London — Prince Philip, husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, has died, the royal family announced Friday. He was 99.

“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” the family said in a statement.

He had been hospitalized in February and underwent surgery for a heart condition. He and the queen were married for over 73 years.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Philip “earned the affection of generations here in Britain, across the Commonwealth and around the world.”

“Like the expert carriage driver that he was, he 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.”

His role in life was to walk one step behind the queen, but even there, Prince Philip was able to carve out his own reputation and role in history.

“Essentially, the queen has always worn the crown,” said Giles Brandreth, who ran one of Philip’s charities for years, while “Prince Philip was always allowed to wear the trousers. That’s the way it worked.”

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