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Prince Philip, longest-serving consort of reigning British monarch, dies at 99

April 9 (UPI) — Prince Philip, the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch, died on Friday, Buckingham Palace announced. He was 99.

The duke of Edinburgh died after spending weeks in London hospitals and undergoing an unspecified heart procedure March 4 for a pre-existing condition. He first entered King Edward VII‘s Hospital on Feb. 16.

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“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,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The royal family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

He was born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on June 10, 1921, in Greece, to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. At birth, he was in line for the thrones of both countries.

As a baby, Philip and his family were evacuated to France after his uncle, Greek King Constantine I, was forced to abdicate as a result of losing the Greco-Turkish War. He was educated in various schools in France, England, Germany and Scotland, and ultimately entered the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.

Philip served with the British forces during World War II in various stints aboard the HMS Ramillies, HMS Kent, HMS Shropshire, HMS Valiant, HMS Wallace and HMS Whelp. He obtained the rank of commander before leaving the military in 1952.

Philip became engaged to then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 after several years of courtship through her teenage years.

The couple married Nov. 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey, one day after King George VI bestowed upon Philip the titles duke of Edinburgh, earl of Merioneth and baron Greenwich. Having renounced his Greek and Danish royal titles, Philip adopted his grandfather’s surname, Mountbatten — an Anglicized version of Battenberg.

Elizabeth ascended to the throne and Philip became her consort in 1957 when George VI died. The queen would go on to become the longest-serving monarch in English history.

The duke made his final official public appearance in 2017, attending the Royal Marines charity parade outside the queen’s London residence. In the 65 years of Elizabeth’s reign before he retired, Philip made 22,219 solo engagements and 5,496 speeches.

In the years just before and after his retirement, Philip was beset by a number of health issues, including hip replacement surgery in 2018, heart problems and infections.

He was patron of more than 750 organizations and had a particular interest in sports, including competitive carriage driving. He was chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, founded in 1956 to encourage youth physical activity, volunteerism, skills and travel.

“It’s what I like to describe as a ‘do-it-yourself’ growing up kit,” the duke said of the program.

Prince Philip is survived by wife Queen Elizabeth; children Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward; grandchildren Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Viscount Severn; and great-grandchildren Savannah Phillips, Isla Phillips, Prince George, Mia Tindall, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Lena Tindall, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, August Brooksbank, Lucas Philip Tindall, and Harry and Meghan Markle‘s yet-to-be born daughter.

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World News – UPI.com

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