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Prince Philip passes away at 99: Queen Elizabeth II loses the best jewel in her crown

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LONDON: Flags across the UK flew at half-mast as the nation mourned Prince Philip after his death was announced by the Queen. Social media was swamped with a huge outpouring of grief with heartfelt words for the Queen – who was described by one well-wisher as having ‘lost the brightest jewel in her crown’, reports Daily Mail.

As the longest serving consort in British history, the Prince was a popular but often misunderstood; some found his gaffes and outbursts offensive while most believed he was comical.

The prince had an extraordinary life: Born on a kitchen table in Corfu in Greece, the family fled in December 1922 after his father, who was in the Greek army, was arrested and charged with high treason.

Evacuated on a British warship, Philip was carried into exile in a makeshift cot made from an old orange box. The family finally arrived in Paris and were dependent on relatives for financial help. Philip, however, overcame the trauma of an absent father and mother to fight for his country and went on to save lives as a decorated war hero, adds the Daily Mail.

But such feats were dwarfed perhaps by his greatest achievement of all – winning over the affections of a young Queen Elizabeth.

As a young war hero, Philip found favour with Hollywood actresses, British socialites and eventually a 17-year-old Elizabeth Windsor.

Good-looking and blond-haired, the tall, athletic Prince of Greece impressed the young Princess – then known as Lilibet – as he showed off by jumping over the college tennis nets at their first publicised meeting.

But the war interrupted their romance, so they were forced to keep in touch by exchanging weekly love letters.

And by that hangs a fairy tale romance.

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