The Duke of Edinburgh, the longest-serving royal consort in British history, has been at the Queen's side for seven decades.
They met and married before I was born, and, along with the queen he has been part of my life, almost like family.
He has been the subject of much criticism of his early history. But through no fault of his own two of his sisters were married to Germans and therefore could not deny the German connection. His childhood was almost nomadic, born in Greece, exiled from there and grew up in France, then with family tragedy and his mother's health problems he was moved around from Germany to England to live with his Mountbatten relatives. He attended Gordonstoun where he was a hard worker and excelled at sport.
He served and loved the Royal Navy and planned to make it his career. The early death of King George VI changed all that. He suddenly found himself thrust into becoming The Queen's consort. He had to re-direct the focus of his life to the devotion and responsibility to his wife and Queen.
When he joined the Royal firm the footmen were still wearing powdered wigs!! He was considered an outsider, but that helped him to see beyond the life of royals. He was very down to earth, comfortable with, and could communicate with people from all walks of life. He became a reformer, steering the royal family to move with the times. In 1961 he was the first member of the royal family to be interviewed on television. He was instrumental in the documentary about the royal family. He encouraged Her Majesty to write her own Christmas messages, and to use autocue. He encouraged palace garden parties to include and honour members of the public. He launched the royal family into the modern age, encouraging them to be more visible, more in touch.
He wasn't afraid to speak out on issues that are commonplace now, such as climate change and the environment, but were considered controversial 40 years ago.
He was controversial and sometimes rude, but he had strong beliefs and sometimes it's hard to remain silent in the face of stupidity.
He was by the Queen's side for 251 overseas tours and carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements and gave more than 5,400 speeches, as well as taking part in thousands of other engagements with the Queen. Always by her side, always supporting her.
But he found time to follow his favourite pursuits - polo for many years, cricket, and when he retired he took up horse drawn carriage driving, which involves racing carriages at breakneck speeds through courses and over obstacles. He was the main driving force in establishing the official rules for the sport and, after "smashing up" a carriage he was involved in creating an "indestructible" one made for him by the workshops at Sandringham.
He has a huge portfolio of charities. Worldwide more than 6 million people have taken part in the The Duke of Edinburgh's Awards scheme. He attended over 500 gold award ceremonies for the scheme, shaking thousands of hands, on his feet for hours. His work is an outstanding example of a life dedicated to public service. His legacy will live on.
He was loved, admired and respected. A very sad loss for the nation, but especially for Her Majesty.
At The Queen's coronation Prince Philip paid homage to his wife and promised to be her "liege man of life and limb". He fulfilled that promise to his sweetheart to the end, being by her side for 72 years. Her majesty has lost a beloved husband, friend and rock.
R.I.P. Your Royal Highness