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'His legacy will live on': Biden, ex-presidents pay tribute to Prince Philip

Current and former U.S. leaders honor the service, wit of Queen Elizabeth II's longtime consort, who died Friday at age 99.
Image: President Joe Biden speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 8, 2021.
President Joe Biden speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 8, 2021.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Friday paid tribute to the late Prince Philip, and said his "legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavors he shaped."

"Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly," Biden said of the husband of Queen Elizabeth II and the longest-serving consort of any British monarch. His death was announced by the royal family Friday morning.

"On behalf of all the people of the United States, we send our deepest condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the entire Royal Family, and all the people of the United Kingdom on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip," Biden 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. The impact of his decades of devoted public service is evident in the worthy causes he lifted up as patron, in the environmental efforts he championed, in the members of the Armed Forces that he supported, in the young people he inspired, and so much more," Biden said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she is not aware at this point whether Biden will attend Philip's funeral. It is unclear when the funeral will take place. Buckingham Palace said the queen is considering "modified" funeral plans in light of the pandemic and government guidelines.

Speaking to reporters later Friday afternoon, Biden said Philip was "a heck of a guy." "

"Ninety-nine years old and never slowed down at all, which I admire the devil out of," Biden said.

Former President Barack Obama called the prince a "remarkable man" who "showed the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman."

"Through his extraordinary example, he proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness - all in service of something greater," Obama said.

Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said they mourned Philip's passing and joined people from all around the world in giving thanks for his "remarkable life of service."

The pair said in a statement that they enjoyed visiting him through the years and "will always be deeply grateful for the kindness he showed us."

Former President George W. Bush said he and his wife, Laura Bush, "are fortunate to have enjoyed the charm and wit of his company, and we know how much he will be missed."

The country's 39th president, Jimmy Carter, recalled meeting Philip in the early part of his presidency. "He was gracious, kind and served Great Britain with honor," Carter said.

Former President Donald Trump said Philip "embodied the noble soul and proud spirit of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth."

"This is an irreplaceable loss for Great Britain, and for all who hold dear our civilization," Trump said in a statement. "He will be greatly missed."