Admirers of the British royal family were saddened on April 9, 2021, when the news was released that Prince Philip had died at the age of 99. The elder royal and husband of Queen Elizabeth II “passed away peacefully” at Windsor Castle, according to the royal family’s website.
Philip’s death came after he had spent a month at King Edward VII Hospital in London at the suggestion of his doctor. Although it was originally reported that the prince “had been feeling unwell,” per the BBC, the family later revealed he ended up “under[going] a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition” before being released and returning home.
An initial statement shared by the royal family via their website addressed the death, saying, “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.” However, the queen then released her own touching message regarding the death of her husband, the man who she had loved for so long.
Inside Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's love story
Following the death of Prince Philip, his wife and now widow, Queen Elizabeth II, released a statement via The Royal Family’s official Instagram account. Posted alongside an image of the happy couple taken by photographer Annie Leibovitz in 2016, the caption featured words spoken by Her Majesty The Queen during a speech from 1997. “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.”
Although the queen is surely experiencing heartfelt grief as she mourns the death of Philip, she can take comfort in the fact that she can look back at the special nature of their relationship and the many years they spent together. The pair first met when Elizabeth was just 13, according to Town & Country, and they eventually wed on Nov. 20, 1947, remaining married for more than seven decades. The parents of four children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward — as well as grandparents and great-grandparents to a handful of younger royals, Elizabeth and Philip were dedicated to each other, their family, and their duties.
Although marriage and raising a family isn’t always easy, especially if you’re a royal, Elizabeth revealed that it was Philip who remained their rock. “During these years as your Queen, the support of my family has, across the generations, been beyond measure,” she once said, per T&C. “Prince Philip is, I believe, well-known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide.”
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