queen’s side throughout her 69-year reign, the longest in British history. The couple married in 1947, five years before Queen Elizabeth II ascended the throne.

Prince Philip and the queen had four children – Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, Princess Anne, and Princes Andrew and Edward.

While he officially played second fiddle to his wife, the Duke of Edinburgh was regarded as the private head of the family. He was born on June 21, 1921, in Greece, although his family were exiled from the country while he was an infant.

A member of the Greek and Danish royal families, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18, after being educated in France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

He was in the navy throughout the Second World War, serving with distinction in the Mediterranean and Pacific fleets. After the war, King George VI granted him permission to marry Elizabeth. During the 70 years he spent carrying out royal duties – which he only stepped back from in 2017 at the age of 95 – Prince Philip accompanied the queen around the world, on Commonwealth tours and state visits, as well as carrying out more than 22,000 solo engagements.

Funeral arrangements

Prince Philip’s funeral will take place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor – but the arrangements have been amended in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the College of Arms said in a statement.

It added that the funeral will not be a state funeral, and the duke will not lie in state.

The duke’s body will, however, lie at rest in Windsor Castle ahead of a funeral, the College of Arms said, “in line with custom and with His Royal Highness’s wishes”.

World leaders react

Public figures in the United Kingdom and across the world reacted with sadness to the death of Prince Philip.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the Duke of Edinburgh’s “extraordinary life and work” and sent his condolences to Queen Elizabeth II over her husband’s death. “We remember the Duke … above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen, not just as her consort, by her side, every day of her reign, but as her husband, her strength and stay of more than 70 years,” Johnson said in a televised address to the nation.

Former US President George W. Bush and his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, recalled Prince Philip’s “dignity,” “boundless strength,” “charm” and “wit.” They said he would be missed.

U.S. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi said: “The U.S. Congress extends condolences over the passing of Prince Philip, whose life was distinguished by an inspiring ethic of dedicated service.”

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