"The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s “strength and stay” for 73 years, has died aged 99. A statement from Buckingham Palace on Friday 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 made in due course. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.” He was the longest serving consort in British history, and was only months away from his 100th birthday in June. Philip had returned to Windsor Castle on 16 March to be reunited with the Queen after spending a month in hospital – his longest stay. He initially received care for an infection but then under went heart surgery for a pre-existing condition. An official notice of his death was posted on the railings of Buckingham Palace, as is traditional, but was being removed shortly afterwards to avoid crowds gathering. Born at the family home of Mon Repos, apparently on the kitchen table, on Corfu on 10 June 1921, Philip was the youngest child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece, an officer in the Greek army, and Princess Alice of Battenberg. The family fled when his father was charged with high treason in the aftermath of the heavy defeat of the Greeks by the Turks. They were evacuated in a British warship, with one-year-old Philip being carried in a makeshift cot fashioned from an orange box. He had an unsettled and peripatetic childhood. His parents separated; his father settling in Monte Carlo where he amassed significant gambling debts, and his mother, who was deaf, going on to found an order of nuns before becoming depressed and being admitted to an asylum. He later said of his family’s break-up: “I just had to get on with it. You do. One does.” Distantly related to the Queen – they were third cousins – their paths crossed several times before he became a serious suitor in 1946, though she was said to have fallen in love with him when she was 13. He was a crack shot, a qualified pilot and an accomplished sailor. As the searchlight control officer on the battleship HMS Valiant, he was mentioned in dispatches in 1941 for his role in the Battle of Matapan against the Italian fleet. His wartime service also saw him present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay in 1945."