Boris Johnson today led the UK’s political leaders in paying tribute to Prince Philip as the Prime Minister said the nation ‘gives thanks’ for his ‘extraordinary life and work’.
Mr Johnson said ‘our nation’s thoughts must turn today’ to the Queen and her family who have ‘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’.
Downing Street responded to the announcement of the Duke of Edinburgh’s death at the age of 99 by immediately lowering its flags to half-mast.
Sir Keir said the
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: ‘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
Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said the UK had ‘lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip’
The Labour leader said in a statement: ‘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.’
Prince Philip was the longest-serving consort in British history.
The Duke and the Queen were married for more than 70 years and Philip 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.
Buckingham Palace said in a statement: ‘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.’
The death of the duke comes in the midst of the worst public health crisis for generations as the UK and countries around the globe reel from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
It has also taken place in the aftermath of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell Oprah interview which left the monarchy in crisis after Meghan accused an unnamed royal of racism and the institution of failing to help her when she was suicidal.
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.
The duke had looked gaunt as he was driven away from King Edward VII’s Hospital in central London, having been pushed in a wheelchair to the waiting car.
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.
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