LONDON - The British royal family has announced the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II of England.
The royal family Twitter account tweeted at 7:01 a.m. Friday morning that "His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle."
The full announcement reads as follows:
"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. 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."
Earlier this year, Prince Philip was admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London as a precautionary measure for "feeling unwell." The palace later said Philip had an infection but was comfortable and responding to treatment, but wasn’t expected to leave the hospital for "several days."
Prince Philip was the Duke of Edinburgh and the oldest living descendent of the late Queen Victoria of Britain. Prior to his death, he was also the oldest living male British royal and husband to reigning Queen Elizabeth II.
Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and became the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
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 U.K. power into a modern world where people demand intimacy from their icons.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
The grandchildren are Charles’ sons, Prince William and Prince Harry; Anne’s children, Peter and Zara Phillips; Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie; and Edward’s children, Lady Louise and Viscount Severn.
The great-grandchildren are William and Kate’s children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis; Harry and Meghan’s son, Archie; Savannah and Isla, the daughters of Peter Phillips and his wife, Autumn; Mia and Lena, the daughters of Zara Phillips and her husband, Mike Tindall; and Eugenie’s son, August, with her husband, Jack Brooksbank.