Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II and patriarch of a turbulent royal household that he sought to make sure wouldn’t be Britain’s final, died on Friday at Windsor Castle in England. He was 99.

His dying was introduced by Buckingham Palace, which stated he had died peacefully. No reason behind dying was instantly given.

Philip had been hospitalized a number of instances in latest years for varied illnesses, most just lately in February, the palace stated.

He died simply as Buckingham Palace was once more in turmoil, this time over Oprah Winfrey’s explosive televised interview with Philip’s grandson Prince Harry and Harry’s spouse, Meghan, on March 7. The couple, in self-imposed exile in California, lodged accusations of racism and cruelty towards members of the royal household.

As “the first gentleman in the land,” Philip tried to shepherd into the 20th century a monarchy encrusted with the trimmings of the 19th. But as pageantry was upstaged by scandal and as regal weddings had been adopted by sensational divorces, his mission, as he noticed it, modified. Now it was to assist protect the crown itself.

Yet preservation — of Britain, of the throne, of centuries of custom — had all the time been the mission. When this tall, good-looking prince married the younger crown princess, Elizabeth, (he at 26, she at 21) on Nov. 20, 1947, a battered Britain was nonetheless recovering from World War II. The solar had all however set on its empire, and the abdication of Edward VIII over his love for Wallis Simpson, a divorced American, was nonetheless reverberating a decade later.

The wedding ceremony held out the promise that the monarchy, just like the nation, would survive, and it supplied that reassurance in nearly fairy-tale trend, full with magnificent horse-drawn coaches resplendent in gold and a throng of adoring topics lining the route between Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey.

More, it was a heartfelt match. Elizabeth advised her father, King George VI, that Philip was the one man she may ever love.

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