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Queen Elizabeth Loses Husband, Prince Philip

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L-R Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip

The death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, aged 99, has been announced by Buckingham Palace.

BBC news reports that in a statement shortly after midday, the palace said: “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

The Duke of Edinburgh, who was the longest-serving consort in British history, had returned to Windsor Castle on 16 March after a month in hospital.

Boris Johnson said he “inspired the lives of countless young people”.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said the duke “consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service”.

The palace added: “The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

An extraordinary man who led an extraordinary life
Obituary: HRH the Duke of Edinburgh
Who he was, what he did and why he mattered
Speaking at Downing Street, the prime minister said he received the news of the duke’s death “with great sadness”.

“Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world,” he said.

The flag at Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-mast and a notice was posted on the gates following the announcement of the duke’s death.

People also placed flowers outside the palace, while crowds began to gather at Windsor Castle.

The BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said it was “a moment of real national sadness” and “a moment of sadness, most particularly of course, for the Queen losing her husband of 73 years – a bigger span of years than most of us can imagine”.

He said Prince Philip had made “a huge contribution to the success of the Queen’s reign”, describing the duke as “utterly loyal in his belief in the importance of the role that the Queen was fulfilling – and in his duty to support her”.

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“It was the importance of the solidity of that relationship, of their marriage, that was so crucial to the success of her reign,” he added.

The prince married Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen.

In March, the duke left King Edward VII’s hospital in central London after a month-long stay for treatment.

He underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at another London hospital – St Bartholomew’s.

As news of the duke’s death rippled through this royal borough, people started to gather outside the gates of Windsor castle.

Locals, including a young girl, have left flower bouquets at the castle entrance.

More are being brought.

One of the cards attached to the flowers simply reads RIP Prince Philip.

Another is addressed to Her Majesty The Queen sending their deep condolences.

There is a sombre mood here in Windsor as people quietly reflect on the news of the duke’s death.

It was here where he spent his last weeks after being discharged from hospital. His last days spent with his wife, the Queen.

The announcement was posted on the gates of the palace.

Prince Philip and the Queen had four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Their first son, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, was born in 1948, followed by his sister, the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, in 1950, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, in 1960 and the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, in 1964.

Prince Philip was born on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921.

His father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, a younger son of King George I of the Hellenes.

His mother, Princess Alice, was a daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

To mark their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on 20 November 2007, the Queen and Prince Philip re-visit Broadlands where 60 years ago in November 1947 they spent their wedding night.

The Duke of Edinburgh was at the Queen’s side for more than six decades of reign, becoming the longest-serving consort in British history in 2009
Parliament will honour the duke on Monday, with the House of Commons sitting at 14:30 BST for tributes following his death.

Meanwhile, campaigning has been suspended by political parties for elections on 6 May, which will see voters head to the polls for council and mayoral positions in England, the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Parliament.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “saddened” by the death of Prince Philip.

She tweeted: “I send my personal and deepest condolences – and those of scotgov and the people of Scotland – to Her Majesty The Queen and her family.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK had lost an “extraordinary public servant”, adding he would be remembered most of all for his most “extraordinary commitment and devotion to the Queen”.

And Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford said the duke “served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit”.

The palace said further announcements would be made “in due course”.

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