This article titled “Prince Philip: tributes paid to Duke of Edinburgh after death aged 99 ” was written by Nadeem Badshah (now) and Jessica Murray (earlier), for theguardian.com on Friday 9th April 2021 22.27 UTC
That’s it from the blog team. Thank you for following our coverage..
India Hicks, a cousin of the Duke of Edinburgh, told BBC Newsnight of her mother Lady Pamela Hicks’ enduring memory of the duke.
Hicks said: “I called her (my mother) first thing this morning and said, ‘How are you feeling?’ and she said, ‘Emotional.’
“And I said, ‘What would be your defining words about your cousin Prince Philip?’
“She said, ‘He was a unique man, there will never be another man like him again.”’
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres paid tribute to Prince Philip for “his active work for the betterment of humankind”, his spokesman said.
A tribute from Kenya’s high commissioner to the UK.
A striking message illuminating from Wembley Stadium.
The front page of tomorrow’s Guardian.
The Telegraph’s front page.
Here is a look at some of tomorrow’s front pages, starting with the Mirror.
The prime minister of Sri Lanka has tweeted a tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh.
A tweet from the actor Sanjeev Bhaskar.
A tribute from Sir Mick Jagger.
Tobias Menzies, who played the Duke of Edinburgh in the third and fourth series of The Crown, has paid tribute.
A tribute paid from the US vice-president Kamala Harris.
The Princess Royal told ITV News that without her father “life would be completely different”.
Speaking about Philip’s legacy, Princess Anne said: “Without him life will be completely different.
“But from society’s perspective he was able to keep pace with the kind of technological changes that have such an impact… but above all that it’s not about the technology it’s about the people.”
Prince Edward also told ITV News that Philip and the Queen had been a “fantastic support” to each other.
He added: “My parents have been such a fantastic support to each other during all those years and all those events and all those tours and events overseas.
“To have someone that you confide in and smile about things that you perhaps could not in public. To be able to share that is immensely important.”
Edward said he will remember his father in a number of ways, adding: “For what he has done in his public life for all the organisations he has supported and influenced and obviously as my father and husband to my mother and all the work that he has done there and as a family we will remember that more than anything else.”
The Duke of Edinburgh’s public image portrayed by some sections of the media was “always an unfair depiction”, his youngest son the Earl of Wessex said.
Prince Edward told ITV News his father had a “wonderful” sense of humour, but people could misinterpret things or “turn it against them”.
Edward said: “The public image that certain parts of the media would portray was always an unfair depiction.
“He used to give them as good as he got and always in a very entertaining way.
“He was brilliant. Always absolutely brilliant.
“He had a wonderful sense of humour but of course you can always misinterpret something or turn it against them, so it sounds like it’s not right.
“But anyone who had the privilege to hear him speak said it was his humour which always came through and the twinkle in his eye.”
Dame Shirley Bassey, Professor Brian Cox and Carol Vorderman are among those to share messages following the announcement of Prince Philip’s death.
Television presenter Vorderman recounted meeting the duke in a post on Twitter.
“I went for a private lunch with The Queen at Buckingham Palace quite a few years ago,” she wrote.
“They were both in their 80s and Prince Philip and she were flirting with each other madly and laughing.
“Theirs was a love and a marriage of more than 73 years. Deepest condolences Ma’am.”
Prof Cox reflected on his experience of meeting the duke.
He tweeted: “I sat next to Prince Phillip at a lunch a few years ago and we discussed cosmology and relativity for the whole lunch – I hardly ate anything! – he was indeed fiercely intelligent, knowledgable about the subject and endlessly curious. RIP.”
Singer Dame Shirley said she was “saddened” by the news of Philip’s death.
She added on Twitter: “He was an extremely kind & charming man with an exceptional dedication to Queen and Country.
“My thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen and her family. May he rest in peace.”
Cyrus Todiwala, the chef and restaurateur, has paid tribute on Twitter:
The Scottish Parliament is to be recalled for only the sixth time in its history to show respect to the Duke of Edinburgh.
Holyrood’s presiding officer, Ken Macintosh, said MSPs will be recalled at 11am on Monday.
Macintosh said: “I have this afternoon decided that the Parliament should be recalled to show our respect to the Duke of Edinburgh following today’s sad announcement.
“His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, lived a life dedicated to duty and public service and his support for this institution was clear.
“This is why I have taken the decision to recall in order that we may take the time to pause, remember and pay tribute to his work.”
The meeting will start with a minute’s silence before considering a motion of condolence with a statement from party leaders.
The Prince of Wales visited his mother, the Queen, on Friday afternoon travelling from his Gloucestershire home to Windsor Castle following the death of his father, sources told the PA news agency.
Westminster Abbey is paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh by tolling its tenor bell 99 times, once for every year of his life.
Following the royal’s death, the abbey announced it would toll the bell every 60 seconds, from 6pm on Friday.
Westminster Abbey said it would be open from Friday until Sunday for private prayer and worship following the duke’s death.
In tribute, the Dean of Westminster said: “It is with profound sadness that we learn of the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who served HM The Queen and our nation with an unwavering commitment.
“We remember, above all, a self-effacing sense of duty that has been a benchmark of moral purpose in public life for so many years.
“We note with deep gratitude his contribution to the military, charities and young people.
“We are also deeply thankful for his support of our abbey church, including his work to raise funds for the restoration of the abbey.”
The minister of the church used by the royal family when at Balmoral Castle has expressed the community’s sadness at the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.
Reverend Kenneth MacKenzie is the minister of the Parish of Braemar and Crathie and domestic chaplain to the Queen, who visits the church for Sunday services when staying at the castle with members of her family.
Rev Mackenzie, minister of the parish since 2005, told the PA news agency: “I think up here there are lots of people who have had the opportunity over the years to see the duke around and he’s so much part of this place.
“Everybody has favourite memories of the duke, he was just a very interesting man and took a real interest in this area.
“He knew a lot of people and a lot of families who have multi-generational interest in this area so some folk he knew not just their parents but grandparents.
“Everyone will remember him with respect but also a degree of affection, he was really highly thought of around here.”
Of the many sacrifices the Duke of Edinburgh had to make in marrying, one truly angered him. As he once put it: “I am the only man in the country not allowed to give his name to his children.”
The question of what the royal family and its descendants should be called proved taxing. Princess Elizabeth was a Windsor, a name adopted under the 1917 proclamation by George V to replace the German Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The proclamation, however, did not cover married female descendants so she should have taken her husband’s name.
