New York Daily News
Britain’s Prince Philip, who both basked and bristled in the spotlight and shadow of his wife, the Queen of England, has died. He was 99.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” the royal family announced. “Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was married to Queen Elizabeth for more than 70 years, and stood dutifully by her side during her 50-plus year reign, the longest of any British monarch.
He retired from royal duty in 2017, tirelessly completing more than 22,000 public meetings or solo events and delivering nearly 5,500 speeches.since 1952, according to British officials.
Afterward, Philip enjoyed breaks from the Windsor bubble and reportedly split his time between Buckingham Palace and Wood Farm in Norfolk.
He occasionally was seen with the queen at official events, although he skipped former President Donald Trump’s visit in June 2019.
The Queen affirmed her love for Philip in 1997 in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary.
“He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments,” she said at the time. “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.”
The prince, who had drivers at the ready, made embarrassing headlines in January 2019 when he was behind the wheel of a Land Rover during a car accident on a country English road that injured two other motorists.
Officials said his vision was impaired by sunlight as he pulled out of a driveway on the royal Sandringham estate in Norfolk, in eastern England. Even though the Land Rover flipped on its side, the prince was remarkably unhurt.
Phillip was not charged in the incident, but the accident convinced him to voluntarily surrender his driver’s license.
The prince was an enthusiastic pilot who frequently flew himself around the world, and only stopped flying in 1997.
He was the father of Prince Charles, who is next in line to the throne, and the grandfather of Prince William, who is next in line after Charles.
Philip Mountbatten was born June 10, 1921 in Greece into the Greek and Danish royal families, but was forced to flee his homeland as a baby in a wooden fruit box because his father faced danger in the midst of World War I.
He lived in exile in France, England, Germany, and at boarding school in Scotland.
Philip and the future queen first met when she was just 8 years old. When both were young adults, they began exchanging letters while Philip was enrolled in the Royal Naval College.
In 1946, Philip went to Elizabeth’s father, George VI, to request her hand in marriage.The king reluctantly agreed to the marriage but made the amorous couple wait until Elizabeth’s 21st birthday to announce their engagement. They wed on November 20, 1947.
But Elizabeth’s unexpected ascension to the throne created stress in their marriage, observers have said. Philip had to adjust to being his wife’s consort, which also meant walking a few steps behind her in public.
“I thought I was going to have a career in the Navy, but it became obvious there was no hope,” the prince once told an interviewer. “There was no choice. It just happened. You have to make compromises. That’s life. I accepted it. I tried to make the best of it.”
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