Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson leads political tributes to ‘devoted husband’ and ‘steadfast’ public servant, the Queen Elizabeth II husband, Prince Phillip who passed on Friday morning.
Tributes from across the British political establishment flooded in following news of the death of Prince Philip, with leaders and MP’s paying tribute to the Duke’s support and commitment to his wife, the Queen.
Making a statement on the steps of Downing Street, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country mourned alongside the Queen and the royal family and thanked the Duke’s “steadfast” commitment to the country.
He said the Duke had “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.”
And Mr Johnson quoted the Queen’s own comments at her golden wedding anniversary when she said the country “owed her husband a greater debt than he would ever claim, or we would ever know”.
On the death of HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.pic.twitter.com/rZlbY1matF— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson)April 9, 2021
“He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable,” Mr Johnson said. “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.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK had “lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip”, praising his dedication to the country and “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,” Sir Keir said.
“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.”
The flag above Number 10 Downing Street was lowered in a mark of respect for the late Duke if Edinburgh, who passed away on Friday morning.
Labour and the Liberal Democrats have confirmed they would be suspending all election campaigning.
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. — Keir Starmer (@Keir_Starmer)April 9, 2021
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of House of Commons, said the Duke’s life “was a long life that saw so much dedication to duty”. “Today we must pause to honour him and to offer our sincerest thanks for the Prince’s devout faithfulness to our country – and all the nations shall miss him greatly,” he said.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that she was sending “my personal and deepest condolences – and those of the Scottish Government – to Her Majesty The Queen and her family”.
Ms Sturgeon has sent a message of condolence to the Queen following the announcement and flags are flying at half-mast on Scottish Government buildings.
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The Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford paid tribute to the “long and distinguished life” of the Duke during which “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”.
Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill issued a joint statement expressing their sympathies to the Queen.
Mrs 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 shared by countless others in Northern Ireland and right across the world.”
Ms O’Neill said: “I wish to extend my sincere condolences to Queen Elizabeth and her family on the death of her husband Prince Phillip.
“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.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, said the Duke had “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,” he said.
“His quiet and steadfast counsel and support of The Queen, is perhaps his greatest if unquantifiable contribution to our nation’s history.”
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