Prince Philip’s final weeks saw him visited by an emotional Prince Charles in hospital before being returned to the comfort of Windsor where his son enjoyed an Easter walk with the Queen – as the stoic monarch carried on her public duties throughout.
The Queen, 94, today announced with ‘deep sorrow’ the death of her husband at the age of 99, calling him her ‘strength and guide’ throughout their 73-year marriage and her 69-year reign.
The Duke of Edinburgh spent his final days at Windsor Castle with his wife after a 28-night stay in hospital having been admitted in mid-February for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.
Philip’s eldest son Prince Charles, 72, paid him a half-hour visit during the first week of his treatment, making a 100-mile journey from Highgrove in Gloucestershire to the capital. Charles appeared emotional when he left.
The Queen spent the Easter Weekend with her family, and was seen on a socially-distanced walk with Charles. It is unclear if the Prince of Wales saw his father on the day and whether he has seen him since.
Despite all the personal turmoil, which included Meghan and Harry’s bombshell Oprah interview while Philip was still in hospital, the Queen has continued carrying out her duties, mainly over video call due to Covid restrictions.
She last appeared in public March 31 to mark the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force, and she has also held several meetings over video call.
The Queen spent the Easter Weekend with her family, and was seen on a socially-distanced walk with Prince Charles in a photo released on April 2. It is unclear if the Prince of Wales saw his father on the day and whether he has seen him since
The Duke of Edinburgh, pictured arriving home at Windsor Castle on March 16 – the final picture of him in public
Prince Charles appeared to be teary-eyed at his 99-year-old father the Duke of Edinburgh’s bedside on February 20
Charles made a 200-mile round trip to spend half an hour at Philip’s side. Philip had been admitted to hospital several times in his final years
The monarch at her last engagement on March 31. Today she announced with ‘deep sorrow’ the death of her husband Prince Philip at the age of 99
The Queen was seen bowing her head in prayer at the service to mark the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force at the CWGC Air Forces Memorial in Runnymede on March 31
How the Queen carried on her duties throughout Philip’s illness
January 9 2021 – Buckingham Palace announces, during England’s third national lockdown, that the Queen and the duke have received their first Covid-19 vaccinations.
February 16 – The duke is admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital on a precautionary basis after feeling unwell. Four days later he is visited by the Prince of Wales.
February 20 – Charles pays Philip a half-hour visit during the first week of his treatment, making a 100-mile journey from Highgrove in Gloucestershire to the capital. Charles appeared emotional when he left
February 23 – Seven days after the duke was admitted, the Palace say he is being treated for an infection and is ‘comfortable and responding to treatment’, but is not expected to leave hospital for several days.
The Earl of Wessex says the duke is a ‘lot better’ and looking forward to getting out.
March 1 – Philip is transferred in an ambulance to St Bartholomew’s Hospital for treatment for an infection and testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition.
March 1 – Queen speaks to the Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Le, and Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia, to watch the unveiling of a statue of herself in Adelaide.
March 3 – The duke has heart surgery.
March 5 – Philip is moved back to King Edward VII’s Hospital to recuperate.
March 7 – Meghan and Harry give their bombshell interview to Oprah.
March 16 – The duke leaves hospital after a month-long stay and reunites with the Queen at Windsor Castle.
March 16 – On a video call, the Queen hails the ‘wonderful’ work of the army of volunteers who stepped forward during the pandemic, telling them they have been a ‘great, great help over this difficult year’.
March 31 – Queen visits the Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial in Runnymede, Surrey, for the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force.
On March 1, the Queen spoke over Zoom to the Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Le, and Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia, to watch the unveiling of a statue of herself in Adelaide.
On March 16, the Queen hailed the ‘wonderful’ work of the army of volunteers who stepped forward during the pandemic, telling them they have been a ‘great, great help over this difficult year’.
The monarch, who has been patron of the Royal Voluntary Service for almost 70 years, held a video call with the Duchess of Cornwall, the organisation’s president, and RVS volunteers.
