Prince Philip death: A timeline of his life from 1921 to 2021

Prince Philip has died at the age of 99

Friday 16 April 2021 12:51
<p>Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh holding Prince Charles and Princess Anne, 1952</p>

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh holding Prince Charles and Princess Anne, 1952

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has died at the age of 99.

The Queen’s husband died “peacefully” at Windsor Castle on the morning of Friday 9 April.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace tweeted: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced 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.”

The senior royal was previously admitted to the King Edward VII hospital in London on the evening of 16 February on the advice of his doctor, and remained under the care of medics for almost a month.

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It was not the first time the duke had been admitted to hospital in recent years. In 2011 he was treated for a blocked coronary artery, and in 2012 he missed the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration because of a bladder infection. He also spent time in hospital in December 2019.

Prince Philip, who would have celebrated his 100th birthday in June, officially retired from public duties in 2017.

Here, The Independent looks back on his life from his birth on a Greek island to his position as a senior member of the royal household.

10 June 1921

Prince Philip is born in Corfu, on the dining room table of the Villa Mon Repos. He is the son of HRH Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg, the nephew of King Constantine I of Greece and a great-great-grandson of Queen Victoria.

5 Dec 1922

When King Constantine I is forced to abdicate, the family flees to Paris in a royal navy ship, with the infant Philip carried in an orange box. The family settles in the suburb of St Cloud.


Prince Philip attends Cheam School in Surrey, living with his grandmother, the Princess Victoria, at Kensington Palace and with his uncle George Mountbatten in Berkshire.

Prince Philip (second left) taking archery lessons at the MacJannet American school in St Cloud


Prince Andrew and Princess Alice’s marriage breaks up. Alice is sent to an asylum, suffering from schizophrenia.


Philip enrols at the Scottish school, Gordonstoun. He meets the future Queen Elizabeth II for the first time at the wedding of one of his cousins to the Duke of Kent.

18 April 1939

Philip starts at the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where he will go on to be named “best cadet”.

July 1939

On the eve of war, Philip and Princess Elizabeth meet again at Dartmouth during a royal family visit. Philip is asked by his uncle, Lord Mountbatten, to play escort to the future Queen, and a romance blossoms.

1 January 1940

With Britain at war, Philip joins the royal navy, serving as a midshipman on HMS Ramillies, posted to the Indian Ocean.


Philip, a Greek prince, sees action in the Battle of Crete.


Philip is promoted to first lieutenant, second in command of the warship HMS Wallace, at just 21 years old.

3 December 1944

His father Prince Andrew dies, almost penniless, in Monte Carlo.

August 1946

With the war over, Elizabeth and Philip become secretly engaged, the King withholding his formal approval until Elizabeth’s 21st birthday.

Feb 1947

Philip renounces his Greek and Danish royal titles and becomes a naturalised Briton, changing his surname from Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg to Mountbatten, adopted from his mother’s side of the family. 

9 July 1947

The engagement of Philip and Elizabeth is announced.

20 November 1947

Philip and Elizabeth are married at Westminster Abbey. The King titles Philip the Duke of Edinburgh.

Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh with their eight bridesmaids in the Throne Room at Buckingham Palace on their wedding day

14 November 1948

Prince Charles Philip Arthur George is born. Philip plays squash with his equerry during the labour and brings Elizabeth champagne and carnations when it is all over.

15 August 1950

Princess Anne is born.

July 1951

Philip goes on indefinite leave from the navy due to the King’s declining health.

6th Feb 1952

Philip is woken in the night while in Kenya to be told that King George VI has died at Sandringham. He wakes his wife to tell her the news. Elizabeth, 25, succeeds her father to the throne.

2 June 1953

Coronation of Elizabeth at Westminster Abbey.

31 December 1956

Philip launches the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme to encourage outdoor activities for young people.


Philip is made a prince of the United Kingdom by the Queen.

19 February 1960

Prince Andrew is born.

10 March 1964

Prince Edward is born.

5 December 1969

Philip’s mother, Alice, dies, aged 84, having spent her final years living at Buckingham Palace.

27 September 1980

Philip, still a keen sportsman in spite of his age, is part of the British team which wins the four-in-hand carriage driving world championships at Windsor.

President Nixon chats with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at Buckingham Palace, 25 February 1969

29 July 1981

Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer at St Paul’s Cathedral.

9 Dec 1992

Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales announce their separation.

28 August 1996

Diana and Charles divorce.

31 August 1997

The Princess of Wales is killed in a car accident in Paris.

5 September 1997

Prince Philip accompanies the Queen speaking to the crowds outside Buckingham Palace and views Diana’s coffin at St James’s Palace, following criticism of the royal family’s response to the death.

10 June 2001

Philip celebrates his 80th birthday.


Letters between Prince Philip and the late Princess Diana are published.

10 April 2005

Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The Queen and Prince Philip are not in attendance, but do attend the church blessing afterwards.

3 June 2006

A newspaper reports that Philip is revered as a god by 400 tribes people in the South Pacific. The Yaohnanen people on the Vanuatu island of Tanna treasure signed portraits of the prince and had sent him a traditional pig-slaying club, with which he duly posed for a photograph.

5 April 2008

Philip, aged 86, spends almost a week in King Edward VII hospital being treated for a chest infection.

29 April 2011

Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

11 June 2011

Prince Philip turns 90. The Queen bestows the title of Lord High Admiral on her husband to mark the occasion.

23 December 2011

Philip is taken to hospital suffering chest pains. Doctors diagnose a blocked artery and he has a stent fitted. He misses the Christmas celebrations at Sandringham.

1 January 2012

The Prince defies doctors’ orders that he rest and leads the royal family to a New Year’s Day church service, cheered on by wellwishers.

4 June 2012

Philip misses a concert at Buckingham Palace during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations after being taken to hospital with a bladder infection.

15 August 2012

Philip is taken to hospital again when the bladder infection recurs.

June 2013

Philip undergoes exploratory surgery on his abdomen.

The Queen and Prince Philip attend a garden party at Balmoral Castle in August 2012

13 December 2016

The duke becomes the longest-lived male descendant of Queen Victoria, surpassing Count Carl Johan Bernadotte of Wisborg, who had lived to be 95 years, six months and five days old.


Philip retires from official public duty at the age of 96.

17 January 2019

The Duke is involved in a car crash near the Sandringham estate in Norfolk. His car flips over as he pulls out of a driveway and collides with another car. He later apologises to the driver and says he had not seen her because of bright sunshine.

December 2019

He spends four nights at King Edward VII’s Hospital, where he is treated for a “pre-existing condition” and later discharged on Christmas Eve.

10 June 2020

The Queen and Duke release a photograph to mark his birthday. It is the first time he has been seen publicly since leaving hospital six months earlier.

August 2020

Philip appears in a photo montage of veterans who served in the Far East during the Second World War for VJ Day.

December 2020

Buckingham Palace announces that the normal Sandringham Christmas will not be going ahead due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the Queen and Philip will stay at Windsor.

9 January 2021

Philip and the Queen both receive their first coronavirus vaccine at Windsor Castle, administered by the royal household doctor.

February 2021

The duke is admitted to hospital as a “precautionary measure” on the advice of his medical team.

9 April 2021

Prince Philip dies at Windsor Castle at midday.

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