‘What a life!’ Britain pays tribute to Prince Philip
April 10 2021 11:15 AM
People gather outside Buckingham Palace after Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, d
People gather outside Buckingham Palace after Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, died at the age of 99, in London

WINDSOR, England

Gun salutes will be fired across Britain on Saturday to mark the passing of Prince Philip as tributes flooded in for a man who was a pillar of strength for Queen Elizabeth during her 69-year reign.

Flowers were piled high outside royal residences as sombre mourners paid their respects to the 99-year-old prince who had spent more than seven decades at the heart of the British monarchy.

‘We're all weeping with you, Ma'am,’ read the front page of the Sun tabloid, while its rival the Daily Mail ran a 144-page tribute to Philip, who died on Friday at Windsor Castle.

Buckingham Palace is expected to announce details of Philip's funeral later on Saturday, although it is likely to be a small, private affair, stripped of the grandeur of traditional royal occasions by Covid-19 restrictions and the prince's own dislike of people making a fuss.

Despite a request from the royal family for the public to obey pandemic social distancing rules and avoid visits to its residences, people laid cards and bouquets outside Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace through the night.

‘What a life! Thank you for serving our country,’ read one tribute outside Buckingham Palace.

The queen had announced the death of ‘her beloved husband’ with deep sorrow.

Messages of condolence have poured in from world leaders to the Duke of Edinburgh, as Philip was officially known, who was credited with helping to modernise the ancient institution and help his wife deal with repeated crises during their 73-year marriage.

Flags at Buckingham Palace and at government buildings across Britain were lowered to half-mast.

The BBC cancelled programming across all of its television and radio channels through Friday and aired a special tribute comprising interviews with the queen and Philip's children, including heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles.

Philip ‘probably wanted to be remembered as an individual in his own right’, said Charles, who went to see the queen on Friday afternoon, hours after his father's death.

‘He didn't suffer fools gladly, so if you said anything that was in any way ambiguous, he would say: 'Make up your mind!' Perhaps it made one choose one's words carefully,’ Charles said.

Britain's armed forces will mark Philip's death at noon (1100 GMT) with a Death Gun Salute. Artillery units in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast and Gibraltar, and some navy warships, will fire their guns.


World leaders pay tribute to Prince Philip

Current and former world leaders joined a chorus of condolences from around the world following the death of Prince Philip on Friday at the age of 99.

Here are some reactions:

- Britain –

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed Philip's ‘extraordinary life’, sending his condolences to Queen Elizabeth after her husband's death was announced.

Johnson said the Duke of Edinburgh ‘earned the affection of generations’ at home, in the Commonwealth and across the world.

‘We give thanks, as a nation and a kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,’ he added.

Former prime minister Tony Blair hailed Philip's public service, calling him ‘a man of foresight, determination and courage’.

- US –

US President Joe Biden paid tribute to Philip as a selfless servant of Britain and its people.

‘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,’ Biden said in a statement.

Former president Donald Trump said his death was an ‘irreplaceable’ loss and expressed his and wife Melania's ‘heartfelt sympathies’ to the queen and her family.

On Facebook former president Barack Obama praised Philip as someone who took his job as husband to the queen with selflessness.

‘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.’

- Ireland –

Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin said he was ‘saddened’ by Philip's death, adding: ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom.’

- Australia –

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison ordered flags to be flown at half-mast.

‘There are many towering figures that the world has lost and known, but few have been before us in our lifetimes, for such a long time,’ Morrison said Saturday.

‘Above all, he was a man who was steadfast, who could be relied upon, always standing by his Queen,’ said the leader of the Commonwealth nation.

- France –

French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to Philip and sent his condolences to the queen.

Philip ‘lived an exemplary life defined by bravery, a sense of duty and commitment to youth and the environment’, he said on Twitter.

- Germany –

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said his death filled her with ‘great sadness’.

‘His friendship with Germany, his straightforward nature and his sense of duty will remain unforgotten,’ Merkel said.

- Canada –

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called Philip a ‘man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others’, in a tribute on behalf of his Commonwealth nation.

He will be ‘fondly remembered as a constant in the life of our Queen’, he said.

- European Union –

EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter she was ‘saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip’.

‘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.’

- India –

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Philip's long career, saying his ‘thoughts are with the British people and the Royal family’.

‘He had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace,’ he tweeted.

- Israel –

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his ‘deepest condolences’.

‘Prince Philip was the consummate public servant and will be much missed in Israel and across the world,’ he wrote.

Philip was the first British royal to visit Israel in 1994. His mother Princess Alice is buried in a church on the Mount of Olives.

- Kenya –

President Uhuru Kenyatta said he had been a unifying figure.

‘His Royal Highness Prince Philip has been a towering symbol of family values and the unity of the British people as well as the entire global community.’

Philip's wife Elizabeth became queen in 1952 while on a trip to Kenya when her father George VI died.

- Pakistan –

Prime Minister Imran Khan praised the duke for his support for Pakistan, which he last visited with the queen in 1997.

‘Britain has lost a wise elder who was imbued with a unique spirit of public service,’ he tweeted.

- Italy –

Italian President Sergio Mattarella praised Philip's ‘exemplary dedication, accompanying the evolution of his country with an open and innovative spirit’.

Italians would ‘cherish a grateful memory of his deep admiration for Italy's artistic and cultural heritage’, he said.

- Russia –

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Philip and wished Elizabeth ‘courage and mental fortitude in the face of a grievous and irreparable loss’.

‘He rightfully enjoyed respect among the British and internationally,’ a statement from the Kremlin cited Putin as saying.

- Spain –

Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia hailed Prince Philip's ‘sense of service and dedication to the crown and the United Kingdom,’ in a letter to the queen.

- Japan –

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Japan felt ‘deep sadness’ at the news.

‘I pay profound respect for his great contribution to further strengthening historical relations between our country's imperial family and the British Royal family as well as promoting mutual understanding between Japanese and British people,’ he added.

- Malaysia –

The Malaysian prime minister said Prince Philip would be ‘sadly missed’ after ‘a life spent in selfless service to the greater good.’

Malaysia's king and queen said he would be remembered for his ‘steadfast support’ of the queen, as well as ‘his unwavering commitment to the Commonwealth of which Malaysia is a proud member and his efforts to promote stronger ties between the United Kingdom and Malaysia.’

- China –

President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan sent a message to Queen Elizabeth II expressing ‘their deep condolences on Prince Philip's passing, and sincere sympathies to the Queen and her family’.

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