Philip was a Mountbatten, an appellation adopted on his British naturalisation, and an anglicised version of his mother’s Battenberg family name. That their first-born son could be the first king in the House of Mountbatten proved too unpalatable for Winston Churchill’s cabinet, which put pressure on the Queen.
Caught in the crossfire, she was sympathetic to her husband’s desire but was persuaded to give her formal approval to a proclamation in April 1952 that she and her descendants “should continue to bear the family name of Windsor”.
An exasperated Philip complained to friends that he was regarded as “nothing but a bloody amoeba”.
Matt Smith, who played the Duke of Edinburgh in the first two series of The Crown, said in a statement: “I’d like to offer my condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family.
“Prince Philip was the man. And he knew it. 99 and out, but what an innings. And what style. Thank you for your service old chap – it won’t be the same without you.”
Boris Johnson told his cabinet the nation will have the opportunity to reflect on the “life, work and legacy” of the Duke and Edinburgh in the days after his death.
After the prime minister assembled his top ministers to pay tribute to Philip on Friday afternoon, Downing Street said:
He noted this was a sad day for the country and that His Royal Highness would be remembered with great fondness and affection for generations to come.
He referenced the duke’s long and devoted public service, noting he had known 16 prime ministers.
Cabinet shared recollections of meeting Prince Philip and praised his work, including as an environmentalist and for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which the prime minister said had benefitted the lives of countless young people.
Ministers said they had already received thousands of messages of condolence from all over the world.
The prime minister “concluded by saying that in the coming days the entire country would have a chance to reflect on his life, work and legacy”.
Gun salutes to be fired across UK to mark death of Philip
Gun salutes marking the death of the Duke of Edinburgh will take place across the UK, in Gibraltar and at sea on Saturday.
Saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute from midday in cities including London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as Gibraltar and from Royal Navy warships, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.
Gun salutes have been fired to mark significant national events since as early as at least the 18th century. They were used to mark the deaths of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965.
The public is being encouraged to observe the gun salutes, which will be broadcast online and on television, from home.
In London, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will ride out from their base at Napier Lines, Woolwich Barracks, onto the Parade Ground. There will be 71 horses, 36 of them pulling six 13-pounder field guns dating from the First World War.
The same guns were also fired for Philip’s wedding to the Queen in 1947 and at her Coronation six years later in 1953.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: “His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh was a constant supporter and ambassador of the armed forces. We celebrate his life of service and offer our condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the royal family.”
Chief of the defence staff, General Sir Nick Carter said:
His Royal Highness has been a great friend, inspiration and role model for the armed forces and he will be sorely missed.
The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the armed forces as a whole.
A life well lived, His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty. From all of us who serve today and who have served, thank you.
The Marylebone Cricket Club, based at Lord’s cricket ground in London, has remembered Prince Philip as “a hard-hitting batsman” and an off spinner with a notable “purity” to his bowling action.
In a letter to the Queen, the club sent condolences for a man who was twice its president first in 1949 and again in 1974. In his first stint, it said, he helped open out the game, championing youth cricket and combining his role with that of president of the National Playing Fields Association.
In his second stint he attended the final of the first cricket World Cup contested between Australia and the West Indies and presented the winner’s trophy to Clive Lloyd, captain of the Caribbean team.
Prince Philip captained his school team at Gordonstoun in Scotland and played charity matches in the 1940s and 1950s.
Carefully laid plans for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral, revised over many years, have been abandoned owing to the coronavirus pandemic, with public elements unable to take place.
The Queen and senior aides have now to fashion a fitting farewell to the longest-serving consort in British history given current restrictions. The plans will be set in motion once they have been personally approved by the Queen.
It will be a major undertaking. Organisers are said to be “desperately anxious” not to stage anything that attracts mass gatherings. The police are facing the difficult, and sensitive, task of ensuring that crowds do not gather to pay their last respects to the duke.
All senior members of the royal family are regularly asked to update their funeral plans. The duke revised his – codenamed Forth Bridge – many times over his long life. “One thing he did not want was for it to be like the funeral of his uncle, Lord Mountbatten [in 1979]. He did not want that ostentation,” a source said. Of that, given all the present circumstances, he is assured.
More Guardian readers have got in touch to tell us how they met Prince Philip through taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme.
Elizabeth Harrison, 58, a product manager from east Sussex recalls receiving her gold certificate at Buckingham Palace forty years ago.
I was 18 and just blown away by the Palace drawing rooms and meeting a very jocular Prince Philip.
I had gained the award through a combination of community work, sports pursuits and a challenging few days on my expedition with three other young teenage girls in the wilderness of the Cairngorms, where we covered many miles hiking per day, camped out under canvas and carried all our supplies and tents with us.
My story of landing in a cowpat whilst parascending on the South Downs was not however considered appropriate to tell to the Duke that day, although I’m sure he would have loved the tale.
Former US president Donald Trump is the latest to issue a statement in tribute to Prince Philip, who he described as “a man who embodied the noble soul and proud spirit of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth”.
Melania and I send our deepest and most profound condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and to the entire Royal Family. We send our most heartfelt sympathies to the British people. This is an irreplaceable loss for Great Britain, and for all who hold dear our civilization.
Prince Philip defined British dignity and grace. He personified the quiet reserve, stern fortitude, and unbending integrity of the United Kingdom.
Over the past few years, Melania and I were honored to have the opportunity to visit the United Kingdom. We saw firsthand how the Monarchy epitomizes and carries on the virtues of the British People—and no one did so more than Prince Philip.
As we grieve his loss, we celebrate his memory and rededicate ourselves to the values to which he devoted his extraordinary life. He will be greatly missed.
‘Thank you for your service’: Duke and Duchess of Sussex post tribute to Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s website has been transformed into a memorial page to the Duke of Edinburgh.
A short message on archewell.com, set against a dark background, says: “In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. 1921-2021.”
It adds: “Thank you for your service… you will be greatly missed.”
The British prime minster, the first ministers of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and the Labour leader, Keir Starmer, pay tribute to Prince Philip after his death on Friday.
Flags at Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament and government buildings across Britain have been lowered to half-mast.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex face the prospect of at least five days in quarantine if they return to the UK for Harry’s grandfather’s funeral, unless they get an exemption – though the couple have yet to publicly indicate whether they will attend.
As Meghan is pregnant with the couple’s second child and is due to give birth during the summer, some commentators said it was more likely that Harry would make the journey from California, where they live, alone for the service for Prince Philip.
A return to the UK would be his first since the couple spoke candidly in a US TV interview about their experience of royal life and said racism was a large part of the reason why they had chosen to leave Britain.
