Prince Philip Died 2 Months Before His 100th Birthday—Here’s What Caused His Death

Prince Philip
Photo: AP Photo/Matt Dunham.

Since the Queen’s consort passed away, royal followers have wanted to know about Prince Philip‘s cause of death and how the Duke of Edinburgh died. Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died at the age of 99 on April 9, 2021, two months before his 100th birthday.

“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,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time. “His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. Further announcements will be made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

The Queen and Prince Philip, who wed on November 20, 1947, were married for almost 74 years. The couple share four children: Prince Charles, 72, Princess Anne, 70, Prince Andrew, 61, and Prince Edward, 57. In a post on the Royal Family’s Instagram account on April 10, the Queen paid tribute to her late husband with a quote from their golden wedding anniversary in 1997. “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and 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 quote read.

Since Prince Philip’s death, there has been outpouring of love from the United Kingdom as they mourn the latest loss of a British royal family member. Still, there isn’t much known about Prince Philip’s cause of death and how he died. Ahead is what we know about why the Duke of Edinburgh passed away.

What was Prince Philip’s cause of death?

Prince Philip’s official cause of death was listed as “Old Age” on his official death certificate. Prior to the confirmation, many believed Philip’s declining health could’ve been a result of a recent infection and heart issue at the time of his death. On February 16, 2021, a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace confirmed that Philip had been admitted to King Edward VII’s Hospital in London as a “precautionary measure.” A week later, Buckingham Palace reported that Philip was in the hospital for an infection. The palace confirmed that the infection was unrelated to the novel coronavirus, which he and the Queen had been vaccinated against in January 2021.

On March 1, Philip was transferred to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital to undergo heart surgery. After the surgery on March 3, Buckingham Palace reported that Philip was “comfortable” and “responding to treatment.” He was transferred back to King Edward VII’s Hospital on March 5.

After 28 days in the hospital, Philip was released on March 16. He was photographed at the time leaving King Edward VII’s Hospital at 10:30 a.m. that morning in the back seat of a black car with two masked security guards in the front. He was also photographed waving to photographers as he arrived at Windsor castle, where he spent much of 2020 quarantining with the Queen. “The Duke of Edinburgh has today been discharged from King Edward VII’s Hospital and has returned to Windsor Castle, following treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a preexisting condition,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time. “His Royal Highness wishes to thank all the medical staff who looked after him at both King Edward VII’s Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital and everyone who has sent their good wishes.”

Philip’s 28-day stay at King Edward VII’s Hospital before his death was the longest time the Duke had been hospitalized. In December 2019, he was hospitalized at King Edward VII’s Hospital for four days for an undisclosed preexisting condition.

How did Prince Philip die?

In their statement, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince Philip passed away “peacefully” on the morning of April 9, 2021, at his home in Windsor Palace. Sophie, the Countess of Wessex and the wife of Prince Edward, revealed at a church service on April 12 that Philip was surrounded by his family when he died. “It was right for him. It was so gentle,” she said. “It was just like somebody took him by the hand and off he went. Very, very peaceful and that’s all you want for somebody isn’t it?”

Prince Philip’s body lied at Windsor castle before his funeral at St. George’s Chapel, which was both in line with custom and the Duke of Edinburgh’s wishes. “With Prince Philip, he has asked for a much more quieter event. He has asked, in his words, a simple affair and that is exactly what is happening at the ceremonial service that will take place at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle,” Omid Scobie, co-author of Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, told Entertainment Tonight in April 2021.

“His sense of service, intellectual curiosity and capacity to squeeze fun out of any situation — were all irrepressible,” the Queen said of her late husband in a Christmas speech in December 2021. “That mischievous, enquiring twinkle was as bright at the end as when I first set eyes on him.” She continued, “But life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings — and as much as I and my family miss him, I know he would want us to enjoy Christmas.”

Prince Philip Revealed by Ingrid Seward

"Prince Philip Revealed" by Ingrid Seward

Image: Courtesy of Atria Books.

For more about Prince Philip’s life, check out Ingrid Seward’s biography about the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip Revealed, Seward, a Majesty magazine editor who has been covering the British royal family for decades for, unravels the “enigma” that we know as Prince Philip. From his early childhood in Paris to his mother’s battle with schizophrenia to his military service in World War II, Seward covers topics that many royal followers may not know about or haven’t seen on The Crown. The book also discusses how Prince Philip was “initially distrusted” by the royal court before he found his place in Buckingham Palace.

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