The incredible life of Prince Philip, who is dead at 99

·9 min read
prince philip
Prince Philip. Nigel Treblin / Getty
  • Prince Philip has died at the age of 99.

  • Buckingham Palace announced the Duke of Edinburgh died Friday morning.

  • He lived an incredible life. Here are some of the best photos.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

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

While he retired from public life at the age of 95, saying he would no longer carry out public engagements, he was indeed present at some high-profile events in recent years, including the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018.

His life took him from a career in the Royal Navy to decades standing by the side of his wife, Queen Elizabeth II, and his role as a figurehead for organizations such as the World Wide Fund for Nature.

Here's a look at the incredible life of Prince Philip.

Buckingham Palace on Friday announced the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

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The Duke of Edinburgh. Jeff Spicer / Getty

He was born as Prince of Greece and Denmark on the island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, the only son of Prince Andrew of Greece. His mother was Princess Alice of Battenberg.

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Prince Philip's family. AP

His family left Greece for France when Philip was only 18 months old because of political instability. He's pictured above, second from right, on vacation in Romania in September 1928.

Philip was educated at an American school in Paris, Cheam School in Hampshire, and Schule Schloss Salem in Germany. He also attended the public school of Gordonstoun in Elgin, Scotland.

Source: The Royal Family

Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 after he left Gordonstoun.

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Prince Philip of Greece, later the Duke of Edinburgh, during a naval visit to Melbourne, Australia, on August 29, 1945. AP

He was promoted to sub-lieutenant, then became the first lieutenant of the destroyer HMS Wallace in 1942, at the age of 21. He was promoted to commander in 1952, the same year he left the navy.

Source: The Royal Family

Prince Philip was always athletic. Here, he's shown batting in the nets during cricket practice while in the Royal Navy in July 1947.

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Philip during cricket practice. Douglas Miller / Getty

During the World War I, Prince Louis of Battenberg, Prince Philip's grandfather, changed the family's name to Mountbatten, a title Philip adopted.

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The prince working at his desk. Douglas Miller / Getty

Source: The Royal Family

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip met when they were children, at a wedding in 1934. In July 1947, the couple announced their engagement.

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Prince Philip and the then-Princess Elizabeth at their official engagement photo call. Associated Press

Phillip renounced his Royal Mountbatten title in order to marry her.

The couple were married on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey. Philip gained the titles Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth, and Baron Greenwich.

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The royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh. AP

They spent part of their honeymoon at Broadlands in Hampshire.

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Philip and Elizabeth on their honeymoon. AP

For the next few years, the couple lived in Malta, where Prince Philip was stationed with the Royal Navy. There, in 1949, they had their first son, Prince Charles. Princess Anne followed in 1950.

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Philip, Elizabeth, and their young family pose for an official photo. Central Press / Getty

In this more candid image, they're pictured with Prince Charles and Princess Anne at Clarence House in August 1951.

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The family at Clarence House, a royal residence in London. Associated Press

At 25, Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth in 1953, directly following the death of her father, King George VI. At this point, Philip left the Navy.

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Queen Elizabeth II on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on her coronation day in 1953. Associated Press

Still, he managed to maintain interests outside his new royal duties. After qualifying as a pilot in 1953, Philip was the first member of the Royal family ever to fly out of Buckingham Palace Garden in a helicopter.

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Prince Philip in naval uniform seeking a step that was not there as he exited a helicopter he flew from the grounds of Buckingham Palace in London to the deck of the Australian Aircraft carrier Melbourne at Portsmouth, England, on February 24, 1956. AP

He also maintained his military connections as Colonel, Grenadier Guards.

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The Duke of Edinburgh. Getty

He and the Queen waited until 1960 to have their third child, Prince Andrew. Their fourth and final child, Prince Edward, was born in 1964.

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Queen Elizabeth II holding her fourth child, Prince Edward, as they left Buckingham Palace in London on April 4, 1964. AP

Prince Andrew looked pleased to be riding with his father to Windsor Castle for Christmas in 1964.

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The Duke of Edinburgh and his son Prince Andrew. S&G/S&G Barratts/EMPICS Archive

Philip leaves behind eight grandchildren, including Prince William, who is second in line to the throne. 10 great-grandchildren are also part of the family.

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Philip with his grandsons, Princes Harry and William. Phil Walter / Getty

William and Philip appeared to have a close relationship.