Her Majesty, calling from Windsor Castle, appeared thrilled to see her daughter-in-law, starting the call with a cheery: ‘Ah good morning. Hello Camilla! ‘
On her last public appearance on March 31, the Queen visited the Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial in Runnymede, Surrey, for the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force.
While she had been seen in video calls this year, it was the first time the Monarch has been seen in public since December, when she welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge back to Windsor after their whistle-stop tour of Britain.
It was her first in-person official engagement of 2021 – and the first since last October, when she visited the Defence Laboratory at Porton Down alongside her grandson Prince William.
It was also the first time she has been seen since Harry and Meghan’s bombshell Oprah interview.
But at the event, the Queen quizzed one Australian serviceman about his work with Typhoon jets and asked if they were ‘being sent off to chase the Russians?’ and was told, ‘That’s correct, ma’am, it’s a lot of fun for us!’
The Queen, who had her Covid vaccine in January, did not wear a face covering but donned a bright spring-inspired ensemble; an ivory Angela Kelly dress, green coat and matching hat adorned with faux daffodils and orchids, and the Australian wattle brooch presented to her on her first tour of the country in 1954.
She joked: ‘It’s a very long time since I’ve been here,’ as she arrived at the memorial – which she had opened in her coronation year, on October 17, 1953.
The Queen’s equerry Major Tom White laid a wreath on her behalf in honour of fallen airmen and women during the event
She chatted to the Honourable George Brandis (left), High Commissioner for Australian at her last royal appearance
On March 1, she spoke to the Governor of South Australia, Hieu Van Le, and Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia, to watch the unveiling of a statue of herself in Adelaide
On March 16, the Queen appeared on a video call to thank members of the Voluntary Service volunteers for their contribution during the pandemic
The Queen has continued carrying out her duties throughout her husband’s illness before her ‘peaceful’ death today
After spending the morning chatting with members of the Australian Air Force and taking part in centenary celebrations, the Queen made her way back to Windsor Castle, where Philip passed away ‘peacefully’ today
Her Majesty announced her husband’s death at midday. Buckingham Palace said in a statement: ‘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.
‘His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss’.
His death plunges the nation and the Royal Family into mourning, and brings to an end Philip’s lifetime of service to Britain and to Elizabeth, the Queen who adored him since her teens.
‘He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years,’ Her Majesty said at their Golden Wedding banquet in 1997. ‘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.’
The quizzical, witty, faithful – and often controversial – the Duke was the Queen’s greatest source of support, her confidant and the man she relied on above all others.
Her Majesty was pictured leaving Windsor before the event on March 31, which took place at the War Memorial at Runnymede
The Queen at the memorial, which commemorates more than 20,000 Commonwealth airmen and women who died during operations in north and west Europe and have no known grave
She said at the time: ‘It’s a very long time since I’ve been here,’ as she arrived at the memorial – which she had opened in her coronation year, on October 17, 1953 (pictured here)
Until his death, Philip was the longest-serving consort in British history and the oldest partner of a reigning monarch, who despite his ill health took part her first royal engagement of 2021 last week.
He was a great-grandfather of ten, with the most recent addition to his wider family being Zara and Mike Tindall’s baby son Lucas Philip Tindall on March 21 – soon after Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s son August, who was born on February 9.
Philip’s lifelong role was to ensure that he never let The Queen down and their long-lasting marriage was one of the world’s best known relationships.
Reflecting their love in her Diamond Jubilee speech to Parliament in 2012, the Elizabeth said: ‘During these years as your Queen, the support of my family has, across the generations, been beyond measure. Prince Philip is, I believe, well-known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide.’
The event was the head of state’s first public engagement outside Windsor Castle this year and was held at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Her Majesty was last seen out in public last December, when she welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge back to Windsor after their whistle-stop tour of Britain. Pictured, the Queen leaving Windsor on March 31
The last photograph of Philip with the Queen was in November 2020, where the Duke and Queen looked at their homemade card, given to them by their great-grandchildren Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis for their 73rd wedding anniversary