Husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, dies at 99

2021-04-10 17:54:09
Husband of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, dies at 99

Prince Philip, the husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and the longest-serving consort of any UK monarch, has died at age 99.

A statement posted on the royal family's website Friday morning said: "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.

The Duke of Edinburgh, as he was officially known, had been by his wife’s side throughout her 69-year reign, the longest in British history. During that time he earned a propensity for occasional gaffes.

In February, Philip was in hospital where he spent four weeks having treatment for an infection and to have a heart procedure before returning to Windsor in early March. He died two months before his 100th birthday.

His sometimes brusque demeanour made him appear rude and aloof. Some of his comments were deemed racist and offensive, such as telling British students in China in 1986 they might become “slitty-eyed”.

In private, the prince was regarded as the head of his family, but protocol obliged the man dubbed “the second handshake” to spend his public life literally one step behind his wife.

“There was no precedent. If I asked somebody ‘What do you expect me to do?’, they all looked blank - they had no idea, nobody had much idea,” he said in an interview to mark his 90th birthday.

After completing more than 22,000 solo appearances, Philip retired from public life in August 2017 over the controversy surrounding his association with the disgraced late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein, one of a number of crises the family have faced.

BBC criticized over endless coverage of Prince Philip’s death

Since Prince Philip’s death, the BBC has received numerous complaints about its endless coverage of the event, as it suspended many of its programs to cover the news. Some on social media likened the BBC to a “state propaganda channel.”

Within six hours of Prince Philip’s death being announced the BBC had received so many complaints about its wall-to-wall coverage of the news that it opened a dedicated complaints form on its website, as television viewers turned off and went elsewhere.

The BBC curtailed dozens of broadcasts on Friday, taking the nation’s most popular television and radio channels off air and reducing dozens of other broadcasts on stations across the country, to provide uninterrupted coverage of tributes to the Queen’s husband.

Many viewers reacted by turning off altogether. BBC One dipped 6% compared with the previous Friday evening, while BBC Two’s audience was down two-thirds. ITV ripped up its schedule for tributes to Prince Philip but still lost 60% of the previous week’s audience, according to analysis of viewing figures by Deadline.

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