Given his status as a member of the royal family travelling to support the Queen, there is speculation that Harry might be considered exempt from travel restrictions.
Some exemptions apply to members of diplomatic missions and consular posts in the UK, and officers, servants or representatives of international organisations, among others. They and members of their family do not need to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel and are not subject to mandatory testing. However, for public health reasons they are “strongly encouraged” to complete tests on days two and eight after arrival.
It was just a few weeks ago that the public felt reassured over the health of Prince Philip: he had been discharged from hospital after a month-long stay.
While the cause of his death on Friday is not yet known, it comes soon after the longest hospital stay of his life. He was admitted to King Edward VII’s hospital in central London on 16 February after feeling unwell, and later had a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at another London hospital, St Bartholomew’s.
After being discharged on 16 March, the duke returned to Windsor Castle and was said to be in “good spirits”. In a statement, Buckingham Palace said he was discharged “following treatment for an infection and a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition”.
“His Royal Highness wishes to thank all the medical staff who looked after him … and everyone who has sent their good wishes,” it added.
The reason for his initial admission was never revealed but palace officials said it was not related to coronavirus. He and the Queen had their first Covid vaccine dose on 9 January.
Philip’s health had been slowly deteriorating for some time. He joked he could no longer stand up when he stepped down from royal engagements in May 2017. His final official public appearance was made later that year during a Royal Marines parade on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
He then made fewer public appearances and spent most of his time on the Queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk. He turned 99 during the pandemic and moved to be with the Queen at Windsor Castle for most of lockdown.
Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, is the latest world leader to pay his respects to Prince Philip:
Former US president Barack Obama has recalled when he first met Prince Philip in a moving tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, saying he “showed the world what it meant to be a supportive husband to a powerful woman”.
When we first met His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, he and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had already been on the world stage for more than half a century — welcoming leaders like Churchill and Kennedy; Mandela and Gorbachev. As two Americans unaccustomed to palaces and pomp, we didn’t know what to expect.
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. Prince Philip in particular was kind and warm, with a sharp wit and unfailing good humor. It was our first introduction to the man behind the title, and in the years since, our admiration for him has only grown. 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. It has long been said that the United States and Great Britain have a special relationship — one that has been maintained and strengthened not just by presidents and prime ministers but by the Royal Family that has outlasted them all.
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. Yet he also 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. Through his extraordinary example, he proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness — all in service of something greater.
As the world mourns his loss, we send our warmest wishes and deepest sympathies to the Queen, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; and everyone who knew and loved this remarkable man.
Royal family open online book of condolence
In normal times, thousands of mourners would travel in person to sign a book of condolence for Prince Philip.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the royal family have opened an online book of condolence which they have invited members of the public to sign. It is available here.
The family has also asked people to consider making a donation to charity instead of leaving floral tributes:
The deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, Michelle O’Neill, has offered her condolences to the unionist community following the death of Prince Philip. Northern Ireland has, of course, been rocked by a week of unrest in loyalist areas.
The Sinn Fein vice president said:
I want to offer my condolences to Queen Elizabeth in regards to the death of her husband, and to her family at this very sad time.
When any family loses a loved one, it is really difficult – and whilst they may be public figures they are also a family that are hurting, so I just wanted to extend my condolences to them.
Also to all those people in this community who come from the unionist tradition or indeed have a British identity, I want to again extend my condolences to you, because I’m quite sure that you felt this loss more significantly perhaps than others. I just wanted, as deputy First Minister, to put that on record.
The President of Greece, where the Duke of Edinburgh was born almost 100 years ago, has paid tribute to him and his decades of service.
President Katerina Sakellaropoulou shared a photo of Philip as a young boy dressed as an Evzone guard.
The Prince of Wales gave a framed copy of the photograph to the presidential guards in Athens just over a fortnight ago, PA Media reports.
The Evzones are the elite light infantry units of the Greek army and are known for their distinctive uniform, which originates from the clothes worn by Greek irregulars who fought against the Ottomans during the Greek Revolution in 1821-27.
US president Joe Biden pays tribute to Prince Philip
The US president, Joe Biden, and the first lady, Jill Biden, have released a statement paying tribute to Prince Philip:
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, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly. 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. His legacy will live on not only through his family, but in all the charitable endeavors he shaped.
Jill and I are keeping the Queen and Prince Philip’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in our hearts during this time.
The Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, expressed his condolences to the Queen, the royal family and British citizens, describing Prince Philip as a figure who “for over 70 years offered his service to the Crown and the United Kingdom with exemplary dedication”.
Mattarella added: “During his visits to Italy, Prince Philip always showed sincere friendship towards the Italian people, who cherish a grateful reminder of his deep admiration for the artistic and cultural heritage of our beautiful country.”
The Queen and Prince Philip visited Rome four times, the last occasion being in 2014, when the couple also met Pope Francis.
Election campaigns suspended following Duke of Edinburgh’s death
Boris Johnson is to chair a meeting with ministers, police and members of the royal household on Friday afternoon to help plan events following the royal death, it has emerged.
It comes as the rest of political life, including campaigning for elections on 6 May, has effectively closed down for a period.
Downing Street has ordered that all ministerial speeches, visits and other activity to pause for an as-yet unknown number of mourning days following Prince Philip’s death.
There will be no official government communications beyond urgent messages connected to Covid, and even with this there will be no No 10 press conferences.
Ministers will not appear as planned on Sunday politics shows this weekend.
Later on Friday, the cabinet will meet for ministers to pay tribute to Philip, and it has been confirmed that the Commons will return on Monday, a day earlier than scheduled, for MPs to do the same.
The next stage of lockdown easing on Monday will go ahead as planned – even though Boris Johnson will not now pay a visit to a pub to mark it.
The PM was told about the death while working at No 10, and spoke to Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, to agree on a period of no election campaigning.
More Guardian readers are getting in touch to share their memories of meeting Prince Philip.
David Diprose, 74, from Thame, Oxfordshire, met Philip on several occasions during the 25 years he served in the Royal Air Force and later as a maths teacher.
I was very impressed every time I met him. He was always very polite and made a point of talking to people – asking how they were getting on. He was so easy to talk to. If you didn’t know any better, you would think him an ordinary man on the street with no particular airs or graces.
He was always the perfect gentleman and always treated me as if I were his equal. I remember attending a DofE award ceremony at Holyrood long after I had retired from the RAF. I had chosen to wear my RAF colours tie, which he spotted immediately. He wanted to know what a teacher, as I was then, was doing with such a tie, and we had a most pleasant conversation that lasted for several minutes.