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William and his grandfather at an engagement. Chris Jackson / Getty

When Queen Elizabeth II took the throne, Philip stood by her side ...

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Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II in an official photograph. Keystone / Getty

... and he stayed there. Here, the couple exit a Royal Tour of Canada in 1951.

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The royal couple arriving in Canada. Fox Photos / Getty

Here, he visits Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, as part of a state trip to the Middle East in 2010.

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The duke in Abu Dhabi. Chris Jackson / Getty

He carried out 100 public engagements in 2016 alone, more than many of the younger royals.

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Britain's Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, visiting the Queen Elizabeth II delivery office in Windsor, England, on April 20, 2016. Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP

He has sat beside Her Majesty as she has delivered speeches in Parliament ...

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The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at the state opening of the British Parliament. Getty

... and has made countless public appearances. In this image, the people of London wave to the couple in celebration of the Queen's 90th birthday.

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Philip and the Queen are greeted by well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace. Arthur Edwards / Getty

Life in the public eye can surely be exhausting, and there have been moments when Philip lost his patience.

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Philip at an official engagement. Getty

In 2015, he was caught on camera swearing at a photographer to "take the f---ing picture."

To a parking attendant who didn't recognize him in 1997, he reportedly snapped: "You bloody silly fool!"

He also faced tragedy. Philip and Queen Elizabeth II dealt with the unexpected death of their former daughter-in-law, Princess Diana, in 1997.

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The Queen and the duke viewing some of the numerous tributes to Diana, Princess of Wales, at London's Buckingham Palace on September 5, 1997. AP

Just a few years later, Queen Elizabeth lost her mother and only sister within the span of just two months.

Philip was renowned for his cheeky, and sometimes offensive, sense of humor.

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Philip and the Queen. Anwar Hussein/EMPICS Entertainment

Some of his gaffes — of which there are many — have been garnered unwanted attention.

In 2002, he asked the aboriginal leader William Brin in Queensland: "Do you still throw spears at each other?"

A year later, in a conversation with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was in national dress, Philip said: "You look like you're ready for bed!"

But Philip also made jokes at his own expense. On the day his retirement was announced, Sky News had footage of him sharing this laugh with one well-wisher.

Prince Philip was known for his sense of humor. Sky News

Philip was patron, president, or a member of more than 780 organizations as of his 96th birthday. He founded the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh's Award youth program, which gives young people opportunities for self-improvement.

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Philip with his son, the Earl of Wessex, and his wife, Sophie. Getty

He became the UK president of the World Wide Fund for Nature in 1961 and international president from 1981 to 1996, when he retired. His grandsons Prince Harry and Prince William have also been involved with the organization.

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The Duke of Sussex. Getty

He remained a keen sportsman, with a love of polo, carriage driving, and sailing. Here, he attends the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

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He attended the royal wedding of Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, and Kate Middleton in April 2011.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at the wedding of William and Kate. George Pimentel/WireImage

He met celebrities - or rather, celebrities met him. Tom Cruise got the royal handshake ...

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Cruise meeting the duke. Getty

... and he spent time with former US President Barack Obama.

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Philip welcoming the US president at Buckingham Palace. Getty

He also attended the royal wedding of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, to Meghan Markle in 2018.

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II attend the royal wedding of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, to Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex.
Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II at the royal wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. Alastair Grant - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Not all of his trips were so extravagant, though. Here, he visits a zoo where he fed the elephants.

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Philip helping to feed an elephant in this photo from a royal engagement. Chris Jackson / Getty

He also took a ride on a cable car in Brighton ...

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The duke observing the view. Getty

... and traveled on board a steam train near Coleraine, Northern Ireland.

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Philip and the Queen observing the view outside during their train journey. Getty

A trip to the pub also didn't go amiss.

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Philip at the pub. Getty

The Duke of Edinburgh announced his retirement from public life at the age of 95, with the plan to no longer carry out public engagements or accept invitations - but that didn't stop him from attending Harry and Meghan's wedding in May 2018.

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip arriving for the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, on May 19, 2018. Odd Anderson/pool photo via AP

He also posed for a photo alongside the Queen at Windsor Castle in honor of his 99th birthday.

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Buckingham Palace shared this image of the couple for the duke's 99th birthday at Windsor Castle. Press Association

While the public may have had mixed opinions on the Duke of Edinburgh, it's undeniable that he was fully committed to his life in the royal spotlight.

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The duke. AP Photo

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