LONDON: Prince Phillip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, died at the age of 99 after seven decades at the heart of public life as consort to Queen Elizabeth II.
Buckingham Palace’s statement said, “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.”
Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921 to Andrew, Prince of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenburg, a royal from the ancient German principality of Hesse and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
Philip considered himself Danish first and foremost – but also showed pride in his Russian as well as German and Greek roots. As a descendant of the Romanov dynasty, Philip gave in 1993 a DNA sample that identified the bodies of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and five children in an unmarked Siberian grave – dispelling the legend that the young Grand Duchess Anastasia had escaped the Bolshevik firing squad in the 1917 Russian Revolution, his biographers wrote.
Philip’s family left Greece as a baby when the royal family was exiled in 1922, as his uncle King Constantine I was blamed for the country’s defeat in the Greco-Turkish War.
He was educated in France and Germany. “If you couldn’t think of a word in one language, you tended to go off in another,” he later told The Independent of his polyglot family life.
On the advice of his uncle, Greece’s King George II, Philip pursued his training in the Royal Navy upon leaving Gordonstoun.
During the war Philip corresponded with the then Princess Elizabeth. They met in 1939 when he escorted the future Queen during her father King George VI’s visited to the Royal Naval College, where Philip was training.
The 13-year-old Elizabeth fell in love with Philip and decided she wanted to marry him. Philip was 18-year-old at that time.
Philip played an key role in founding the World Wildlife Fund in 1961. Later he served as president of the global organisation from 1981 to 1996. Philip helped bring the royals on television rather than through radio reports.
He was the first member of the royal family to have a televised interview.