Queen at his side as Philip slipped away
PRINCE Philip spent his last hours with the Queen at his bedside as their 73-year marriage drew to a close, it was revealed yesterday.
Comforted by his “darling Lilibet”, he died peacefully in his private apartment overlooking the East Terrace at Windsor Castle.
The duke’s condition had worsened overnight on Thursday, leading to warnings that he was “gravely ill”.
Philip had returned to the castle 25 days earlier, after four weeks in hospital being treated for an infection and a known heart condition.
But the Queen dismissed calls to rush him back, respecting his wish to pass away peacefully “in his own bed” and “on his own terms”.
A source said: “He spent most of the four weeks in hospital trying to get home.
“There is just no way he wanted to die in hospital.”
Philip had been living at Sandringham while the Queen remained at Buckingham Palace on official duties.
But last March, days before the first lockdown, they were both evacuated to Windsor.
And with Her Majesty’s usually hectic schedule torn up, they were able to enjoy a year together as a couple as his health began to fail.
He remained stoic – when a wheelchair appeared in his private rooms he shouted to a courtier to “get that bloody thing out of my sight!”
An insider revealed: “The constant refrain was ‘No fuss’. He said he was not going back to any hospital.”
Pope Francis yesterday offered the Queen his “heartfelt condolences” and praised the Duke’s devotion.
The Dalai Lama also sent personal notes, writing of Philip’s “meaningful life”.
And Queen Rania of Jordan called him “a constant anchor for Her Majesty”, adding: “I think she wouldn’t have been able to carry on the way she did without him by her side.”