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Britain's Prince Philip has died, Buckingham Palace has announced

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File photo dated 18/11/07 of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Broadlands. Photo credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

File photo dated 18/11/07 of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Broadlands. Photo credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

File photo dated 18/11/07 of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Broadlands. Photo credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire

The Duke of Edinburgh has died, Buckingham Palace has announced.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “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.”

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.

The Union Jack flag on Buckingham Palace is flying at half mast following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death this morning.

Increased numbers of police officers are patrolling beside the palace gates where small groups of passers-by have also gathered.

Prince Philip died at Windsor Castle weeks after being discharged from a month-long stay in hospital.

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.

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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Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at their wedding in 1947

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at their wedding in 1947

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh with the Prince of Wales during his investiture at (PA)

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh with the Prince of Wales during his investiture at (PA)

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visit the Guinness Storehouse and watch the pouring of a pint on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visit the Guinness Storehouse and watch the pouring of a pint on May 18, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at their wedding in 1947

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The royal family’s official website switched to a holding page in memory of the duke.

It featured a central image of Philip on a black background, accompanied by the Palace’s statement.

The news of the Prince's death broke as Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald was speaking to journalists outside Leinster House.

Paying tribute, she sent her sympathies to the royal family.

"He lived to a good age but nonetheless I'm sure they'll be very saddened at this passing.

"I'm sure for people for whom the monarchy is a very significant and very emotional part of their identity that they will be in mourning too," she said.

Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster and deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill have issued a joint statement expressing their sympathies following the death of Prince Philip on behalf of the Stormont Executive.

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.

“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.

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Former president Mary McAleese and husband Martin with Queen Elizabeth
and Prince Philip at the Áras in 2011, the first state visit of a British monarch since 1911

Former president Mary McAleese and husband Martin with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at the Áras in 2011, the first state visit of a British monarch since 1911

Former president Mary McAleese and husband Martin with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at the Áras in 2011, the first state visit of a British monarch since 1911

“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 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.

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A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “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.” Photo: Alastair Grant/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “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.” Photo: Alastair Grant/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: “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.” Photo: Alastair Grant/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

“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.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh in Downing Street and 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.”

In his tribute to Philip, the Prime Minister said he had helped inspire millions through the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

And he highlighted the steadfast support the duke, who died aged 99, had offered the Queen during their long marriage.

He said we “give thanks, as a nation and a kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh”.

Mr Johnson said: “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.”

The Prime Minister said Philip was an environmentalist “long before it was fashionable” and “with his Duke of Edinburgh Awards scheme he shaped and inspired the lives of countless young people”.

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File photo dated 04/07/14 of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the formal naming ceremony for HMS Queen Elizabeth in Rosyth Dockyard, Fife. The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving consort in British history. Philip overtook the record of 57 years and 70 days set by Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, on April 18 2009. Issue date: Friday April 4, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Philip. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

File photo dated 04/07/14 of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the formal naming ceremony for HMS Queen Elizabeth in Rosyth Dockyard, Fife. The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving consort in British history. Philip overtook the record of 57 years and 70 days set by Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, on April 18 2009. Issue date: Friday April 4, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Philip. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

File photo dated 04/07/14 of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the formal naming ceremony for HMS Queen Elizabeth in Rosyth Dockyard, Fife. The Duke of Edinburgh was the longest-serving consort in British history. Philip overtook the record of 57 years and 70 days set by Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, on April 18 2009. Issue date: Friday April 4, 2021. PA Photo. See PA story ROYAL Philip. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

But above all he will be remembered for his “steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen”.

“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 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.

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FILE PHOTO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip wait to greet guests prior to a state banquet at Bellevue presidential palace in Berlin, Germany June 24, 2015.    REUTERS/Wolfgang Kumm/Pool/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip wait to greet guests prior to a state banquet at Bellevue presidential palace in Berlin, Germany June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Wolfgang Kumm/Pool/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip wait to greet guests prior to a state banquet at Bellevue presidential palace in Berlin, Germany June 24, 2015. REUTERS/Wolfgang Kumm/Pool/File Photo

“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.”

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said in a statement: “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.

“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.”


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