Following the announcement that Prince Philip ‘peacefully’ passed away at Windsor Castle this morning, tributes have been made by key figures across the UK in memory of The Duke of Edinburgh.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the tributes in a press conference outside 10 Downing Street:
‘It was with great sadness that a short time ago I received word from Buckingham Palace that His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh has passed away at the age of 99. Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world.’
“He was the longest serving consort in history, one of the last surviving people in this country to have served in the Second World War at Cape Matapan, where he was mentioned in despatches for bravery and in the invasion of Sicily, where he saved his ship by his quick thinking and from that conflict, he took an ethic of service that he applied throughout the unprecedented changes of the post-war era.”
The Prime Minister continued: “Like the expert carriage driver that he was, 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. 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.
“Speaking on their golden wedding anniversary, Her Majesty said that our country owed her husband “a greater debt than he would ever claim or we shall ever know” and I am sure that estimate is correct.
“So we mourn today with Her Majesty The Queen, we offer our condolences to her and to all her family and we give thanks, as a nation and a Kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.’ Boris Johnson concluded.
On the death of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. pic.twitter.com/rZlbY1matF
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 9, 2021
Leader of the Labour Party, Sir Keir Starmer, shortly followed Boris Johnson in issuing his own personal tribute to the ‘extraordinary’ Prince Philip.
“The United Kingdom has lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip. 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 a 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.
— Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer) April 9, 2021
Outside of England, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon led the Scottish tributes to Prince Philip after the news of his passing.
“On behalf of the people of Scotland, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time and their grief is shared by people across the country.
“The Duke of Edinburgh had deep and longstanding ties to Scotland, attending school here at Gordonstoun and regularly holidaying at Balmoral Castle.
“From his patronage of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, to his close association with the University of Edinburgh as Chancellor for over 50 years, and his commitments to countless charities and organisations, Prince Philip’s long contribution to public life in Scotland will leave a profound mark on its people. Online Books of Condolence will open in the coming days to allow people to pay their respects.
She concluded by saying: “In line with current restrictions, the Royal Household has requested that members of the public do not leave floral tributes or gather at the Palace of Holyroodhouse or Balmoral Castle at this time.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has shared her condolences with Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family, following the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
— Scottish Government (@scotgov) April 9, 2021
The First Minister of Northern Ireland and Democratic Unionist Party Leader, Arlene Foster, also paid her respects to the 99-year old Duke.
“It is with deep sadness that I have learned 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 throughout her reign.
“He had a strong interest in Northern Ireland and I had the privilege of meeting him here on a number of his many visits. 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 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 all the members of the Royal Family at this sad time.”
The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh would use Hillsborough Castle as their base whilst in Northern Ireland.
As First Minister of Northern Ireland and Democratic Unionist Party Leader, I offer my deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and to all members of the Royal Family at this sad time. pic.twitter.com/5k5bqRtPzq
— Arlene Foster #WeWillMeetAgain (@DUPleader) April 9, 2021
The Crown Chronicles will continue to report on the passing of The Duke of Edinburgh as more details become available.