Prince Philip has died peacefully at the age of 99 having dedicated the majority of his life to the Queen and the Royal Family.
A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced 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 Duke of Edinburgh was once described by the Queen as her “strength and stay” and has been a constant presence by her side for more than 70 years.
Born in 1921, Philip served in the Royal Navy and has become known over the years for his jokes and gaffes. After he first met the Queen, Elizabeth “never looked at anyone else;” and once Philip proposed his destiny as royal consort was sealed.
Putting aside his own career ambitions, he proved his strong sense of duty serving the country through hundreds of engagements every year; refusing to stop working even in his 90s.
He became patron or president of 800 organisations, founded the Duke of Edinburgh Awards in 1956; and won a place in the nation’s hearts for his no-nonsense attitude and witty quips, or “gaffes”.
He leaves behind four children, eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchilden.
Philip bowed out of public life in August 2017; retiring at the age of 96 with 22,219 solo engagements to his name.
It was perhaps an unexpected path for the boy born on June 10, 1921 on the Greek Island of Corfu; and descended from Greek as well as Danish royalty.
While not exactly from humble beginnings, Philip’s childhood gave no clue that he would one day be the longest-serving British royal consort; and a key figure at the heart of the world’s most famous Royal Family.
His mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg and his father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark; and he was their only son with four older sisters. His family was exiled from Greece when he was a baby; and Philip was educated in France, Germany and the UK. He eventually joined the British Navy in 1939 age 18 and served in the British Forces during WWII. Elizabeth and Philip were distant cousins; and first met at a wedding in 1934 when she was only nine.
But it was when they met again in 1939 that they began to exchange letters and fell in love.
They became secretly engaged in 1946, but the formal engagement was delayed until Elizabeth turned 21 in April 1947.