Former President Obama and Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Jill Biden takes starring role at difficult Olympics Obama to adapt memoir 'Dreams From My Father' for young readers MORE are lauding Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who they say "showed the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman."

The husband of Queen Elizabeth II and patriarch of Britain's royal family died Friday at 99, Buckingham Palace said.

In a statement released hours after news of Philip's death broke, the Obamas shared their impression on first meeting the royal couple in 2009.


"As two Americans unaccustomed to palaces and pomp, we didn’t know what to expect," the 44th president and former first lady said.

"We shouldn’t have worried. The Queen and Prince Philip immediately put us at ease with their grace and generosity, turning a ceremonial occasion into something far more natural, even comfortable," they said.

Philip, the pair said, was particularly "kind and warm, with a sharp wit and unfailing good humor." Following their first encounter, the Obamas said, their admiration for him grew: "We will miss him dearly."

"Like the Queen, Prince Philip saw world wars and economic crises come and go. The radio gave way to the television, and the television to the internet. And through it all, he helped provide steady leadership and guiding wisdom," the Obamas' statement said.

"At the Queen’s side or trailing the customary two steps behind, Prince Philip showed the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman," the Obamas said. Even still, the former executive mansion residents noted, Philip "found a way to lead without demanding the spotlight — serving in combat in World War II, commanding a frigate in the Royal Navy, and tirelessly touring the world to champion British industry and excellence."

Expressing their condolences to the royal family and everyone who "knew and loved this remarkable man," the Obamas said of Philip, "Through his extraordinary example, he proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness — all in service of something greater."