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HRH Duke of Edinburgh 1921 - 2021

Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II's husband, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace has announced.

He was the longest-serving consort in British history and dedicated decades of his life to royal duty, serving the nation at the monarch’s side.

He officially retired from public engagements in the summer of 2017.

A full statement from the palace said: "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 made in due course.

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss."

Philip had returned to Windsor Castle on March 16 to be reunited with the Queen after spending a month in hospital – his longest ever stay.

“He initially received care for an infection but then underwent heart surgery for a pre-existing condition.

Philip – father to the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex – was just two months away from his 100th birthday in June.

“He spent much of the Covid-19 crisis staying with the Queen at Windsor in HMS Bubble – the nickname given to the couple’s reduced household of devoted staff during lockdown.

Cited By: ITV News 
Image(s): BBC News 
Date: 9th April 2021
Published:(W) 12.18 BST

Prime Minister pays tribute to Prince Philip 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is “with great sadness” that he received news of Prince Philip’s death from Buckingham Palace.

Paying tribute, he said the Duke of Edinburgh earned the affection of generations in the UK, 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 where he was mentioned in dispatches for bravery.”

Heads of state in Europe mourn Prince Philip

A number of European heads of state have expressed their sympathies on the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.

King Philippe of Belgium has conveyed the condolences of the Belgian Royal Family to the Queen in a private message. A public message will be released soon, but the King hoped to speak to the Queen in person when it was possible.

King Carl Gustaf of Sweden has said he and Queen Silvia are "deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh". "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".

Taoiseach of Ireland Micheál Martin said he was "saddened to hear of the death of HRH, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time”.

Malta's prime minister, Robert Abela, said he was "truly saddened by the loss of Prince Philip, who made Malta his home and returned here so often. Our people will always treasure his memory".

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said: "It is with great sadness that I learned about the passing of Prince Philip. May his soul rest in peace. I extend my deepest condolences to Queen Elizabeth II. In this hour of immense loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you & the people of the UK”.

Latvian President Egils Levits said: “My deepest condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family on the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”

Cited By: BBC News 
Image(s): Getty 
Date: 9th April 2021
Published:(W) 13.20 BST

The Duke Of Edinburghs Life - His Legacy...

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is likely to be judged his 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.

Philip founded the Duke of Edinburgh's Award for youth achievement in 1956.

"It's what I like to describe as a 'do-it-yourself' growing up kit", he once said.

The scheme is designed to encourage personal discovery, self-reliance, commitment, responsibility and service to the community. There are three separate attainment levels: bronze, silver and gold, each with an increasing degree of commitment.

Currently there are more than 140 countries running the scheme, with more than eight million participants since its inception.

In the UK alone, more than two million of the awards have been achieved by young people since 1956, and nearly 420,000 young people take part in the programme at any one time.

Prince Edward, an Award Trustee who took over the award ceremonies from his father, said Philip "was very much the architect of not just the spread of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award in the UK, but also how it then spread to over 126 countries around the world."

But the duke was not always keen on the adulation the award brought him.

"Her Majesty was standing there and praising the Duke of Edinburgh for the things the award had done," explained friend and explorer David Hempleman-Adams.

"And you could tell he was sitting there squirming, wondering when is this going to finish, because he simply didn't like being told what a great thing he'd given our society."

The Prince was patron of 780 organisations that support a variety of causes, including sports.

Cited By: Sky News 
Image(s): BBC 
Date: 9th April 2021
Published:(W) 14.25 BST

Forth Bridge

As the nation digests news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, behind the scenes the detailed plans for his funeral will soon be put into action.

The arrangements are codenamed Forth Bridge, after the Scottish landmark and Unesco World Heritage Site.

Complicated by the coronavirus pandemic, Forth Bridge has been adjusted to take account of the crisis.

It was once said that Philip, who was known for his acerbic wit, was amused by the fact that many of those involved in the planning of his funeral had themselves died before him.

Operation Forth Bridge, which will be in keeping with Philip's wishes, must be set in motion once it has been approved by the Queen.

In charge is the Lord Chamberlain Baron Parker of Minsmere, who oversees arrangements following a royal death and ensures everything is kept to a strict timetable and all goes to plan.

Although there is a job to be done, those in the palace will have to ensure they are sensitive to the royal family's grief.

The Queen and her children and grandchildren will enter a period of mourning for their patriarch, which could last several weeks.

The UK may also have a period of National Mourning for the general public, which is usually shorter.

Following a royal death and during other periods of national mourning, Union flags are now flown at half-mast on royal buildings where the monarch is not in residence.

The Union flag is flying half mast at Buckingham Palace in honour of Philip.

Cited By: Sky News
Image(s): PA Media 
Date: 9th April 2021
Published:(W) 15.00 BST

Philip forgoes state funeral 

People have been gathering outside Buckingham Palace following the death of Prince Philip.

