Prince Philip, Longest-Serving British Consort, Dies at 99

Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Prince Philip, both the longest-serving consort of a monarch in British history and the oldest male member of the British royal family, has died at the age of 99, according to the Royal Family. “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,” read a statement published Friday. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.” The prince had recently spent a month in the hospital.

"We remember the Duke for all of this, and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen. Not just as her consort—by her side every day of her reign—but as her husband, her 'strength and stay,' of more than 70 years,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “It is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation’s thoughts must turn today. Because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather."

While he was best known as the husband of Queen Elizabeth II for nearly 74 years, Philip himself was born into the royal families of Greek and Denmark and had been a Prince in his own right by birth. Philip's family was exiled when he was an infant, and the family eventually settled in France, where Philip joined the British Royal Navy.

Through his position at that post, he met the young Princess Elizabeth. The pair married in 1947. Elizabeth would rise to the rank of Queen in 1952, at which point Philip retired from the Navy with the rank of commander. The couple would have four children, including the heir to the throne, Prince Charles.

Seeking public adoration never quite seemed to be Philip's cup of tea, though he was diligent in serving out his royal duties. He completed 22,219 solo engagements as a Royal before his retirement from official duty in 2017 and attended many other events by Elizabeth's side. He also served as the royal patron for almost 800 organizations, with a particular interest in supporting organizations involved in environmentalism, industry, sports, and education.