UK’s Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, dies at 99

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BRITISH MONARCH ANNOUNCES DEATH ‘WITH DEEP SORROW’
Longest-serving consort in British history dies after hospitalization earlier this year; he was the son of Princess Alice, a Greek royal who sheltered Jews during the Holocaust
From The Time Of Israel
  • In this file photo taken on July 17, 2002 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh chat while seated during a musical performance in the Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds, during her Golden Jubilee visit to Suffolk, east of England. (Fiona HANSON / POOL / AFP)
    In this file photo taken on July 17, 2002 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh chat while seated during a musical performance in the Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds, during her Golden Jubilee visit to Suffolk, east of England. (Fiona HANSON / POOL / AFP)
  • In this July 22, 2020 file photo, Britain's Prince Philip arrives for a ceremony for the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles from himself to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at Windsor Castle, England (Adrian Dennis/Pool via AP, File)
    In this July 22, 2020 file photo, Britain’s Prince Philip arrives for a ceremony for the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles from himself to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, at Windsor Castle, England (Adrian Dennis/Pool via AP, File)
  • Britain’s Prince Philip jokes with British WWII veterans Nathan Kohaen, right, and Sol Jacobs who now live in Israel during a ceremony at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Ramle, Israel on Oct. 30, 1994, where he came to lay a wreath (AP Photo)
    Britain’s Prince Philip jokes with British WWII veterans Nathan Kohaen, right, and Sol Jacobs who now live in Israel during a ceremony at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Ramle, Israel on Oct. 30, 1994, where he came to lay a wreath (AP Photo)
  • In this Aug. 1951 file photo, Princess Elizabeth stands with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh and their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne at the couple's London residence at Clarence House (AP Photo/Eddie Worth, file)
    In this Aug. 1951 file photo, Princess Elizabeth stands with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh and their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne at the couple’s London residence at Clarence House (AP Photo/Eddie Worth, file)
  • In this file photo taken on June 16, 2012 Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh salutes as he watches the troops ride past outside Buckingham Palace following the Queen's Birthday Parade in London on June 16, 2012 (LEON NEAL / AFP)
    In this file photo taken on June 16, 2012 Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh salutes as he watches the troops ride past outside Buckingham Palace following the Queen’s Birthday Parade in London on June 16, 2012 (LEON NEAL / AFP)
  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, third from left, poses with the Duke of Edinburgh, left, Queen Elizabeth II, right,  Israeli President Ezer Weizman and his wife Reuma at a State Banquet in their honour at Buckingham Palace, London, in this February 25, 1997 file photo (AP Photo/John Stillwell/pool)
    Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, third from left, poses with the Duke of Edinburgh, left, Queen Elizabeth II, right, Israeli President Ezer Weizman and his wife Reuma at a State Banquet in their honour at Buckingham Palace, London, in this February 25, 1997 file photo (AP Photo/John Stillwell/pool)
  • Britain's Prince Philip escorts his mother, Princess Alice Andreeas of Greece, in wedding procession of Princess Margarita of Baden and Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia after the religious ceremonies on June 5, 1957 at Salem, Germany.   (AP Photo)
    Britain’s Prince Philip escorts his mother, Princess Alice Andreeas of Greece, in wedding procession of Princess Margarita of Baden and Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia after the religious ceremonies on June 5, 1957 at Salem, Germany. (AP Photo)
  • In this file photo taken on September 6, 1997 (L to R) Britian's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, walk outside Westminster Abbey during the funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales. (JEFF J MITCHELL / POOL / AFP)
    In this file photo taken on September 6, 1997 (L to R) Britian’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, walk outside Westminster Abbey during the funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales. (JEFF J MITCHELL / POOL / AFP)
  • Britain's Queen Elizabeth II points out something to Prince Philip as they watch the Epsom Derby from the balcony at Epsom racecourse, England, Saturday, June 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
    Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II points out something to Prince Philip as they watch the Epsom Derby from the balcony at Epsom racecourse, England, Saturday, June 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
  • (FILES) In this file photo taken on August 02, 2017 Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in his role as Captain General, Royal Marines, attends a Parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge on the Buckingham Palace Forecourt in central London on August 2, 2017. - Queen Elizabeth II's husband Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has died, Buckingham Palace announced on April 9, 2021. (HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP)
    (FILES) In this file photo taken on August 02, 2017 Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in his role as Captain General, Royal Marines, attends a Parade to mark the finale of the 1664 Global Challenge on the Buckingham Palace Forecourt in central London on August 2, 2017. – Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has died, Buckingham Palace announced on April 9, 2021. (HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP)

 

Media www.rajawalisiber.com  – Prince Philip, the irascible and tough-minded husband of Queen Elizabeth II who spent more than seven decades supporting his wife in a role that both defined and constricted his life, has died, Buckingham Palace said Friday. He was 99.

