Pope Francis praised the late Prince Philip for his commitment to marriage and a life of public service.
In a telegram sent by the Vatican’s foreign minister and published on Saturday, Francis said he was “saddened” to hear of Philips’ death on Friday at the age of 99.
He also offered Queen Elizabeth II “heartfelt sympathy” for the loss of her husband of 73 years
“In view of Prince Philips’ devotion to his marriage and family, his distinguished record of public service, and his commitment to education and progress for future generations, his holiness praises him for the merciful love of Christ our Savior,”
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“On you and on all who mourn his loss in the sure hope of resurrection, the Holy Father invokes the Lord’s blessings of comfort and peace,” the message concluded.
Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who spent more than seven decades supporting his wife in a role that mostly defined his life, died Friday, Buckingham Palace said.
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty the Queen has announced that her beloved husband, His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has died. His Royal Highness died peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” the statement read.
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Philip and the Queen were married for 73 years. During England’s coronavirus lockdown, he had stayed at Windsor Castle west of London with the 94-year-old reigning monarch.
On February 16, Philip was admitted to a London hospital after feeling unwell. On March 3, he underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart disease at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital before being transferred back to King Edward VII Hospital on 5 March and eventually released home on 16 March.
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He is the longest-serving royal wife in British history. He and the Queen have four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.