Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, passes away at 99


Garry Knight

Prince Philip death announcement.

Margaret Skubik, The Carroll News

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and “first gentleman of the land,” passed away peacefully at 99 years oldthe morning of April 9, at Windsor Castle in England. Husband to Queen Elizabeth II and father to Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward, Philip carried the monarchy into the 20th century, committed to duty. Philip’s rootless royal past and service to his country illuminated the true importance of preserving the throne in his eyes. 

Born on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and former Princess Alice, Philip was the only male of his four siblings and sixth in line to the Greek throne, according to The New York Times. As an infant, Philip’s father was banished from Greece and smuggled the Prince in a fruit crate to Paris to find refuge. 

Later on, his parents separated, and Philip was sent to live with his maternal grandmother in England, according to The New York Times. He spent four years at the Cheam School in England and then attended Gordonstoun School in Scotland, where he developed a love for the sea. Pursuing this passion, Philip entered the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth in 1939 and went to sea the next year as a sub-lieutenant in the Mediterranean fleet. After being promoted to lieutenant in 1942, he took part in the Allied landings in Sicily before sailing for the Pacific campaign. The Prince was later part of the crew on a United States battleship on September 2, 1945, when the Japanese formally surrendered. 

Around the same time, Philip and Queen Elizabeth wrote to each other weekly while she toured South Africa. A love match from the start, the two had been crazy about each other since 1939, when Philip at age 18 gave 13-year-old Elizabeth a tour around the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, The New York Times. In no time, Philip fell in love with her “completely and unreservedly,” as quoted in a letter written to Elizabeth in 1946. Though viewed as a prince of nowhere by the king and queen of England at the time, Philip proposed to Elizabeth, and they married in 1947. 

The pair were bound by a commitment to serve and a duty to the throne, said the New York Times. On their 50th anniversary, Elizabeth described Philip as her “strength and stay all these years.” Their marriage was not only founded on love but also strategy. Philip controlled all royal estates, and he made most of the major family decisions. He completed more than 22,000 royal engagements on his own and went with the queen on all her tours. 

Beyond the throne, Philip was passionate about polo, carriage driving and all things technology. Determined to give the queen her own royal realm, he supported over 800 charities and spoke out in support for conservation and environmentalism. 

Philip will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 17, at 3 p.m., inside the grounds of Windsor Castle, according to CNN. Due to the pandemic, the Palace has announced that the service will be reduced in size and not open to the public. Following his service, Philip will be moved to St. George’s Chapel and interred in the royal vault.