The palace and the government have urged people not to gather or lay flowers outside the royal residences and stick to the COVID measures.

Instead, the palace has invited well-wishers to sign a book of condolences — but only online, to avoid crowds and queues.

It comes as it has been announced that the The Duke of Edinburgh will not have a state funeral and there will be no lying-in-state, in line with his wishes, the College of Arms has said.

The college said Prince Philip will lie at rest in Windsor Castle before a royal ceremonial funeral at St George's Chapel.

The public are "regretfully" requested not to attend due to the pandemic.

It is understood the Queen is considering modified funeral and ceremonial arrangements.

Flags will fly at half-mast on government buildings from now until 08:00 BST on the day after the funeral. 

Details of the funeral are expected to be announced by Buckingham Palace.

The honour of a lying-in-state was bestowed upon the last three sovereign's consorts, including the Queen Mother in 2002, when an estimated 200,000 people queued to pay their respects over more than three days at Westminster Hall in central London
But the College of Arms, which helps to organise state occasions, said the plans for the duke's funeral were "in line with custom and with His Royal Highness's wishes".

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have posted a message on Archewell website

Harry and Meghan, who are living in the US, have paid tribute to Prince Philip with an online statement on their website Archewell.

"Thank you for your service... you will be greatly missed," it reads.

Cited By: BBC News/Sky News 
Image(s): PA Media/BBC/PA/Via Sky News
Date: 9th April 2021
Published:(W) 19.25 BST

A summary of today’s news:

The Duke of Edinburgh has died aged 99 at Windsor Castle

The Queen announced the death of her "beloved" husband with "deep sorrow", Buckingham Palace said

The tenor bell at Westminster Abbey tolled 99 times to mark each year of his life

People have been asked not to gather or leave flowers outside Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace because of the pandemic

Royal Family has opened a book of condolence online

Prince Charles has travelled from his home at Highgrove, Gloucestershire to Windsor Castle

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's website has paid tribute to the duke's "service"

US President Joe Biden calls him "a heck of a guy" as world and Commonwealth figures pay tribute

Prince Philip had recently spent a month in hospital with an infection and was treated for a heart condition.

Cited By: BBC News 
Date: 9th April 2021
Published:(W) 21.30 BST

Gun salutes at midday

Gun salutes marking the death of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, will take place in London, Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh as well as aboard some Royal Navy ships and in Gibraltar today.

Some 41 rounds will be fired at the locations around the UK at a rate of one shot per minute from midday.

Meanwhile, flags will fly at half-mast around the country.

The Duke had strong military links, including serving with the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

In a statement on the royal website, it was said: "The tradition of Gun Salutes being fired throughout the country to mark significant national events dates back to at least the eighteenth century, and there are historical records of salutes taking place as early as the 14th century when guns and ammunition began to be adopted more widely.

"Similar gun salutes were fired to mark the death of Queen Victoria in 1901."

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."

People are being encouraged to watch the salutes, which will be broadcast both online and on TV.

In London, the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will fire at Napier Lines, Woolwich Barracks, in the southeast of the capital.

Six 13-pounder First World War field guns will be used - these same guns were also fired for the Duke's wedding to the Queen and at her coronation in 1953.

A salute at the Tower of London will be carried out by the Honourable Artillery Company.

Cardiff Castle, Hillsborough Castle, Belfast, and Edinburgh Castle are some of the other locations where guns will be fired.

The HMS Diamond, HMS Montrose and HMNB Portsmouth will also salute, while the Royal Gibraltar Regiment will fire from the British overseas territory.

Cited By: Sky News 
Image(s): Getty 
Date: 10th April 2021
Published:(W) 07.00 BST 

“The Queen has been amazing” - Countess of Wessex

Prince Edward's wife Sophie had tears in her eyes as she told Sky News "the Queen has been amazing" as she left Windsor Castle this afternoon.

The Countess of Wessex made the remarks to Sky's royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills shortly after midday. Prince Edward and his wife had arrived at Windsor Castle around an hour earlier following the death of Prince Philip yesterday.

Around half an hour later Prince Andrew was seen leaving Windsor Castle after visiting the Queen.

The Duke of York waved to the public as he drove his green Range Rover down a street packed with crowds.

The government has warned people to continue following coronavirus rules in the wake of the royal death, and to not gather at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle.

However, hundreds of people have already travelled to the royal residences.

Edward and Andrew were seen leaving Windsor Castle after gun salutes marking Philip's death began in London, Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh at midday.

Gun salutes are also taking place aboard some Royal Navy ships and in Gibraltar.

The duke had strong military links, including serving with the Royal Navy during the Second World War.

The Royal Family had earlier shared the Queen's moving golden wedding anniversary tribute to Prince Philip.

In a tweet, the Royal Family posted a picture of the couple and the quote from 1997, saying: "He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know."

