Prince Philip Dies at 99: Barack Obama, President Joe Biden and More Pay Tribute
By Paige Gawley
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The world is remembering Prince Philip after it was announced on Friday that he had died. The Duke of Edinburgh was 99. Buckingham Palace confirmed the news, writing that "the Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."
Philip, who was married to Queen Elizabeth II for 73 years prior to his death, had several health scares since his retirement from public duties in 2018. Earlier this year, he was hospitalized for 28 days, while he was treated for an infection and underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition. He was released from the hospital in March.
Following the news of Philip's death, celebrities and public figures paid tribute to the royal.
Tobias Menzies, who played Philip on Netflix's The Crown, addressed the royal's death in a statement to the U.K.'s Metro newspaper.
"If I know anything about the Duke of Edinburgh I’m fairly sure he wouldn’t want an actor who has portrayed him on television giving their opinion on his life," the actor said. "So I’ll leave it to Shakespeare -- 'O good old man! How well in thee appears the constant service of the antique world…' Rest in Peace."
"Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly," the statement read. "From his service during World War II, to his 73 years alongside the Queen, and his entire life in the public eye -- Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family."
"The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the Armed Forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more," he continued. "His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavors he shaped."
Biden concluded the statement by writing that he and his wife, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, "are keeping the Queen and Prince Philip’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in our hearts during this time."
Bill and Hillary Clinton also released a statement following Philip's death, writing that they "mourn the passing of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh."
"We join people from all around the world in giving thanks for his remarkable life of service," the statement read. "We enjoyed every opportunity we had to visit with him through the years, and will always be deeply grateful for the kindness he showed us."
"We send our thoughts and prayers to Her Majesty The Queen, her family, and all the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth," the Clintons added.
Barack Obama published a lengthy tribute to Philip on Instagram, sharing a photo of him and his wife, Michelle Obama, posing with the queen and the duke. In his post, the former president reflected on how he and his wife "didn't know what to expect" the first time they met the royals.
"We shouldn’t have worried. The Queen and Prince Philip immediately put us at ease with their grace and generosity, turning a ceremonial occasion into something far more natural, even comfortable," he wrote. "Prince Philip in particular was kind and warm, with a sharp wit and unfailing good humor."
Obama, who wrote that he will miss Philip "dearly," also reflected on the life the late royal led.
"Like the Queen, Prince Philip saw world wars and economic crises come and go. The radio gave way to the television, and the television to the internet. And through it all, he helped provide steady leadership and guiding wisdom," he wrote. "It has long been said that the United States and Great Britain have a special relationship -- one that has been maintained and strengthened not just by presidents and prime ministers but by the Royal Family that has outlasted them all."
The former president also praised Philip for showing "the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman."
"Yet he also found a way to lead without demanding the spotlight -- serving in combat in World War II, commanding a frigate in the Royal Navy, and tirelessly touring the world to champion British industry and excellence," Obama wrote. "Through his extraordinary example, he proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness -- all in service of something greater."
Obama ended his post by sending his "warmest wishes and deepest sympathies to the Queen, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and everyone who knew and loved this remarkable man."
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, also wrote a lengthy message, noting that "by any measure, Prince Philip lived an extraordinary life -- as a naval hero in the Second World War, as the man who inspired countless young people through the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, and, above all, as Her Majesty The Queen's loyal consort."
Johnson continued his statement by sending his thoughts to the royal family, "who have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather."
"We are a kingdom united both in grief and gratitude; grief at Prince Philip's passing, and gratitude for his decades of selfless service to the country," Johnson concluded.
It was with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of The Duke of Edinburgh today. A man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others, Prince Philip contributed so much to the social fabric of our country - and the world.
RIP Prince Philip, 99. A truly great Briton who dedicated his life to selfless public duty & was an absolute rock of devoted support to Her Majesty, The Queen, as the longest-serving royal consort to any British sovereign. A very sad day for our country. Thank you, Sir. pic.twitter.com/ICO7wY9HXz