President Biden joined world leaders in paying tribute to Prince Philip, who died Friday at 99.
“On behalf of all the people of the United States, we send our deepest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the entire Royal Family, and all the people of the United Kingdom on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh,” Biden said in a statement issued on Friday morning.
“Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly,” the statement continued. “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 U.K., 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,” the president added. “His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavors he shaped.”
Speaking to reporters inside the Oval Office before a previously scheduled economic meeting on Friday afternoon, Biden again praised Philip’s “lifetime of service.”
“He was a heck of a guy,” Biden said. “Ninety-nine years, he never slowed down. I admired the devil out of him.”
Biden plans to visit Buckingham Palace in June as part of a slate of in-person events revolving around the G-7 global economic conference, which is expected to be his first international trip since taking office.
Biden and his wife, first lady Jill Biden, have a friendship with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, whom they first met in 2013 at a reception for wounded warriors in Washington, D.C.
Earlier Friday, the royal family announced that the Duke of Edinburgh had “passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.”
The cause of death was not disclosed. Philip had largely withdrawn from public life in recent years due to failing health. He spent four weeks in the hospital earlier this year. He would have turned 100 in June.
In line with his wishes, Philip will not receive a state funeral. His body will lie at Windsor Castle until his funeral at the castle’s St. George’s Chapel. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the public has been “regretfully requested” not to attend.
Tributes from world leaders poured in following the announcement of the death by Buckingham Palace.
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Philip had “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.”
“For nearly 80 years, Prince Philip served his Crown, his country and the Commonwealth,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement. “His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh was, in the words of Her Majesty, her ‘strength and stay.’ He embodied a generation that we will never see again.”
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