I extend my heartfelt condolences to all of his family and friends.
Dr Andrew Eaton, 59, a product manager from Altrincham, Cheshire, recalls a time when he met the prince in 1991.
I was at a reception at Buckingham Palace as my company at the time was receiving an award. Upon hearing that I was from Cheshire, Prince Philip’s eyes lit up and he grabbed me by the arm and dragged me across the room.
He brought me to someone he had met who was also from Cheshire and said: ‘So that you can say you met at our place’.
His death is sad news indeed. He’s done so much – it’s a great loss to the country.
Cris Robson, 49, a software developer from Durham, recalls his encounter with Philip with some amusement.
Prince Philip was visiting Yarmouth back in the eighties, so I went with my two young cousins to see the walk past. Anyway Ben, who was about eight at the time, managed somehow to get purple iced lollipop juice literally all over his face, just as Prince Philip is walking past.
‘One moment …’ he said to the Queen and his escorts, as he marched over to Ben.
‘Young man,’ he said in a stern voice, ‘the lollipop doesn’t go on your face,’ at which point he pointed into his own mouth to demonstrate. ‘It goes in here!’
And with that, he did a complete turn around and marched off again. His face remained deadpan all the time, and of course we were all laughing.
Aintree has confirmed Saturday’s Grand National will take place as scheduled following discussions with the government after the death of Prince Philip on Friday.
There was speculation after the announcement of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh that there was a chance the meeting could be postponed. However, shortly before 3pm a statement was issued to confirm the world’s most famous race would take place in its planned slot.
The statement read: “Jockey Club Racecourses has held discussions with the British Horseracing Authority regarding the staging of Randox Grand National Day tomorrow at Aintree Racecourse. Following consultation with government, we can confirm that Randox Grand National Day will go ahead on Saturday.
“Following the sad news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh a two-minute silence will be held on course ahead of the 173rd Randox Grand National, jockeys will be invited to wear black armbands and flags will be flown at half-mast at the racecourse.
“ITV will broadcast its coverage of Randox Grand National Day on its main channel as scheduled.”
Plans for Prince Philip’s funeral will be affected by Covid regulations in England, with organisers said to be “desperately anxious” not to stage anything that attracts mass gatherings. Here is what we know so far.
- A date has yet to be announced but it is expected in the coming days. Under pre-pandemic plans, it had been due to take place within about 10 days of his death. It will not be a state funeral, in line with the duke’s wishes.
- The funeral is still expected to be held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, as planned. However, there will be no lying in state – something that would have involved thousands of members of the public queuing to view his coffin.
- It is not yet known whether his coffin will be transported to the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace, London, as originally planned. Arrangements will likely be put in place for members of the public and others to sign a digital book of condolences.
- Under national lockdown restrictions in England, which are gradually easing, funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Those present must also socially distance if they do not live together or share a support bubble.
- The public will be able to tune into extensive programming by broadcasters including the BBC. A memorial service could be held at a later date after Britain has dealt with the worst public health crisis for a generation.
Flags to fly at half mast until morning after Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral
Flags will fly at half-mast on UK government buildings in tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh from now until the morning after his funeral.
On the other side of the world the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, announced that flags there would be lowered “in honour of His Royal Highness”, who he said had visited the Commonwealth country on more than 20 occasions.
The union flag on Buckingham Palace was at half-mast on Friday, while a framed plaque announcing Philip’s death was placed on the front gates by royal household staff.
Westminster Abbey will toll its tenor bell once every 60 seconds, 99 times, from 6pm on Friday evening in tribute to the duke, the abbey said.
Public urged not to leave floral tributes to Philip
The government is urging the public not to gather or lay flowers outside royal residences following the death of Prince Philip to prevent crowds forming during the pandemic.
A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “Although this is an extraordinarily difficult time for many, we are asking the public not to gather at royal residences, and continue to follow public health advice particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel.
“We are supporting the royal household in asking that floral tributes should not be laid at royal residences at this time.”
Stewards have put a barrier around floral tributes placed at the gates of Buckingham Palace, aimed at preventing overcrowding.
Members of the public were advised to join a queue to take pictures and place flowers, with stewards urging people not to gather in large crowds.
More than 100 floral tributes – ranging from bunches of daffodils to fuller bouquets, many with notes attached – and two union flags have been placed at the gates by mourners.
José Mourinho interrupted a press conference to pay tribute to Prince Philip. The Tottenham Hotspur manager was speaking when news filtered through that the prince had died.
“I have a deep, deep, deep, utmost respect for the royal family, so my deepest condolences and I believe it is not just this country that is going to be sharing these feelings,” Mourinho said.
Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, tweeted: “My condolences on the demise of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Britain has lost a wise elder who was imbued with a unique spirit of public service. His role in promoting Pakistan-UK relations will always be remembered.”
The Guardian view on Prince Philip – The death of the Duke of Edinburgh will leave a void in the heart of the monarchy.
The death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has been announced by Buckingham Palace. No trivialisation is intended by saying that this news has not come as a bolt from the blue. The duke was, after all, 99 years old and less than three months short of his centenary, a formidable age for any man, even in these days of unprecedented longevity.
He had rarely been seen in public since he finally retired from public life in 2017. His health had been a cause for concern on several occasions in recent years, and a car crash in 2019 seemed to mark a more decisive retreat from the world.
Now the bell finally tolls for the man who spent more than 73 years married to the Queen. And, although his death was not unexpected, it sends an abrupt, sombre and resonant message to millions of people in all corners of Britain.
The duke’s passing is not merely a reminder, amid the continuing human loss of the Covid pandemic, of the reality of death itself. It is also a reminder that the current monarchical order is in the end a finite era too.
Only a minority of British people can remember a time when the Queen and the duke were not together. But the death of the duke forces the nation to recognise that all things must pass.
Duke of Edinburgh’s award calls for stories from those involved with charity
The Duke of Edinburgh’s award is calling for anyone who has been involved with the charity founded by Philip to share their stories.
In a statement following the announcement of the duke’s death, the charity invited volunteers and people who have completed the award to share memories on the charity’s website.
Ruth Marvel, the chief executive officer of the Duke of Edinburgh’s award (DofE) said:
The duke’s timeless vision for young people has never been more relevant or needed.
The DofE has played a crucial role in supporting young people to survive and thrive despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, and we will continue to build on his legacy.
The duke was a lifelong advocate for young people, believing in each individual’s potential and creating in the DofE what he saw as a ‘do-it-yourself growing up kit’.
