The Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth’s husband of 73 years, has died at age 99.
Prince Philip’s health began deteriorating some time ago, and he retired from his royal engagement duties in May 2017. Since then he was rarely seen in public.
He lived a life of relentless royal duty, immersing himself in a unique public role. For many decades, he was the most energetic of the royals with the busiest schedule of engagements. Even in advanced years he could be seen hoisting young children over security barriers to present flowers to his wife.
The duke could be blunt and offensive, prone to outbursts of bad temperament, but could be equally charming and witty.
He was an advocate of the monarchy and attempted to modernize it. He instigated the abolishment of the presentation of debutants at court in 1958, and expanded a more informal approach in which to invite guests from a variety of backgrounds.
His interests were religion and wildlife conservation, industry, science and gadgets. He competed in polo and carriage driving, was a qualified pilot and accomplished sailor.
In a speech in 1997, the year of their golden anniversary, the Queen said, “He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments. But he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and 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.”
More at The Guardian