The legendary Prince Philip, the lifelong companion of Queen Elizabeth II and the longest serving consort in British history, died at the age of 99 on Friday.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace 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. 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.
Phillip had been in poor health according to reports, and had spent the last few months in two London Hospitals.
He was treated for an infection and underwent heart surgery, before being discharged in mid-March.
Philip’s funeral will be held at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, “in line with custom and with His Royal Highness’s wishes,” the College of Arms, which oversees many ceremonial aspects of the royal family’s work, said in a statement Friday.
“The funeral arrangements have been revised in view of the prevailing circumstances arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and it is regretfully requested that members of the public do not attempt to attend or participate in any of the events that make up the funeral,” the statement added.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the duke, saying that he’d “earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world.”
Philip, also known by his official title of the Duke of Edinburgh, was the longest-serving British consort. He married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947 after a courtship that charmed a country still reeling from the ravages of World War II.
In his seven decades of service, Philip often accompanied the Queen on royal engagements, and conducted thousands of his own solo appearances. He once referred to himself as “the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler,” while the Queen lauded him as her “constant strength and guide.”
His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh KG KT OM GCVO GBE
10 June 1921 – 9 April 2021
All official flags, including the Union Flag, will be flown at half-mast from now until 08:00 on the day following the funeral. Flags may be flown overnight during this period but should remain at half-mast. Official flags in this instance are defined as Union Flags, the national flags of the home nations, ensigns and ships’ colours.
Any non-official flags flying or due to be flown should be taken down and replaced with a Union Flag flying at half-mast. Official flags scheduled to be flown should be flown as planned but at half-mast.
Flags will be flown at half-mast during this period, including on days which would otherwise be flag-flying days. The only exception is when The Queen is present within a building or its precincts, at which time the Royal Standard will be flown at full mast.
The flag flown should be clean and in a state of good repair. When flags are flown at half-mast they should first be raised to the top of the flagpole, and then lowered to a point two-thirds of the way up, with at least the height of the flag between the top of the flag and the top of the flagpole. When lowering a flag, it should first be raised to the top and then lowered to the ground. Flagpoles which are more than 45 degrees from the vertical should fly no flag as half-masting is not possible.
The flying of flags on buildings of Her Majesty’s Government is determined by the Lord Chamberlain’s Office and administered by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), subject to the instructions of the Prime Minister, and the advice and guidance of Garter King of Arms.
This protocol will apply to Flag Stations (establishments listed in the Queen’s Regulations for the Army), naval and RAF establishments, at home and abroad; all British Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates; and on all buildings of Her Majesty’s Government, Parliament, agencies and devolved administrations throughout the United Kingdom.
Devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales will issue instructions for the flying of the Union Flag and others official flags on buildings in their estate and others as necessary. In Northern Ireland, the Northern Ireland Office will issue instructions for buildings covered by the Flags Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000.
The Governments of the Commonwealth Realms, British Overseas Territories and Dependencies will be following the same flag protocol as set out above.
The instructions above are not binding on local authorities, public institutions, or others. They will need to take their own decisions as to flag-flying; but the above protocol may be useful for guidance.
The flying of flags in general is subject to planning laws, which state that flags may not be flown without planning consent, unless they fall into certain categories. For details of these categories please see http://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/resources/union-flag-faqs. It also comes under the general oversight and authority of the Earl Marshal, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; and Lord Lyon King of Arms, in Scotland.
The Titles of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh was granted the style and title of Royal Highness on 19 November 1947; on the next day, 20 November, he was created Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth and Baron Greenwich, of Greenwich in the County of London. These peerages are hereditary and on the death of His Royal Highness have passed to his eldest son, HRH The Prince of Wales. In the event of the Prince of Wales or any subsequent holder of these titles succeeding to the Crown, these titles and all others held will merge with the Crown.
His Royal Highness was made a Prince of the United Kingdom by Letters Patent of the present Queen dated 22 February 1957. A declaration of the same date communicated Her Majesty’s will and pleasure that her husband be known as His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh.
His Royal Highness’s style and titles will be declared at his funeral by Garter Principal King of Arms, in accordance with custom.
The Armorial Bearings of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
Thanks to our friends at CNN for contributing to this article, you can read more on Prince Philip HERE.