Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh
From 20th-24th December 2019, Philip was admitted to the King Edward VII's Hospital in London, and received treatment for a "pre-existing condition", in a visit described by Buckingham Palace as a "precautionary measure" . He was able to return to Sandringham for Christmas 2019 to be with his family, however rumours persisted about Philip's health.
Prince Philip, 1st Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle
following relinquishing his role as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in March 2020, Philip (then aged 98yrs) left Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk - where he had been living mostly on his own since his retirement from public engagements in 2017, to join Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952- ) - then aged 94yrs, to shield together at Windsor Castle with 22 close members of staff, informally known as "HMS Bubble". In July 2020 (in a rare public appearance), Philip stepped down as Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles in an small informal ceremony at Windsor Castle. Although he had only been Colonel-in-Chief since 2007, his connection with this infantry regiment went back to 1953. Philip was succeeded as Colonel-in-Chief by his daughter-in-law, Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall (b.1947) - who received the honour at a separate ceremony at Highgrove House, Tetbury, Gloucestershire.
On 16th February 2021, Philip was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital in London "as a precautionary measure" after "feeling unwell" , but despite responding to treatment, he was subsequently transferred to St Bartholomew's Hospital (known as 'Barts') on 1st March 2021. 'Barts' is the oldest hospital in the UK and home to Europe's largest specialised cardiovascular service. Once again, speculation was rife over Philip's health and Barts subsequently announced - "The Duke of Edinburgh was transferred from King Edward VII's Hospital to St Bartholomew's Hospital where doctors will continue to treat him for an infection, as well as undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition." He returned to the King Edward VII Hospital on 5th March 2021 and was subsequently discharged from the hospital on 16th March 2021.
On 9th April 2021, it was announced by Buckingham Palace that Philip had died peacefully at Windsor Castle, aged 99yrs (just two months short of his 100th birthday) and flags across the nation were lowered to half-mast. Upon his death, the titles of Duke of Edinburgh, Earl of Merioneth & Baron Greenwich have been inherited in accordance with the original grant by Letters Patent in 1947, by his eldest son - Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales (b.1948). Following the titles merging with the Crown, it was agreed in 1999 that a new grant would be made in favour of Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex (b.1964).
Like his uncle - Mountbatten, Philip had already planned most of his own funeral stating that he did not want "much fuss". However, due to the UK Government coronavirus restrictions only 30 people could attend, so sadly the funeral he had planned was not to happen, but most of his wishes were accommodated within the regulations.
Following his death, Philip's coffin lay privately in the Private Chapel (which Philip had redesigned following the 1992 fire restoration) within Windsor Castle and the public were politely asked not to lay flowers at any of the Royal residences - however many ignored this. A Royal Ceremonial Funeral was held at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Berkshire on 17th April 2021 , with a scaled down military procession which started from the Quadrangle in the Castle. Philip's coffin was driven to St George's Chapel on the back of a Land Rover Defender (which Philip had helped in its design) as a hearse, and members of his family and household followed the coffin on foot, with Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952- ) being driven in the State Bentley.
As the coffin (draped in his personal standard, with his Naval cap and sword on top) reached the West Door of St George's Chapel, the whole country and Commonwealth fell silent at 3pm for a minute of silence. At the service - which was conducted by The Rt Rev David Conner (b.1947), Dean of Windsor and The Most Rev & Rt Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury (b.1956), there was no congregation, no eulogy, no sermon and the hymns were sung by just three Lay Clerks from the Chapel's choir and the soprano Miriam Allan (b.1977). As the service concluded, Garter King of Arms - Thomas Woodstock (b.1951) read out Philip's styles and titles, and his coffin was lowered down to the Royal Vault (underneath St George's Chapel) - where it will remain until the death of Queen Elizabeth II (1926(1952- ) and in time, they will both be buried in the King George VI's Memorial Chapel.