We’re honoured to continue HRH’s work, to ensure that all young people – especially those from marginalised groups – can benefit from the better educational outcomes, employment prospects, community ties and better mental health that are associated with doing DofE.
The DofE works with thousands of organisations across the UK to run the award scheme, including schools, academies, youth groups and voluntary organisations, fostering agencies, young offender institutions and hospitals.
In the UK, 6.7 million young people have taken on the challenge of a DofE award to date.
The duke founded the award in 1956, inspired by his former headmaster at Gordonstoun, Dr Kurt Hahn. He remained heavily involved with the charity, as chairman of trustees until his 80th birthday and was patron throughout his life.
Philip celebrated attending his 500th gold award presentation in the UK in 2013, and carried out engagements on behalf of the DofE until his retirement from public engagements in 2017.
The Metropolitan police commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, said the Duke of Edinburgh’s legacy “commands respect across policing”.
In a statement, she said:
Today the Metropolitan Police Service and I join the nation in mourning following the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.
I send my deepest condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the entire royal family, as well as all those affected personally by his death.
Throughout his life, Prince Philip has been a great supporter of the Met, the policing family and the wider emergency services. Many Met colleagues will have worked closely with him during their service across many decades.
His legacy is a lifetime of public service that commands respect across policing.
Guardian readers are getting in touch to share their tributes and memories of Prince Philip
Abbie Spence, 23, an admin worker in Sunderland, met the Queen and Philip when she was five years old and had been picked out from a crowd outside Sunderland station to give them her posy of flowers.
On that day when I met him, he was so lovely to me. They were really kind, you can see in the picture that he was smiling at the time. I was quite a shy little girl then.
I was absolutely devastated when I heard that he’d died. My whole family are supporters of the royal family and we’re all really upset about it.
Daren Lewis, 51, a Land Rover mechanic from the West Midlands, is one of the many people who took part in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme when he was at school.
As an urban child of the 80s, I feel I owe a great deal to Prince Philip for the opportunities he opened up for me after taking part in the DofE award scheme. The skills and love of the outdoors I gained have stayed with me for life.
I have recreated the expeditions I trained for in Wales, at the age of 13, across the length and breadth of Africa which has been the love of my life, and without doubt that would not have happened without the skills and discipline learnt through that excellent programme.
United States house speaker, Nancy Pelosi, tweeted: “The US Congress extends condolences over the passing of Prince Philip, whose life was distinguished by an inspiring ethic of dedicated service.
“May it be a comfort to Her Majesty & the Royal family that so many mourn with and pray for them at this sad time.”
Prince Philip will lie in rest at Windsor Castle in line with his wishes following his funeral, which will be at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, Sky News reports.
The College of Arms has confirmed the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral will not be a state funeral and the public has been asked not to attempt to attend any of the funeral events due to concerns about the spread of coronavirus.
Vladimir Putin has issued his condolences to Queen Elizabeth on the death of Prince Philip, the Kremlin press service has announced.
In a telegram, Putin was said to write that Philip was “tied to many important events in the recent history of your country. He was rightly respected among the British public and bore international authority.”
Putin was said to wish Queen Elizabeth “courage and mental fortitude in the face of a heavy and irreparable loss,” and asked his condolences to be passed on to all members of the royal family.
The makers of royal drama The Crown have said they are “deeply saddened” by the news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
Philip was played by Doctor Who star Matt Smith in the first two series of the lavish Netflix series, opposite Claire Foy as the Queen.
He was replaced by Outlander actor Tobias Menzies for series three and four, opposite Olivia Colman as the Queen.
A statement from the show, written by Peter Morgan, said: “Netflix, Left Bank Pictures, Sony Pictures Television and the production team on The Crown are deeply saddened to hear of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
“Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this sad time.”
Oscar nominee Jonathan Pryce will take over the role of the Duke of Edinburgh for the fifth and six series of the show, which will be the last. He will star opposite Imelda Staunton as the Queen.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has also paid tribute, saying Philip represents a “special” place in its history, PA Media reports.
He became the organisation’s first president in 1959, one year after the British Film Academy and the Guild of Television Producers and Directors merged to create the Society of Film and Television Arts, a forerunner of Bafta.
The duke represented the society until 1965 and presented awards at ceremonies during this period.
Philip’s grandson, the Duke of Cambridge, is the current president of Bafta. The academy is due to hand out its film awards on Saturday and Sunday night in largely virtual ceremonies.
David Cameron offered a tribute following the “desperately sad news” of the duke’s death.
In a statement the former prime minister said: “He showed true dedication to our country, with unstinting service stretching back to his courageous naval duty in the second world war. He has been a huge part of our national life since long before most of us were born.
“It was an honour and privilege as prime minister to see up close what a powerful advocate the duke was for the causes he believed in.
“He leaves an incredible legacy having supported so many British charities, institutions and good causes, not least pioneering his very own Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, which millions of young people have participated in and benefited from all over the world since 1956.”
Prince Philip had a fraught relationship with Greece, the country of his birth. One former Greek MP, whose father had been an aide and close friend of Prince Andrew, the Duke of Edinburgh’s father, recalls him shunning “any talk of Greece or relationship to our country” when a group of visiting Greek parliamentarians met him in London.
“The manner in which his family was forced to leave the country and the treatment of his father, Andrea, after the 1922 Asia Minor catastrophe was never forgotten,” she told the Guardian. “We had been delighted to meet him but the feeling wasn’t as mutual.”
The royal was said to have been incensed at the way the last Greek king, Constantine II, was not only ousted by popular referendum 1974 but treated by successive governments, with his citizenship rescinded and properties seized thereafter.
Greece was the only EU country not to have been officially visited by the Queen.
But Prince Charles, who regularly holidays in Greece and has spoken openly of his affection for the country, has done much to mend ties – relations similarly improved by the return of Constantine since.
During an official visit to Athens last month – his first engagement abroad this year – Charles spoke fondly of his Greek ancestry, saying:
After all, Greece is the land of my grandfather; and of my father’s birth, nearly 100 years ago, in the centenary of Greek independence. Later, it was in Athens that my dear grandmother, Princess Alice, during the dark years of Nazi occupation, sheltered a Jewish family – an act for which in Israel she is counted as ‘Righteous Among the Nations’.
TV channels suspend planned programme scheduling
TV channels have cancelled their scheduled programming following the news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The BBC suspended its schedule across BBC One, BBC Two and the News channel until 6pm to air special programmes about the senior royal, PA Media reports.