His life spanned nearly a century of European history, starting with his birth as a member of the Greek royal family and ending as Britain’s longest-serving consort during a turbulent reign in which the thousand-year-old monarchy was forced to reinvent itself for the 21st century.

He was known for his occasionally racist and sexist remarks — and for gamely fulfilling more than 20,000 royal engagements to boost British interests at home and abroad.

He headed hundreds of charities, founded programs that helped British schoolchildren participate in challenging outdoor adventures, and played a prominent part in raising his four children, including his eldest son, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.

In this file photo taken on June 16, 2012, Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh salutes as he watches the troops ride past outside Buckingham Palace following the Queen’s Birthday Parade in London on June 16, 2012 (LEON NEAL / AFP)

Philip spent a month in hospital earlier this year before being released on March 16 to return to Windsor Castle.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the palace said. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”

Philip, who was given the title Duke of Edinburgh on his wedding day, saw his sole role as providing support for his wife, who began her reign as Britain retreated from empire and steered the monarchy through decades of declining social deference and UK power into a modern world where people demand intimacy from their icons.

In this Aug. 1951 file photo, Princess Elizabeth stands with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh and their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne at the couple’s London residence at Clarence House (AP Photo/Eddie Worth, file)

The queen, a very private person not given to extravagant displays of affection, once called him “her rock” in public.

In private, Philip called his wife Lilibet; but he referred to her in conversation with others as “The Queen.”

Over the decades, Philip’s image changed from that of handsome, dashing athlete to arrogant and insensitive curmudgeon. In his later years, the image finally settled into that of droll and philosophical observer of the times, an elderly, craggy-faced man who maintained his military bearing despite ailments.

Britain’s Prince Philip jokes with British WWII veterans Nathan Kohaen, right, and Sol Jacobs who now live in Israel during a ceremony at the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Ramle, Israel on Oct. 30, 1994, where he came to lay a wreath (AP Photo)

Philip’s position was a challenging one — there is no official role for the husband of a sovereign queen — and his life was marked by extraordinary contradictions between his public and private duties. He always walked three paces behind his wife in public, in a show of deference to the monarch, but he was the head of the family in private. Still, his son Charles, as heir to the throne, had a larger income, as well as access to the high-level government papers Philip was not permitted to see.

Philip often took a wry approach to his unusual place at the royal table.

“Constitutionally, I don’t exist,” said Philip, who in 2009 became the longest-serving consort in British history, surpassing Queen Charlotte, who married King George III in the 18th century.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, left, speaks with Prince Philip during their visit to Brisbane, Australia, October 24, 2011. (AFP/ MECHIELSEN LYNDON)

He frequently struggled to find his place — a friction that would later be echoed in his grandson Prince Harry’s decision to give up royal duties.

“There was no precedent,” he said in a rare interview with the BBC to mark his 90th birthday. “If I asked somebody, ‘What do you expect me to do?’ they all looked blank.”

But having given up a promising naval career to become consort when Elizabeth became queen at age 25, Philip was not content to stay on the sidelines and enjoy a life of ease and wealth. He promoted British industry and science, espoused environmental preservation long before it became fashionable, and traveled widely and frequently in support of his many charities.

In those frequent public appearances, Philip developed a reputation for being impatient and demanding and was sometimes blunt to the point of rudeness.

Many Britons appreciated what they saw as his propensity to speak his mind, while others criticized behavior they labeled offensive and out of touch. Some believe his propensity to speak his mind meant he provided needed, unvarnished advice to the queen.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, third from left, poses with the Duke of Edinburgh, left, Queen Elizabeth II, right, Israeli President Ezer Weizman and his wife Reuma at a State Banquet in their honour at Buckingham Palace, London, in this February 25, 1997 file photo (AP Photo/John Stillwell/pool)

Born June 10, 1921, on the dining room table at his parents’ home on the Greek island of Corfu, Philip was the fifth child and only son of Prince Andrew, younger brother of the king of Greece. His grandfather had come from Denmark during the 1860s to be adopted by Greece as the country’s monarch.