Cited By: Sky News 
Image(s): Sky News 
Date: 10th April 2021
Published:(W) 13.30 BST 

Duke of Edinburgh's funeral to take place on Saturday 17 April

Prince Philip's funeral will take place next Saturday and will be televised to mark the duke's "vast contribution and lasting legacy".

Members of the public will not be allowed to attend as the proceedings have been scaled down due to the pandemic, but a national minute's silence will be held at 15.00 before the funeral begins at St George's Chapel.

The proceedings will be kept within the confines of Windsor Castle and the Duke of Edinburgh's body will be carried to the West Steps in a Land Rover, which was specially designed by Philip himself.

Prince Harry will be travelling from his home in the United States to attend, although his pregnant wife Meghan has been advised not to travel. It is understood she made every effort to join her husband but was not given clearance to travel by her doctor.

Only the Royal Family and the duke’s private secretary will attend the ceremony inside the chapel, leaving others within the grounds to disperse in silence. It is anticipated that Prince Harry, but not wife Meghan, will be in attendance. 

Currently, Covid rules in England restricts funerals to 30 guests, which will be adhered to by the Royal Family, although military personnel will be excluded from this figure as they will be deemed to be on duty. 

The coffin will be draped with the Duke of Edinburgh’s insignia personal standard, in addition to his naval cap, sword and a wreath of fresh flowers.

Although the event will be a mournful once, the service will celebrate the duke's life and achievements in his 99 years, the Palace says.

At the conclusion of the service, the coffin will be entered into the Royal Vault, where it will remain until the death of the Queen, whereupon they will be buried together.

Cited By: ITV News/Sky News 
Image(s): PA 
Date: 10th April 2021
Published:(W) 19.00 BST

Charles says dear papa was very special

Boris Johnson will not go to Prince Philip's funeral, and will instead give up his seat to allow another family member to attend.

It comes after Buckingham Palace revealed that only 30 people would be attending the duke's funeral, in an effort to follow COVID-compliant protocols.

A statement from a Downing Street spokesman said: "As a result of the coronavirus regulations, only 30 people can attend the funeral of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

"The prime minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday."

The Conservative Party has also announced that it will suspend national campaigning ahead of next month's local elections until Tuesday, and again on Saturday.

The news came as The Prince of Wales paid tribute to his "dear papa", the Duke of Edinburgh, saying that he and the Royal Family miss him "enormously".

He said the duke, who died at Windsor Castle on Friday, aged 99, had given the "most remarkable, devoted service" to the Queen, the Royal Family, the country, and the Commonwealth.

Prince Charles said his father was a "much loved and appreciated figure".

Speaking from his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire, Prince Charles said over the last 70 years his father had "given the most remarkable, devoted service to the Queen, to my family and to the country, but also to the whole of the Commonwealth".

The prince said the Royal Family were "deeply touched" by the number of people in the UK, around the world and the Commonwealth, who he said shared "our loss and our sorrow".

He added his "dear papa" was a "very special person who... above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him".

The prince said he and his family were "deeply grateful" for this, adding: "It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time."

Cited By: Sky News/BBC News
Image(s): BBC/Central Press/Getty
Date: 10th April 2021
Published:(W) 21.30 BST

Princess Anne pays tribute to her father Prince Philip saying 'he was my teacher, my supporter and my critic'

The Princess Royal has paid tribute to her father, the Duke of Edinburgh, saying he was "my teacher, my supporter and my critic" in a message following his death at the age of 99.

Princess Anne said: "You know it’s going to happen but you are never really ready.

"My father has been my teacher, my supporter and my critic, but mostly it is his example of a life well-lived and service freely given that I most wanted to emulate.

"His ability to treat every person as an individual in their own right with their own skills comes through all the organisations with which he was involved.

The Princess Royal continued: "I regard it as an honour and a privilege to have been asked to follow in his footsteps and it has been a pleasure to have kept him in touch with their activities.

"I know how much he meant to them, in the UK, across the Commonwealth and in the wider world.

"I would like to emphasise how much the family appreciate the messages and memories of so many people whose lives he also touched.

"We will miss him but he leaves a legacy which can inspire us all.”

Anne's tribute comes as her brother Prince Andrew said The Queen has described her husband's death as "having left huge void".

The Duke of York also said "we've lost the grandfather of our nation" as his father Prince Philip is being remembered in prayers across the nation.

He was accompanied by the Earl and Countess of Wessex, with their daughter Lady Louise Windsor, when they attended the Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor.

The Queen is understood to have attended a mass privately in Windsor Castle on Sunday.

The Duke of York said: "[The Queen] described it as having left a huge void in her life but we, the family, the ones that are close, are rallying round to make sure that we’re there to support her."

Cited By: ITV News 
Image(s): PA Media 
Date: 11th April 2021
Published:(W) 18.20 BST
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