A statement from the corporation said: “With the sad news that HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, has died, there is now special coverage across all BBC networks to mark his life of extraordinary public service and planned scheduling has been suspended.”
ITV also made schedule changes following the news. Entertainment show This Morning, which was being presented by Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, was interrupted and Loose Women was scrapped.
The channel said ITV News will broadcast continuous coverage throughout the afternoon “celebrating Prince Philip’s life, his unique contribution to British history, and looking back at his decades of service to the Queen and the country”.
At 4pm it will air a specially commissioned film, Prince Philip: Duke of Edinburgh, narrated by James Mates, which will use personal testimony and archive content to tell the story of Philip’s life and times.
At 6pm ITV will air regional and national news, which will continue to cover reaction to the news and at 7pm Julie Etchingham and Phillip Schofield will host a live programme called Prince Philip, Fondly Remembered, when the presenters will talk to those who knew him about his personality and his passions.
Royal editor Chris Ship will present documentary special, Prince Philip: A Royal Life at 9pm, in which he visits key locations around the world to tell the story of his life, before an extended News at Ten at 10pm.
Channel 4 aired a special edition of Channel 4 News but resumed regular programming.
The royal website’s usual functions have become temporarily unavailable following the announcement of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
The web page, royal.uk, instead has become a memorial page with a black background and smiling image of Philip.
It features the short announcement from Buckingham Palace announcing the death of the 99-year old.
The page displays the duke’s year of birth and year of death – 1921 to 2021.
A message at the bottom of the page reads: “The official website of the Royal Family is temporarily unavailable while appropriate changes are made.”
Prince Philip’s charm, wit and sense of duty recalled by world leaders
Political leaders and royal families around the world have aired recollections of the Duke of Edinburgh and expressed sympathy and support for the Queen following his death.
Prince Philip’s many years of service, his character, and his devotion to his wife and a variety of social causes were all recognised.
One of the first to pay tribute was the Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, who said Prince Philip “embodied a generation that we will never see again”.
“Australians send our love and deepest condolences to her majesty and all the royal family,” he added. “The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia.”
Australia’s governor general, David Hurley, called it a “sad and historic day”.
New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said Philip would be “fondly remembered for the encouragement he gave to so many young New Zealanders through The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award” and the challenges if had offered thousands of young people.
In Canada, the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, described Philip as “a man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others” and a lifelong companion to the Queen – “always at her side offering unfailing support as she carried out her duties”.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, remembered Philip’s “distinguished career in the military” and “many community service initiatives”.
The former US president George W Bush said he and his wife, Laura, had enjoyed Philip’s “charm and wit” but also noted his “devotion to worthy causes and others”.
Ireland’s prime minister, Micheál Martin, offered “thoughts and prayers” to the Queen and the people of the UK, while the foreign minister, Simon Coveney, tweeted: “I want to express sincere condolences to all British people on the sad passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and solidarity are with you on a very sad day for the United Kingdom.”
King Harald of Norway offered his condolences, as did King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, who said: “Prince Philip has been a great friend of our family for many years, a relation which we have deeply valued. His service to his country will remain an inspiration to us all.”
Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European commission, said: “I would like to extend my sincere sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen, the royal family and the people of the United Kingdom on this very sad day.”
Former British prime ministers have paid their respects to Prince Philip.
Tony Blair said in a statement:
Our whole nation will be united in sadness at the passing of Prince Philip. He will naturally be most recognised as a remarkable and steadfast support to the Queen over so many years. However, he should also be remembered and celebrated in his own right as a man of foresight, determination and courage.
He was often way ahead of his time in protection of the environment, in reconciliation between religious faiths and of course in the creation of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which remains one of the most innovative and effective programmes for the betterment of young people anywhere in the world. My condolences and prayers and those of my family are with Her Majesty the Queen and all the royal family.
Sir John Major said:
It is impossible to exaggerate the role that the Duke of Edinburgh has played in his lifetime of service to the monarchy and to the United Kingdom.
A distinguished naval officer, he was – for over 70 years – the ballast to our Ship of State.
Modest to the core, and hating any kind of fuss or bother, he epitomised the British spirit and remained true to himself right up to the very end.
The outpouring of affection and sadness that will follow his loss would both surprise and embarrass him, but it will be real and heartfelt. Our hearts go out to Her Majesty the Queen – and all members of the royal family – who have lost a much beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Theresa May tweeted: “All my thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty and the whole Royal Family today on the loss of a devoted husband, father, grandfather & great grandfather.
“The nation and the entire Commonwealth owe Prince Philip an extraordinary debt of gratitude for a distinguished life of service to the Queen, our country and so many around the world.”
Parliament to be recalled early to pay tribute to Prince Philip
The House of Commons is set to be recalled a day early from recess so MPs can pay tribute to Prince Philip.
It was due to restart next Tuesday. However, MPs will be recalled on Monday from 2.30pm, for a session of tributes.
The Belgian Royal Palace has said it is “deeply saddened” by the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, tweeting a tribute along with photos of the family with Philip.
The palace said: “Deeply saddened by the passing away of His Royal Highness the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. We wish to express our deepest condolences to Her Majesty the Queen, the British royal family and the people of the United Kingdom. Philippe and Mathilde.”
The Duke of Edinburgh’s award is likely to be judged Prince Philip’s greatest legacy.
Aimed at both able-bodied and disabled youngsters, it became one of the best known self-development and adventure schemes for 14- to 24-year-olds.
The duke was inspired to start the programme by his eccentric headmaster, Dr Kurt Hahn, and his much-loved school days at Gordonstoun in north-east Scotland – the educational institution loathed by the Prince of Wales.
He was closely involved in the organisation throughout and defended it against accusations that it was an award only for the middle-classes. In 2016 the scheme celebrated its 60th anniversary.
Despite his part in its success, Philip was always modest about his role. He once maintained that he “couldn’t care less” whether the scheme was seen as an important part of his legacy.
“Legacy? … It’s got nothing to do with me. It’s there for people to use. I couldn’t care less,” he barked.
He added: “It’s relevant too because it’s part of the process of growing up.”
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who has died aged 99, was the Queen’s husband for 73 years. He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history, the family’s patriarch and a well-known figure in public life for two-thirds of a century until his final disappearance into seclusion in 2019.
This was a marathon stint on which he had originally embarked with resignation, in the belief that a life of walking several steps behind his wife, curbing his opinions – though not always his tongue – and being an appendage to the institution, without even being able to pass on his surname to his children, would turn him into “nothing but a bloody amoeba”.
