Prince Philip Once Said He Had "No Desire" to Live to 100 and Couldn't "Imagine Anything Worse"

Prince Philip said during an old interview that he "couldn't imagine anything worse" than the idea of living to 100. They royal passed away at 99 this week.

  • The world mourned on Friday when Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen's husband of 73 years, Prince Philip, had died at the age of 99 (opens in new tab).
  • Philip was set to celebrate his 100th birthday on June 10, just two months and one day after he passed away. The late royal had been clear in the past, however, that he had no interest in seeing his own centennial.
  • According to journalist Gyles Brandreth (opens in new tab), Philip told him during a 2000 interview that he had "no desire whatsoever" to live to 100 and that he couldn't "imagine anything worse." The Duke of Edinburgh, who was 79 at the time of the interview, said, "Bits of me are falling off already."

Prince Philip (opens in new tab) passed away at 99 on Friday, April 9, just over two months shy of his 100th birthday. In 2019, the Telegraph (opens in new tab)'s Gyles Brandreth recalled a 2000 interview with Philip during which the late royal made it clear that making it to his centennial was by no means a personal goal. 

According to Brandreth, the Duke of Edinburgh (opens in new tab) told him during their chat in 2000 that he had "no desire whatsoever" to live to be 100—he even explained why that was the case.

I can’t imagine anything worse," Philip, who was 79-years-old at the time explained, according to Brandreth. "Bits of me are falling off already."

Philip would have celebrated his 100th birthday this summer, on June 10. He is said to have died in his own bed at the royal residence in Windsor, with his wife of 73 years, Queen Elizabeth II, by his side, according to a royal source (opens in new tab).

In February and March, Philip spent 28 days in the hospital undergoing treatment for infection and a pre-existing heart condition, but very few details of his passing, including cause of death, have been made public. On Friday, Buckingham Palace released a brief statement confirming the sad news, writing:

"It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss. Further announcements will be made in due course."

The royal family will honor Philip in small, private service (opens in new tab) in Windsor on April 17.

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Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.