• Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Duke of Edinburgh, former Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, dies

ByOliver Lewis

Apr 9, 2021
Image shows the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh

The announcement was made with “deep sorrow” from Her Majesty the Queen about the passing of her “beloved husband” on Friday 9 April at midday. 

An outpouring of condolences was seen following the news. 

Boris Johnson, the prime minister, said Prince Phillip had “earned the affection of generations” and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer mourned the loss of an “extraordinary public servant”.

Campaigning for upcoming elections in England, Wales and Scotland has been suspended, with the first ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also paying tribute to the 99-year-old royal.

Prince Philip had recently left hospital after a month-long stay, during which he underwent treatment for an infection. 

He was said to be in good spirits when he emerged on 16 March.

Buckingham Palace said he passed away peacefully at Windsor Castle on Friday. 

He married Queen Elizabeth II in November 1947 after the pair first met in 1939 upon a visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. 

He was known for his upbeat demeanour and dedication to public service; the world-renowned Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme for young people championed volunteering and outdoor expeditionary skills. 

However, the Prince was regularly criticised for his use of inappropriate, sometimes bigoted language. 

He caused controversy in 1986 upon a trip to China, when he told a visiting group of British students they would become “slitty-eyed” if they stayed in the country for a long time. 

The title of Duke of Edinburgh has only been bestowed three times since 1726. 

Most recently, the then Philip Mountbatten gained the title upon marrying Queen Elizabeth II who until her coronation in 1952 was consequently known as HRH Duchess of Edinburgh. 

It was said Philip had a long-lasting affection for Edinburgh and Scotland more widely, having attended Gordonstoun independent school in Moray until 1939. 

From 1953-2010, he served as the Chancellor of The University of Edinburgh and was a regular visitor to the city for both private trips and royal duties. 

He and the Queen attended the 1999 state opening of the Scottish parliament, and he and the Royal Family regularly spent time at Balmoral Castle. 

Plans for a funeral have not yet been announced. 

It is thought communication between the Palace and Downing Street has begun, given the need for the event to comply with current Covid-19 regulations.

Image: Flickr