London (England) | Jagran News Desk: British Royal Family's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, passed away on Friday at the age of 99, said the Buckingham Palace in a statement.

Prince Philip's health had deteriorated over the last few months. He was also admitted to a hospital for nearly a month at the starting of this year but was released on March 16.

"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," said the Royal Family.

"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss," it added.

Prince Philip, who will be "outspoken and irascible" behaviour, was Greek prince and had married Queen Elizabeth II in 1947. The couple had four children: Charles, Prince of Wales (born in 1948), Princess Anne (born in 1950), Prince Andrew (born in 1960) and Prince Edward (born in 1964).

Prince Philip was also the longest-serving consort in British history. He, however, had retired from public engagements in 2017 after carrying out more than 20,000 of them.

Known for his love for sports, Prince Philip had played a crucial role in modernising the British Royal Family post World War II. Queen Elizabeth in a rare personal tribute had earlier called Prince Philip a "quite simple" person who has been her "strength" for over the seven decades.

"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," she had said during a speech to mark their 50th wedding anniversary in 1997.

STRENGTH AND STAY

For Elizabeth, Philip was a supportive husband who courtiers said was the only person to treat the monarch as a human being.

Despite rumours about his infidelity, the couple stayed together and in old age they clearly enjoyed an affection and regard for each other. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in November 2017.

However Philip, the son of the exiled Prince Andrew of Greece, a descendant of Elizabeth’s great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria and his wife’s third cousin, never quite won the hearts of all Britons.

Elizabeth was the sovereign, but in family matters it was Philip who was viewed as the head of the family.

As first Princess Anne, then Prince Andrew and then finally Prince Charles suffered a broken marriage, royal watchers pointed the finger at Philip as a doughty father, calling him domineering and cold, particularly with his sons.

When the popularity of the House of Windsor plunged after the death of Charles’s first wife Princess Diana in 1997, he was accused of helping stop the monarchy adapt to a new Britain.

A decade after Diana was killed in a Paris car crash at 36, Philip had to suffer the embarrassment of hearing Mohamed al-Fayed, the former owner of London’s luxury Harrods store whose son was the princess’s lover, allege the prince had ordered her death.

A jury rejected the claims after hearing no evidence to back them up. But such accusations illustrated the country’s mixed feelings about him.

(With inputs from Reuters)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma