Prince Philip’s death: How Duke of Edinburgh spent his final days at Windsor Castle
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Upon his return from a lengthy stint in hospital three weeks ago, a defiant Prince Philip wanted to savour life’s simple pleasures.
Setting up at Windsor Castle, where he and Queen Elizabeth II have spent most of their time during the coronavirus pandemic, the 99-year-old Duke of Edinburgh was eager to be rid of routines that were par for the course of a royal life he’d been accustomed for seven decades.
Steadfast in his pursuit to take care of his own wellbeing, despite his frailty, royal insiders say Philip was largely trying to manage his own affairs.
This included dressing himself in a shirt, jumper, trousers and shoes when he felt well enough to leave his room, refusing to wear a hearing aid and cancelling his 7.30am morning tea tray in bed so he was able to dine with the Queen at leisure.
In one instance, according to the Daily Mail, the royal dropped his reading glasses as a servant rushed to collect them for him. “Never mind,” he said. “I’ll do it”. He was “calmer and quieter”, the insider added.
He used a walking stick as a means to freely move around, occasionally having to be pushed in a wheelchair, which he despised. An insider told the publication, “When it first appeared in the private rooms he shouted: ‘Get that bloody thing out of my sight!’.”
Though he was sleeping much of the day, where there were photo frames of his wife and mother on his bedside table, Philip and his Queen still managed to take precious time together to smell the roses of their pristine surrounds.
On pleasant days, Philip would sit draped in a blanket on a chair on the veranda, having naps in the sunshine. He also enjoyed reading and writing letters, and was still speaking to loved ones on the phone.
He was adamant this was where he wanted to be.
“When he came back to Windsor he said he was not going back to any hospital. No fuss was the constant refrain,” an insider added.
Philip died “peacefully” at home yesterday three weeks after a four-week stay at King Edward VII Hospital in London, where he underwent heart surgery.
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” the royal family said in a statement released at noon UK time.
Philip officially retired from royal life in 2017.
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