Buckingham Palace announced in a statement Friday that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband and consort to Queen Elizabeth II, had died. He was 99.
Over the course of nearly a century of life, Philip charmed the world with his playful personality, his gallantry in war and peace, and his loyalty to the Queen through 73 years of marriage, as Fox News reported.
Prince Philip dead at 99
Born Prince Philip of Greece on the island of Corfu in 1921, he was the child of Greek and Danish royalty but also had British blood that traced to Queen Victoria, according to an obituary from the BBC.
He surrendered his titles on marrying Elizabeth and took the name Mountbatten, from his British maternal grandparents, as Fox reported. And that was not all he gave up. A naval officer in World War II, Philip set aside an accomplished military career to serve as royal consort, a role he held longer than any person in British history.
The couple began their courtship when the teenaged Princess Elizabeth toured the Royal Naval College, and they carried on a wartime correspondence, according to Fox. Philip was mentioned in dispatches and took part in the Allied invasion of Sicily, Reuters noted.
After the war, Philip wed Elizabeth in 1947 at Westminster Abbey. She rose to the throne in 1952 and — to use a cliché — the rest is history.
Consort to the Queen
Philip had no constitutional role in the royal family, which kept the name Windsor, something he was said to have rued.
“I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children,” he was said to have once complained, according to the BBC. “I’m nothing but a bloody amoeba.”
But he was admired for his commitment to the Queen in all her duties just the same. According to Reuters, Elizabeth once said of her companion: “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.”
Gentleman, sportsman charmed the world
He was also a sportsman, with reported interests in polo, sailing, cricket, and carriage riding, and is remembered for his patronage of some 800 charities, most notably the Duke of Edinburgh Award, as Breitbart notes.
The prince’s famously candid manner and dry wit sometimes got him in trouble as he grew older, and the world got more politically correct. “So you managed not to get eaten, then?” he once asked of a British student who had visited Papua New Guinea, according to Breitbart.
Shortly before his death, Philip was being treated for heart issues.