Things did not work out that badly. He brought a relaxed, mostly affable, peppery, outspoken – and occasionally brusque – style to a ceremonial monarchy that would have been more hidebound, introverted, insipid and decidedly stuffy without him. He introduced badly needed fresh air into the royal family but, while his longevity ensured that he became an integral part of the family firm, he clearly never forgot his initial, impecunious, foreign and outsider status within the institution.
His dutiful support for his wife and his engagement in public visits, ceremonial occasions and foreign trips continued well into old age. In 2011 he said in a television interview that he was winding down, but it was not until 2017 that he completed his final public engagement and it was only in January 2019, when he gave up driving after causing a car crash near the Sandringham estate, that he disappeared from view.
Northern Ireland’s first minister, Arlene Foster, and the deputy first minister, Michelle O’Neill, have issued a joint statement on behalf of the Stormont executive expressing their sympathies following the death of Prince Philip.
I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh. It is a sadness that I know will be shared by countless others in Northern Ireland and right across the world.
Prince Philip was widely respected for his active and dedicated service to the country and for his steadfast support to Her Majesty the Queen throughout her reign.
He had a strong interest in Northern Ireland and I had the privilege of meeting him on a number of his many visits here.
He had a profound and positive impact on thousands of our young people who found their purpose, passion and place in the world through participation in the Duke of Edinburgh awards.
This inspirational programme is just one example of the many charities and voluntary organisations in which he was involved in right up to his retirement from public service at the age of 96.
I offer my deepest sympathies and condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and to the other members of the royal family at this sad time.
I wish to extend my sincere condolences to Queen Elizabeth and her family on the death of her husband Prince Phillip.
Over the past two decades there have been significant interventions by the British royal family to assist in the building of relationships between Britain and Ireland.
It is appropriate that this contribution to the advancement of peace and reconciliation is rightly recognised.
To all those of a unionist tradition and of British identity – those who value and cherish the royal family – I wish to acknowledge the sense of loss felt.
Royal household staff have placed a framed plaque announcing the Duke of Edinburgh’s death on the front gates of Buckingham Palace.
Around 30 people have begun queueing to read the sign, as four police officers on horses have stopped small crowds from gathering.
Members of the public have also started laying flowers at the foot of the gates.
There must have been intense frustration at the limitations of his role, but Prince Philip was a rock for his hardworking wife, writes Simon Jenkins.
It is not disparaging of Prince Philip, who has died aged 99, to say he was always a walk-on part in the pantomime of monarchy. It was a part in which he was a star.
Plucked from the ranks of lesser European royalty as the “suitable” husband for a queen, he was perfectly cast. Nephew of the king of Greece, safely naval and effortlessly gracious, he took to his assigned role as if to the manner born.
He served in the war, but when his wife became queen in 1952, he gave up a naval career. While known as the Queen’s consort, he did not hold the title Prince Consort, one confined to Victoria’s Albert.
Political campaigning suspended in Scotland
Scotland’s political parties are suspending election campaigning following the announcement of Prince Philip’s death.
The SNP, the Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Labour have all said they will cease campaign activities for the Holyrood elections on 6 May immediately.
The SNP leader and Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said she was “saddened” by the news and sent “personal and deepest condolences” to the Queen and her family.
The Scottish Conservative leader, Douglas Ross, said: “In the middle of a political campaign, this is a reminder of what’s most important in life. We have lost a tremendous public servant who for decades served his Queen and country”.
Anas Sarwar, the Scottish Labour leader, spoke of Prince Philip’s “deep love for Scotland”, adding: “We will now come together as a country to remember his life and mark his distinguished career.”
Tributes to Prince Philip are flooding in from public figures, politicians and organisations.
A look back at the life of Prince Philip, described by the Queen as her “strength and stay for decades”.
Born on the island of Corfu, the man who once described himself as “a discredited Balkan prince of no particular merit or distinction” played a key role in the development of the modern monarchy in Britain.
He lived a life of relentless royal duty, relinquishing his naval career to immerse himself in national life and carving out a unique public role. He could be blunt and outspoken but could also be charming, engaging and witty.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats has also offered his condolences to the Queen and the royal family after the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
Ed Davey said:
Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country. We will always be grateful for his amazing service, not least the powerful legacy he leaves to millions of young people who have taken part in his unique Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
His quiet and steadfast counsel and support of the Queen is perhaps his greatest if unquantifiable contribution to our nation’s history.
At this sad time for millions, we should never forget Prince Philip was a much-loved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. So our thoughts must be with the whole royal family, but in particular with the Queen at this difficult time.
News of Prince Philip’s death came in the middle of the National Education Union’s annual conference, with the NEU president, Robin Bevan, asking delegates for a “moment of reflection” to remember both Prince Philip and teachers and school staff who had been lost to Covid in the past year.
Bevan, a headteacher in Essex, highlighted the success of the Duke of Edinburgh awards for young people, which Prince Philip helped establish in 1956.
Bevan told delegates:
Many of you will have seen the news that Prince Philip has passed away … I do want to mark one particular aspect of the Duke of Edinburgh’s legacy that is considerable.
One of the things I have most missed in the last year is the opportunity to take students in year 10 from my school away camping for weekends, hiking in the countryside. They are never terribly good at finding their routes and half the fun is finding out where they end up when they were meant to be somewhere else.
But those weekends and opportunities to serve through the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme have transformed lives, young lives, given opportunities, given adventure, and that aspect of Prince Philip’s legacy is something we should pay due respect to.
Scott Morrison, the prime minister of Australia, has also paid tribute:
For nearly 80 years, Prince Philip served his Crown, his country and the Commonwealth.
His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh was, in the words of Her Majesty, her ‘strength and stay’. He embodied a generation that we will never see again.
Prince Philip was no stranger to Australia, having visited our country on more than 20 occasions. Through his service to the Commonwealth he presided as patron or president of nearly 50 organisations in Australia. Given his own service, Prince Philip also had a strong connection with the Australian Defence Force.
For 65 years, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme has encouraged over 775,000 young Australians to explore their leadership potential. Forty thousand young Australians are currently participating in the program.
Australians send our love and deepest condolences to Her Majesty and all the royal family. The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia.
Further details about Australia’s remembrance of Prince Philip will be announced over coming days. Flags will be lowered in honour of His Royal Highness.
Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, said in a statement:
I join with the rest of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in mourning the loss of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and give thanks to God for his extraordinary life of dedicated service. Prince Philip continually demonstrated his unfailing support and unstinting loyalty to Her Majesty the Queen for 73 years.
He consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service. During his naval career, in which he served with distinction in the second world war, he won the respect of his peers as an outstanding officer.
