Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband and the Duke of Edinburgh, died on Friday morning (April 9), Buckingham Palace announced. He was 99 years old. In a statement, the palace said, “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss,” the statement added.
According to BBC, Philip was the longest-serving consort in British history and had just recently returned to Windsor Castle after being hospitalized for a month. He was married to the Queen for more than 70 years.
Boris Johnson, the U.K. prime minister, reacted to Philip’s death on Twitter. In a statement, Boris said Philip “earned the affection of generations here in Britain, across the Commonwealth and around the world.”
“Like the expert carriage driver that he was, he helped to steer the royal family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life,” he added.
Last month, the Royal Family was embroiled in controversy after Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle sat down with Oprah Winfrey for an explosive interview. Meghan claimed that the royals refused to give her and Harry’s son Archie a royal title for “no reason” and said the family expressed “concerns” about “how dark” his skin would be.
“In those months where I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we have in tandem the conversations of he won’t be given security, he’s not gonna be given a title and also concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born,” she said.
Many accused the royals of racism and the family released an official statement responding to the allegations.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the statement read. “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”