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In Memoriam: Remembering the royals we lost in 2021

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh
i-Images/ Pool

In 2021, the world lost several royals from various royal families across the globe. As 2021 comes to a close, we remember those who died, including one monarch and three consorts to reigning monarchs, and the lives they led.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1921 – 2021

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh
By Flickr user Steve Punter – Looking at City Hall on Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wiki Commons

The most prominent royal death of this year was undoubtedly Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who died at the age of 99 on 9 April. He was born a Prince of Greece and Denmark on 10 June 1921 and married The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) in 1947. Together, they had four children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

He lived a life of service to The Queen and country and stood by Her Majesty for over 70 years. Tributes poured in from all across the globe, from fellow royals to heads of state. Prince Philip was revered and will forever be remembered in the UK, Commonwealth and across the world.

Stephen Lock/ i-Images

Princess Marie of Liechtenstein 1940 – 2021

By Enstropia – Own work, derivative work by Asuas, Markus Buchmann (Photographer), CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Princess Marie of Liechtenstein was the wife of Prince Hans Adam II of Liechtenstein, who died at the age of 81 on 21 August after suffering a stroke. She had been Princess consort since Hans Adam officially took the throne in November 1989 after his father’s death (he’d served as regent for the five years prior). Her son, Alois, has been the Regent of Liechtenstein since 2004.

Marie was born a Countess of Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau on 14 April 1940. She married Hans Adam in 1967, and together, they had four children and eight grandchildren.

Her funeral was attended by the Princely Family of Liechtenstein, Queen Sofía of Spain, Princess Caroline of Hanover (sister of Prince Albert II of Monaco), and Prince Guillaume and Princess Sibilla of Luxembourg (brother and sister-in-law of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg). Members of non-reigning royals were also there.

Information und Kommunikation der Regierung, Vaduz

King Goodwill Zwelithini of the Zulus 1948 – 2021

The late King Goodwill Zwelithini – By Reinhardth – Reinhardt Hartzenberg, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The King of the Zulus, Goodwill Zwelithini, died on 12 March 2021 from COVID-19 at the age of 72. He had been monarch since the death of his father in 1968. He was the longest-serving monarch in the Zulu kingdom.

Goodwill Zwelithini had six wives and 28 children. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Misuzulu Sinqobile.

Princess Charlene of Monaco, a native of South Africa, attended his memorial service.

Queen Mantfombi Dlamini of the Zulus 1953 – 2021

Just a month after the death of her husband, Queen Mantfombi Dlamini, the “Great Wife,” died while serving as regent. She was 68.

She became regent as it was the request of her husband in his Will. She was to be regent until the next king was appointed. Her eldest son is now the monarch.

She was the daughter of the late King Sobhuza of Swaziland and the sister to reigning King Mswati III of Eswatini.

Prince Muhammad bin Talal of Jordan 1940 – 2021

By أحمد زين – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Prince Muhammad died on 29 April 2021 at the age of 80. He was a younger brother to the late King Hussein of Jordan and uncle to current King Abdullah II.

He was married twice. His first wife was Firyal Irshaid, and together they had two sons, Princes Talal and Ghazi. They divorced in 1978, and he married for a second time in 1981 to Taghrid Majali.

His funeral and burial were in line with Muslim customs.

Princess Lalla Malika of Morocco 1933 – 2021

Princess Lalla Malika was born on 14 March 1933 as the daughter of King Mohammed V of Morocco. She married Mohamed Cherkaoui in 1961, and they had four children.

Lalla Malika was the younger sister of King Hassan II and aunt to King Mohammed VI.

She died on 28 September 2021 at the age of 88.

Erling Lorentzen 1923 – 2021

By Victor Soares/ABr – Agência Brasil [1], CC BY 3.0 br, Wikimedia Commons

The widowed husband of Norway’s Princess Ragnhild and brother-in-law to King Harald died at the age of 98 in Oslo. He was given King Harald’s Silver Jubilee Medal earlier this year as an extended member of the Royal Family.

He was born on 28 January 1923 and married Ragnhild in 1953. They had three children together and six grandchildren.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. Her love of royals began in middle school, and she's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.