Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died this Friday at the age of 99. He had recently been hospitalized and underwent heart surgery.
“With deep sorrow, Her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” said a statement from Buckingham Palace. ” His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” the statement read.
They indicated that “the Royal Family joins people around the world in mourning their loss ” and then reported that “more announcements will be made in due course .”
Prince Philip died after having become the longest-lived royal consort of the British Crown, with more than 70 years alongside Queen Elizabeth II. He was always in the shadow of his wife, with great loyalty and a propensity to show little respect for what was politically correct. “It is better to disappear than to reach the expiration date,” he had said a few years ago with his particular sense of humor.
His wife, who came to the throne in 1952, broke all longevity records as monarch, Felipe was the consort who held that honor the longest. In 2009, Prince Philip surpassed Carlota, the wife of Jorge III, as the longest-serving consort. “He is my rock. He has been my strength and my support”, the queen once said, not inclined to show affection in public.
In 2017 he retired from public activities after having participated in more than 22,000 official events, but his main value was being “the only man in the world to treat the queen as a human being, as an equal,” Lord Charteris once explained, former private secretary of the monarch.
Tall and stiff, always behind the queen as required by protocol, Felipe assumed his secondary role with a better or worse disposition.
It took him years of apprenticeship, he admitted, to find his place in the shadow of Elizabeth II and in the hearts of the British, but then he enjoyed a high popularity rating, as did his wife, the Queen.