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The Duke of Edinburgh, holding Prince Charles, with Princess Anne in the arms of Princess Elizabeth, in the grounds of Clarence House, 1951

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The Duke of Edinburgh, the longest-serving consort to a Monarch in UK history, has died at the age of 99. Announced at midday on Friday 9 April by Buckingham Palace, the heartfelt tributes from Royal Families, heads of state and Prime Ministers across the world are already flooding in.

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Appearing outside Highgrove, his Gloucestershire residence, on Saturday 10 April, Prince Charles publicly commented on his father’s passing. He said that the Duke of Edinburgh 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’, stressing that the Royal Family miss him ‘enormously’. He added that they are ‘deeply touched’ by those sharing in ‘our loss and our sorrow’.

Speaking movingly of his ‘dear Papa’, Charles described him as 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’. He said that the family are ‘deeply grateful’ for the response, noting: ‘it will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time’.

The Queen and Prince Philip with Boris Johnson


Following the sad news on Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the nation in paying his respects to Prince Philip speaking outside Downing Street. ‘We mourn today with Her Majesty the Queen, we offer our condolences to her and all her family and we give thanks as a nation and a kingdom for the extraordinary work of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh,’ he said.

‘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. It is with Her Majesty and her family that our nation’s thoughts must turn today.’

Queen Letizia of Spain and Prince Philip

Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The BBC reports that Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia telegrammed ‘Dear Aunt Lilibet’ to mourn the passing of ‘Dear Uncle Philip’. The message said: ‘We shall never forget the moments that we shared with him and the legacy of service and dedication to the Crown and the United Kingdom by your side,’ they told the Queen.’

Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf also paid his respects, saying the Duke had been ‘a great friend of our family for many years, a relation we have deeply valued.’ The Dutch Royal Family said they remembered Prince Philip with great respect, adding: ‘He dedicated his long life to the service of the British people and to his many duties and responsibilities. His lively personality made an indelible impression.’

Across the pond, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have paid tribute to Prince Philip, Prince Harry’s grandfather, through their Archewell website. A holding page reads: ‘In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 1921-2021. Thank you for your service… you will be greatly missed.’

Kensington Palace, the household of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Clarence House, the household of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, retweeted the news shared by the official Royal Family account. The Tweet was a part of the official Buckingham Palace statement, it read: ‘It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced 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.’

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer echoed Mr Johnson’s remarks, saying: ‘The United Kingdom has lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip. Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country.’

Prince Philip with the Queen and the other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Ben A. Pruchnie / Getty Images

Nicholas Soames, a former Conservative MP and the grandson of Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, said: ‘The death of Prince Philip marks the passing of a truly remarkable man who lived a life of impeccable and dedicated service to his Queen and Country.’

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: ‘He [Prince Philip] consistently put the interests of others ahead of his own and, in so doing, provided an outstanding example of Christian service. 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.’

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has offered her ‘deepest personal condolences’ to Her Majesty the Queen and Wales’ and Wales’ First Minister 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.’

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Around the world, tributes are being paid to the Duke of Edinburgh. In Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: ‘For nearly 80 years, Prince Philip served his Crown, his country and the Commonwealth. His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was, in the words of Her Majesty, her “strength and stay”. He embodied a generation that we will never see again.

‘Prince Philip was no stranger to Australia, having visited our country on more than 20 occasions. Through his service to the Commonwealth he presided as patron or president of nearly 50 organisations in Australia.’

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In the United States, former US President George W. Bush said: ‘Laura [his wife] and I are fortunate to have enjoyed the charm and wit of his company, and we know how much he will be missed. We join those around the world offering heartfelt condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the entire Royal Family.’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: ‘Prince Philip was a man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others.’ Flags will be flown at half staff in Canada until the Duke’s funeral.

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More tributes have come in from Pakistan, Tanzania, Oman and the EU to name but a few, in a clear signal of the respect that was felt for the Queen’s late husband worldwide. Tributes have been made at historic institutions, from the National Portrait Gallery to the National Gallery and via artists and writers. One especially poignant tribute has been posted to the Instagram account of illustrator Charlie Mackesy, the author of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, who has drawn the late Prince (above).

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