Philip’s mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg, a descendent of German princes. Like his future wife, Elizabeth, Philip was also a great-grandchild of Queen Victoria.

When Philip was 18 months old, his parents fled to France. His father, an army commander, had been tried after a devastating military defeat by the Turks. After British intervention, the Greek junta agreed not to sentence Andrew to death if he left the country.

Philip’s parents drifted apart when he was a child, and Andrew died in Monte Carlo in 1944.

Alice founded a religious order that did not succeed and spent her old age at Buckingham Palace. A reclusive figure, often dressed in a nun’s habit, she was little seen by the British public.

She died in 1969 and was posthumously honored by Britain and Israel for sheltering a Jewish family in Nazi-occupied Athens during the war.

She is buried in Jerusalem and is counted as one of the Righteous Among the Nations, an honor bestowed by Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial on non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Britain’s Prince Philip escorts his mother, Princess Alice Andreas of Greece, in the wedding procession of Princess Margarita of Baden and Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia after the religious ceremonies on June 5, 1957 at Salem, Germany. (AP Photo)

In 1994, Philip made a non-official visit to Israel for a ceremony to mark his mother’s valor.

Philip went to school in Britain and entered Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth as a cadet in 1939. He got his first posting in 1940 but was not allowed near the main war zone because he was a foreign prince of a neutral nation. When the Italian invasion of Greece ended that neutrality, he joined the war, serving on battleships in the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean and the Pacific.

On leave in Britain, he visited his royal cousins, and, by the end of war, it was clear he was courting Princess Elizabeth, eldest child and heir of King George VI. Their engagement was announced July 10, 1947, and they were married on Nov. 20.

Members of the British Royal Family (L-R) Queen Elizabeth II, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Princess Beatrice of York, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (with Princess Charlotte and Prince George), and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force, in London on June 17, 2017. (Chris J Ratcliffe / AFP)

After an initial flurry of disapproval that Elizabeth was marrying a foreigner, Philip’s athletic skills, good looks and straight talk lent a distinct glamour to the royal family.

Elizabeth beamed in his presence, and they had a son and daughter while she was still free of the obligations of serving as monarch.

But King George VI died of cancer in 1952 at age 56.

Philip had to give up his naval career, and his subservient status was formally sealed at the coronation, when he knelt before his wife and pledged to become “her liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship.”

In this file photo taken on May 20, 2015, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (R) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (L) arrive during a garden party on the grounds of Buckingham Palace in central London, May 20, 2015 (Ben STANSALL / POOL / AFP)

So Philip took over management of the royal estates and expanded his travels to all corners of the world, building a role for himself.

From 1956, he was Patron and Chairman of Trustees for the largest youth activity program in Britain, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a program of practical, cultural and adventurous activities for young people that exists in over 100 countries. Millions of British children have had some contact with the award and its famous camping expeditions.

He painted, collected modern art, was interested in industrial design and planned a garden at Windsor Castle. But, he once said, “the arts world thinks of me as an uncultured, polo-playing clot.”

In time, the famous blond hair thinned and the long, fine-boned face acquired a few lines. He gave up polo but remained trim and vigorous.

To a friend’s suggestion that he ease up a bit, the prince is said to have replied, “Well, what would I do? Sit around and knit?”

But when he turned 90 in 2011, Philip told the BBC he was “winding down” his workload and he reckoned he had “done my bit.”

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, at Windsor Castle speaks to Assistant Colonel Commandant, Major General Tom Copinger-Symeas during a ceremony at Windsor Castle, England, July 22, 2020 (Adrian Dennis/Pool via AP)

The next few years saw occasional hospital stays as Philip’s health flagged.

He announced in May 2017 that he planned to step back from royal duties, and he stopped scheduling new commitments — after roughly 22,000 royal engagements since his wife’s coronation. In 2019, he gave up his driver’s license after a serious car crash.

Philip is survived by the queen and their four children — Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — as well as eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

 

 

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