On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life. He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special.
The legacy he leaves is enormous. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which he founded in 1956, has inspired generations of young people to help others and instilled in them a vision for citizenship and a desire to serve their communities. His work with countless charities and organisations reflected his wide-ranging, global interests in topics including wildlife, sport, design, engineering and inter-faith dialogue.
Duke of Edinburgh’s job: first, second and last, never let the Queen down
Day in, day out, at thousands of engagements over 73 years, the Duke of Edinburgh could be found where protocol dictated and love determined: at the Queen’s side or a few paces behind.
Half of perhaps the world’s most famous partnership, Prince Philip was dutifully deferential in public, though the few glimpses afforded into the dynamics of their private relationship suggest a more patriarchal attitude was deployed at home.
For Philip – naturally brusque, easily exasperated and with no discernible inclination to suffer fools gladly – the role of prince consort (though he was never officially given that title) was one to which he was not immediately or obviously suited.
An “alpha male” who oozed masculinity, his physical fitness, sporting ability, inquiring mind and leadership qualities meant he excelled at Gordonstoun school, then later in his Royal Navy career.
Had he not married the young Princess Elizabeth, some believe he would have become First Sea Lord. “As far as I am concerned, there has never been an ‘if only’ except, perhaps, that I regret not having been able to continue a career in the navy,” he once said.
But marry her he did, overcoming many obstacles on the path to Westminster Abbey.
The young Prince Philip of Greece, a stateless, peripatetic, impoverished and exiled royal, was a third cousin to Princess Elizabeth, and so the royal family “knew all about him”, as the Queen Mother would put it.
But he really came to the attention of the 13-year-old princess in July 1939 during a royal visit to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth, where he was a cadet. Charged with entertaining Elizabeth and her younger sister, Margaret, 18-year-old Philip captivated the heiress to the throne as he demonstrated his sporting prowess by jumping over tennis nets.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson pays tribute
Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, saying said “he helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life.”
Speaking from a podium in Downing Street, Johnson said:
He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.
With his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people and at literally tens of thousands of events he fostered their hopes and encouraged their ambitions.
We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen.
Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her ‘strength and stay’, of more than 70 years.
And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation’s thoughts must turn today.
Because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and, in recent years, great-grandfather.
The coronavirus pandemic will have a major impact on the carefully laid plans for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
The duke’s funeral is still expected to be televised and held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, PA reports, but with Covid restrictions still in place, the public elements of the final farewell to the Queen’s consort will not be able to take place in their original form.
Under the earlier arrangements for the coming days, codenamed Forth Bridge, thousands of people would have been expected to flock to London and Windsor for a military procession of Philip’s coffin on the day of his funeral.
Hundreds of members of the armed forces would have been called upon to line the streets in honour of the duke, along with thousands of police officers to keep control of crowds and protect the members of the royal family taking part.
Organisers are said to be “desperately anxious” not to stage anything that attracts mass gatherings, one source said.
From the onset of the pandemic, planners have been busy behind the scenes working out a contingency strategy in case the duke died during the coronavirus crisis – a worst-case scenario of major concurrent events – a fear that has come true.
Preparations are expected to centre on Windsor Castle, without the military procession in London or any processions through Windsor.
Current rules on funerals in England mean only a maximum of 30 people may attend, and they must socially distance if they do not live together or share a support bubble.
This means the Queen will have to decide which members of her large family should be invited.
The monarch, her children and other relatives present may have to wear face coverings and stay 2 metres away from one another if they are not from the same household.
It is likely there will be some military involvement to honour the duke’s service to the armed forces. This will most likely be socially distanced and in the confines of Windsor Castle’s grounds.
World leaders and Commonwealth representatives, as well as foreign royals, former and current politicians and military chiefs would have been among those due to be invited to gather at the funeral, but such arrangements will now be impossible. Much depends on the guidance issued to the royal household from the government over the next few days.
The Labour leader Keir Starmer has paid tribute to Prince Philip, saying:
The United Kingdom has lost an extraordinary public servant.
Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country – from a distinguished career in the Royal Navy during the second world war to his decades of service as the Duke of Edinburgh.
However, he will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to the Queen.
For more than seven decades, he has been at her side. Their marriage has been a symbol of strength, stability and hope, even as the world around them changed – most recently during the pandemic. It was a partnership that inspired millions in Britain and beyond.
My thoughts are with the Queen, the royal family and the British people as our nation comes together to mourn and remember the life of Prince Philip.
Buckingham Palace pays tribute to Prince Philip
The statement from Buckingham Palace reads:
It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces 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.
Further announcements will be made in due course.
The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.
The news of Prince Philip’s death was announced by Buckingham Palace on Friday. It came after he was admitted to King Edward VII’s hospital in London on 16 February. He was moved to St Bartholomew’s hospital in the City of London where he underwent the heart procedure on 3 March and was discharged nearly two weeks later.
Prince Charles made the 100-mile trip from his home in Highgrove, Gloucestershire, to visit his father at the hospital on Saturday afternoon for about 30 minutes.
Prior to that, the duke had last been admitted to hospital in December 2020, for four nights, on the advice of his doctor as a precautionary measure due to a “pre-existing condition”. He was discharged on Christmas Eve.
Philip retired from public duties in 2017 at the age of 96, although he continued to attend occasional public events. He stepped back after undertaking 22,191 solo engagements and giving 5,493 speeches. He once described himself as “the world’s most experienced plaque unveiler”.
His last official engagement was in July last year, when he handed over his role of colonel-in-chief of The Rifles to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, in a ceremony at Windsor.
The Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen’s “strength and stay” for decades, has died at the age of 99.
Born on the island of Corfu, Prince Philip, who once described himself as “a discredited Balkan prince of no particular merit or distinction”, played a key role in the development of the modern monarchy in Britain.
Though never officially given the title of prince consort, he lived a life of relentless royal duty, relinquishing his promising naval career for a role requiring him to walk several feet behind his wife.
Having made this choice he immersed himself wholeheartedly in national life, carving out a unique public role. He was the most energetic member of the royal family with, for many decades, the busiest engagements diary.
Even when well advanced in years, he could be seen on walkabouts hoisting small children over security barriers to enable them to present their posies to his wife.
Often he received little public recognition for his endeavours. In part this was due to his uncomfortable relationship with the press, whom he labelled “bloody reptiles” and whose coverage often focused on his gaffes. He once told the former Tory MP and biographer Gyles Brandreth: “I have become a caricature. There we are. I’ve just got to accept it.”
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010