His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1921 – 2021
It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has died aged 99. He had been married to the Queen, former Patron of the Royal Society of Literature, for 73 years and was, in the words she used at the celebration of her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, “my constant strength and guide”.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh born Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, 10 June 1921 – 9 April 2021 was a member of the British royal family as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. Philip was born into the Greek and Danish royal families. He was born in Greece, but his family was exiled from the country when he was an infant. After being educated in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, he joined the British Royal Navy in 1939, aged 18. From July 1939, he began corresponding with the thirteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth, whom he had first met in 1934.
During the Second World War he served with distinction in the Mediterranean and Pacific Fleets. After the war, Philip was granted permission by George VI to marry Elizabeth. Before the official announcement of their engagement in July 1947, he abandoned his Greek and Danish titles and styles, became a naturalised British subject, and adopted his maternal grandparents’ surname Mountbatten. He married Elizabeth on 20 November 1947. Just before the wedding, he was granted the style His Royal Highness and created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich by King George VI. Philip left active military service when Elizabeth became queen in 1952, having reached the rank of commander, and was made a British prince in 1957.
Philip had four children with Elizabeth: Charles, Prince of Wales; Anne, Princess Royal; Prince Andrew, Duke of York; and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. Through a British Order in Council issued in 1960, descendants of the couple not bearing royal styles and titles can use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, which has also been used by some members of the royal family who do hold titles, such as Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor said:
“I am very sad to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and on behalf of the city I have written to Her Majesty the Queen to offer our thoughts and condolences at this sad time.
“During his career His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was involved with hundreds of charities and organisations, and will of course leave behind a fitting reminder of his work in the fantastic Duke of Edinburgh Award which so many young people have completed.
“We will be lowering the flags on our Civic buildings today as a mark of respect and an online book of condolence is available for signing at: www.royal.uk for those who wish to pay their respects.”
Leader of the Council, Councillor James Lewis said:
“We are deeply saddened to hear the announcement from Buckingham Palace that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has died.
“I’m sure the people of Leeds will join me at this time in paying their respects and remembering him and all the excellent work he has been involved in for his country over many decades.”
A sports enthusiast, Philip helped develop the equestrian event of carriage driving. He was a patron, president, or member of over 780 organisations, and he served as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, a self-improvement program for young people aged 14 to 24. He was the longest-serving consort of a reigning British monarch and the longest-lived male member of the British royal family. He retired from his royal duties on 2 August 2017, aged 96, having completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952.
When he retired from royal duties in 2017, aged 96, he had completed 22,219 solo engagements since 1952. He had also helped the Queen with many of her own. Some Fellows of the Royal Society of Literature will remember a party the Queen gave at Buckingham Palace for people in the world of books. Standing by her in the receiving line, the Duke firmly shook the hands of authors, fixing them in the eye as he demanded, “Fact, or fiction?”
Prince Philip died on the morning of 9 April 2021 at Windsor Castle. Our thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family at this time.