Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, dies aged 99

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.

A statement issued by the palace just after midday spoke of the Queen’s “deep sorrow” following his death at Windsor Castle on Friday morning.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who was the longest-serving consort in British history, had returned to Windsor on 16 March after a month in hospital.

Boris Johnson said he “inspired the lives of countless young people”.

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband,” the palace said.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Speaking at Downing Street, the prime minister said that the duke had “earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world”.

Meanwhile, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said he “consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service”.

The flag at Buckingham Palace was lowered to half-mast and a notice was posted on the gates following the announcement of the duke’s death.

Windsor Castle wardens move flowers which were placed by members of the public outside Windsor Castle

Bunches of daffodils, tulips, roses and lilies were among floral tributes placed by people outside the palace, while hundreds travelled to Windsor Castle to pay their respects.

However, the government has urged the public not to gather or leave tributes at royal residences amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said it was “a moment of real national sadness” and “a moment of sadness, most particularly of course, for the Queen losing her husband of 73 years – a bigger span of years than most of us can imagine”.

He said Prince Philip had made “a huge contribution to the success of the Queen’s reign”, describing the duke as “utterly loyal in his belief in the importance of the role that the Queen was fulfilling – and in his duty to support her”.

“It was the importance of the solidity of that relationship, of their marriage, that was so crucial to the success of her reign,” he added.

source: bbc

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