Royal Family LIVE: Prince Philip’s death ‘was a surprise’ despite Duke being ill

Prince Philip: Expert says Queen will ‘withdraw’

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Yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II announced in a statement that the Duke of Edinburgh had died at the age of 99. He passed away at Windsor Castle and the Royal Family announced the news via a statement on Twitter.

His death comes after the Duke spent a month in hospital after Buckingham Palace confirmed he was “feeling unwell”.

The Palace later confirmed he had undergone heart surgery during his stay for a pre-existing condition.

But now, a royal expert has claimed Philip’s death was still “a surprise” despite the Duke being unwell.

The source told the Telegraph: “It was a surprise, even though he had been in ill health.

“I think there was a sense that the Iron Duke would keep on going and make it to his 100th, but sadly it wasn’t to be.”

Announcing his death yesterday, a statement from the Palace read: “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 be made in due course.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Royal staff also placed the announcement in a framed notice and fixed it to the Buckingham Palace railings.

Floral tributes have been laid at the Queen’s homes as the nation pays its respects.

The Duke leaves behind his wife the Queen, and their four children, Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Anne, Princess Royal and Prince Edward as well as eight grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including Princess Eugenie’s son who was born in February and Zara Tindall’s son, born in late March.

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It is believed Prince Harry may try to use a diplomatic exemption to avoid quarantine if he flies to Britain from California for the funeral.

He is not expected to be joined by Meghan, who is heavily pregnant.

Tributes began pouring in minutes after the sad announcement was shared.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Prince Philip “helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life”.

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