The husband of Queen Elizabeth the second, Prince Phillip, father of Prince Charles, has died at the age of 99.
The Duke of Edinburgh, Britain’s first gentleman, has worked hard to shepherd the British monarchy into the 20th century, even though it was still encrusted the trappings of the 19th century.
His mission changed somewhat with the transformation of the monarchy as pageantry was upstaged by scandal, and as regal weddings were followed by sensational divorces. The Prince decided his role was then to help preserve the crown itself.
He married the future Queen Elizabeth in 1947. His death on Friday was announced by Buckingham Palace that he passed away peacefully.
Philip has been hospitalized several times in recent years for various ailments, most recently in February.
British prime minister, Boris Johnson speaking at Downing Street, said that the duke had “earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth, and around the world”.
United States president Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden paid tribute to Prince Philip as a selfless servant of Britain and its people.
He said in a statement “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 UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family.”
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said that Prince Philip was a ‘global icon’ as he paid tribute. He said the Commonwealth will remember the prince “for generations to come”.
In a statement Buhari also called the Duke of Edinburgh “a great man” and hailed his “enormous contributions” to philanthropic activities and charities, especially those dealing with wildlife conservation and youth development.
Also in a tweet, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the Duke of Edinburgh for his “distinguished career in the military” and work at the forefront of “many community service initiatives”.
He added “My thoughts are with the British people and the Royal Family on the passing away of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,”. “May his soul rest in peace.”
Likewise, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in his tribute tweeted “It was with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of The Duke of Edinburgh today,” adding that the Prince was “a man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others, Prince Philip contributed so much to the social fabric of our country – and the world.”
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said the Duke of Edinburgh had been a unifying figure, calling him a “great man”.
He said “His Royal Highness Prince Philip has been a towering symbol of family values and the unity of the British people as well as the entire global community.”
The head of the World Trade Organization, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has sent her condolences following the death of the UK’s Prince Philip.
She praised the duke for founding the Earthshot Prize council, an environmental award that she is involved with.
Prince Philip, born on the Greek island of Corfu on 10 June 1921, had four children, eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren with the Queen.
Their first son, the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, was born in 1948, followed by his sister, the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, in 1950, the Duke of York, Prince Andrew, in 1960 and the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward, in 1964.
His father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, a younger son of King George I of the Hellenes.
His mother, Princess Alice, was a daughter of Prince Louis of Battenberg and a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
Dozens Dead As Fire Rips Through Coronavirus Hospital In Iraq
At least 60 persons have been killed on Monday after a fire in a coronavirus isolation ward at a hospital in the Iraqi city of Nasiriya.
According to state news agency INA on Tuesday more than 100 were also injured in the fire that broke out at the al-Hussein Teaching Hospital in the southern city.
The blaze was brought under control by civil defence teams but cause of the fire at the al-Hussein hospital is still unclear even though reports suggested it began after an oxygen tank exploded.
A health official with the directorate told AFP news agency the “main reason behind the fire… was the explosion of oxygen tanks”.
Haydar al-Zamili, the local health authority’s spokesperson, said earlier on Tuesday that 52 bodies had been retrieved while 22 persons had been hurt after the fire had “ripped through the COVID isolation ward”.
Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered the arrest of the head of the hospital.
State media put the death toll at 64, with nearly 70 others injured.
Since the incident there has been reported clashes between demonstrators and police at the scene, and two police vehicles set ablaze.
Health sources told Reuters news agency the death toll could rise as many patients were still missing.
The new ward, opened just three months ago, contained 70 beds.
The Dhi Qar health directorate said that among those killed were two medical staff members, and the hospital’s security guard.
According to Johns Hopkins University data, Iraq has recorded 1.4 million infections of COVID-19 with more than 17,000 fatalities.
The middle east country has given at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID to just over one million of its roughly 40 million citizens.
South Korea Puts Seoul Under Tightest COVID Restrictions
The strictest level four COVID-19 restrictions have gone into effect in greater Seoul, South Korea on Monday. Prime minister Kim Boo-Kyum said on Friday this is necessary as new COVID-19 cases climbed to a daily record for the second day running. The new measures will last for two weeks.
The country reported 1,316 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight Thursday, up from Wednesday’s previous record of 1,275 a day. On Thursday a top health official warned the numbers may nearly double by the end of July.
Under the new curbs, people are advised to stay home as much as possible, schools are closed, public meetings are restricted to two persons after 6 p.m. And rallies or other events are banned.
Nightclubs and bars would be shut, while restaurants and cafes would be allowed limited seating and only take-out services after 10 p.m.
Kim also said that during the two-week semi-lockdown, the government will suspend a program introduced earlier this year that allowed mask-free outdoor gatherings for citizens vaccinated with at least one covid-19 shot.
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