Political leaders and public figures pay tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh, who died at home at Windsor Castle earlier today at the age of 99.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement outside No.10:
‘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.
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.’
The Leader of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition, Keir Starmer, said:
‘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 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.’
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
‘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 fifty 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.’
First Minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster said:
‘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.’
Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill said:
‘I wish to extend my sincere condolences to Queen Elizabeth and her family on the death of her husband Prince Philip.
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.’
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said:
‘It is with sadness that we mourn the death of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit.
We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his children and their families on this sad occasion.
He will be missed by the many organisations that he supported as Patron or President over many decades of service.’
Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martín said:
‘My thoughts and prayers are with HRH Queen Elizabeth and her family today, on the occasion of the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Ireland remembers the great success of the State Visit to Ireland in 2011 by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, a historic and important occasion which was a key moment in our bilateral relations. This was followed in 2014 by the State Visit to the United Kingdom by the President and Mrs Higgins, when they were hosted so generously in Windsor Castle and across Britain.
The commitment of the Royal Family to Irish-British relations is an important part of the work we do together – and today we pay tribute to Prince Philip’s own important contribution.’
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said:
‘I extend my deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and the entire Royal Family at this sad time.
Today, we mourn the loss of an extraordinary man, who devoted his life to public service and helping others. Not only did His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh devote 70 years to undertaking royal duties, but he also fought for Britain – and for the freedoms we hold dear today – during the Second World War.
As Mayor, I know I can say on behalf of all Londoners that we will forever be grateful for the contribution His Royal Highness made to our city and our country. This includes his charitable work and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which has helped so many young people reach their potential.
There’s no doubt that the legacy of The Duke of Edinburgh’s positive impact on London, Britain and the lives of so many will live on for many years to come.’
Liberal Democrat leader 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.’
Plaid Cyrmu leader Adam Price said:
‘On behalf of Plaid Cymru I send my sincerest condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and her family on the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh.
For over six decades many young people in Wales will have experienced and benefited from the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, a reflection of the Duke’s many decades of public service.
My thoughts are with the Royal Family at this sad time.’
Councillor James Jamieson, the chair of the Local Government Association, said:
‘On behalf of all councils across England and Wales, I’d like to express our sincere condolences to the whole Royal Family.
Councils will be putting into place local arrangements to support the public in expressing their own sympathies, such as opening books of condolence, flags being flown at half-mast and the laying of flowers in public areas.’
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick 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.
Prince Philip undertook his unique role as Consort to The Queen with a constant strength and loyalty, and a dedication to duty that is an inspiration to us all.
Among his many contributions to British society was the founding of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which has helped millions of young people achieve their potential, including many of our cadets.
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.’
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said:
‘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.
In his powerful advocacy for conservation his was a prophetic voice for over half a century, as he brought people from around the world to a new concern and commitment to action for the future of our planet.
As we recover and rebuild after the terrible trial of the coronavirus pandemic, we will need fortitude and a deep sense of commitment to serving others. Throughout his life Prince Philip displayed those qualities in abundance, and I pray that we can take inspiration from his example.
I also join many people in giving thanks for the marriage of Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip, and for their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Theirs was a marriage grounded in friendship and mutual respect and sustained by shared faith in Christ.
I pray that God will comfort Her Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family at this time. May His Royal Highness rest in peace and rise in glory.’
Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell said:
‘I join with many of you across the country as we mourn the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip was a remarkable man who lived a life of service dedicated to his country, to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II and his family.
At 18, Prince Philip joined the Royal Navy and served with distinction throughout the Second World War. At the same time, the beginnings of a cherished friendship with Princess Elizabeth began to blossom.
That friendship resulted in a marriage which lasted for over 70 years and has been a source of mutual joy, support and comfort in private moments but equally as they have both navigated a very public life together.
Having become the longest serving British consort, Prince Philip has been unstinting in his support, leading Her Majesty to famously comment. ‘he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years.’
His faith in Jesus Christ was an important part of his life and one which shaped who he was.
For so many in this country and around the world, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an enormous part of Prince Philip’s legacy. The award has allowed countless young people to develop and discover skills, which have instilled confidence in them and given them an encounter of working together for the common good.
Prince Philip was patron to hundreds of charitable organisations, covering a wide range of disciplines all of which benefited from his wit and wisdom and his inquisitive mind.
Do join me in praying for members of the Royal Family as they mourn and may God bring them comfort. As we give thanks to God for a life lived to the full, may Prince Philip rest in peace and rise in glory.’