How did Prince Philip die? Husband to Queen Elizabeth II passed away today

Father to Prince Charles and granddad to William and Harry dead at 99—how did Prince Philip die?

how did Prince Philip die
(Image credit: Stuart C. Wilson|Getty)

How did Prince Philip die? Peacefully at Windsor Castle in England, according to an announcement by Buckingham Palace. Following several recent hospitalizations and a surgery for a preexisting heart condition, the Duke of Edinburgh and longtime husband of Queen Elizabeth II died this morning at 99 years old. 

As posted on the Royal Family's Instagram handle, the official announcement of his passing read: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced 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. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss." 

How long were Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth married?

A prince by birth—he was the fifth child and sole son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg—Philip joined the British Royal Family when he married the crown princess, Elizabeth, on November 20th, 1947.

Despite the many ups and downs throughout their historic marriage, the match was reportedly one made of love—Queen Elizabeth allegedly once told her father, King George VI, that Philip was the only man she could ever love—and their union lasted more than 70 years and produced four children, making it the longest-lasting marriage in the British monarchy.

On the couple's 50th wedding anniversary, Prince Philip said of their marriage: "I think the main lesson that we have learnt is that tolerance is the one essential ingredient of any happy marriage. It may not be quite so important when things are going well, but it is absolutely vital when the going gets difficult. You can take it from me that the queen has the quality of tolerance in abundance."

At the queen's side, Prince Philip performed his royal duties as a public representative of the Royal Family—reportedly attending more than 20,000 royal engagements over the decades—until May 2017, when he announced his retirement from public life at the age of 95. The Duke of Edinburgh, however, did still make public appearances at family events, including the widely publicized May 2018 nuptials between his grandson, Prince Harry, and his American bride, Meghan Markle, at St. George's Chapel.

Harry and Meghan accuse the Royal Family

Prince Philip's passing comes in the wake of a turbulent year for the Royal Family. It follows a particularly damning season of The Crown—the prince was portrayed by actor Matt Smith in early seasons of the hit Netflix series and Tobias Menzies in later ones—which delved into the rocky, infidelity-riddled marriage between the couple's eldest son, Prince Charles, and the beloved Princess Diana, as well as the palace's own mistreatment of Lady Di. Next season will no doubt be equally, if not more, troublesome for the crown, as the series will take on the tragic passing of the Princess of Wales. 

Philip's death also follows Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Oprah Winfrey interview. In the viral, bombshell sit-down—which was viewed by a cool 49 million people—the young couple spoke about their decision to officially and publicly remove themselves from royal duties, and raised worrisome allegations of racism and neglect against members of the Royal Family. 

Regarding a particularly cruel bit of questioning surrounding the skin color of Harry and Meghan's infant son Archie, Winfrey clarified that although Prince Harry didn't share the identity of the family member who raised the question, "he wanted to make sure I knew and if I had the opportunity to share it that it was not his grandmother nor his grandfather that were a part of those conversations."

What are the Prince Philip funeral plans?

Whether Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be able to attend the funeral for Prince Philip remains to be seen due to travel restrictions and lockdown limitations because of the coronavirus pandemic. Official UK guidelines limit funeral attendance to a maximum of 30 people and social distancing is still required.

The world is still waiting on an official announcement of the funeral arrangements for Prince Philip, though word has it that the Royal Family will opt for a military funeral rather than a ceremonial state funeral for the war veteran, with a private service at St. George's Chapel followed by the burial in Frogmore Gardens. 

Christina Izzo

Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life. 

More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York

When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.