Prince Philip dies: Online book of condolence is set up for public

Online book of condolence is set up in memory of Duke of Edinburgh for public to leave personal messages that will be passed on to royal family

  • Online book of condolence in memory of Prince Philip has been set up for public to leave personal messages
  • Messages will be passed onto members of the royal family and may be kept in Royal Archives for posterity
  • Royal family Twitter account said books of condolence will not be available to sign due to Covid-19 laws
  • Nation is in mourning with a huge outpouring of grief for the duke, who passed away this morning aged 99 

An online book of condolence in memory of Prince Philip has been set up for those who wish to send personal messages that will be passed on to the royal family following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death today aged 99.

The royal family’s Twitter account said that the book of condolence is available on the royal website and that a selection of messages will be passed onto individual royals and may be held in the Royal Archives for posterity.

But the account also said that physical books will not be available for the public to sign due to Covid-19 restrictions, and instead urged people to donate to charity instead of leaving floral tributes.  

It added: ‘An Online Book of Condolence is now available on the Royal website for those who wish to send a personal message of condolence. During the current public health situation, Books of Condolence will not be available for the public to sign. The Royal Family ask that members of the public consider making a donation to a charity instead of leaving floral tributes in memory of The Duke.’

Buckingham Palace also announced that ‘modified Funeral and ceremonial arrangements’ for the duke are being ‘considered by Her Majesty The Queen’ due to the pandemic. ‘Details will be confirmed in due course’, it added. 

The online book of condolence is available at https://www.royal.uk/condolence.

Online books of condolence were opened following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, as well as the deaths of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret in 2002.  

The nation is in mourning today with a huge outpouring of grief for the duke, with thousands of tributes posted online after Buckingham Palace announced his passing at midday. 

Flags were flown at half-mast across the country while thousands flocked to Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle to leave flowers and mourn as well-wishers mourned ‘the brightest jewel’.

But Palace officials and Downing Street encouraged the public not to congregate in large groups amid coronavirus restrictions, as mounted police asked people to obey socially distancing measures.

An online book of condolence in memory of Prince Philip has been set up for those who wish to send personal messages that will be passed on to the royal family following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death today aged 99

The nation is in mourning today with a huge outpouring of grief for the duke, who passed away today aged 99

Two women hug outside Buckingham Palace on Friday afternoon after the passing of Britain’s longest serving consort Prince Philip

Mourners stand outside Buckingham Palace in central London today following the death of the Duke on Friday morning

A boy leaves flowers next to a Union flag in front of the gate at Buckingham Palace in London, after the announcement of the death of Prince Philip

A mourner cries outside Buckingham Palace after the heartbreaking announced on Friday afternoon

A lifelong supporter of the Royal Family comes to lay some flowers in memory of Prince Philip as members of the press stand around him

Windsor Castle saw children praying for the late Duke of Edinburgh today as crowds started to gather outside

People gather outside Buckingham Palace, London, following the announcement of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99

People gather outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire after the announcement regarding the death of Prince Philip on Friday

Windsor Castle is pictured as crowds start to gather outside following the announcement that HRH Prince Philip has died today

A Union Flag lies next to flowers outside Buckingham Palace in central London today as crowds gather to pay tribute to the late Prince

Flags were lowered across the country today as a sign of respect to the Duke, with Buckingham Palace (pictured) and Downing Street leading the way

Union Flags fly at half-mast on top of Downing Street after it was announced Prince Philip died on Friday morning aged 99

The royal website’s usual functions have become temporarily unavailable following the announcement of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

The web page, www.royal.uk, instead has become a memorial page with a black background and smiling image of Philip.

It features the short announcement from Buckingham Palace announcing the death of the 99-year old.

The page displays the duke’s year of birth and year of death – 1921 to 2021.

A message at the bottom of the page reads: ‘The official website of the Royal Family is temporarily unavailable while appropriate changes are made.’

The statement reads: ‘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 be made in due course.

‘The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.’

The duke, who died this morning aged 99, spent his final days at the family’s Berkshire home with the Queen after a 28-night stay in hospital for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.

As the longest serving consort in British history, the prince was a popular but often misunderstood figure in the eyes of the public. Some found his gaffes and outbursts offensive while most believed he was comical – but millions across the country united in grief at his death today. 

A woman called Charlotte captured the mood when she posted on Twitter: ‘What a life you led. I don’t think the Queen could have done it without you. You were the brightest jewel in her crown.’

Corra Linn wrote: ‘To give you an idea of my emotional state right now, I spent the morning crying to Fearless and it looks like I’ll be spending my afternoon crying about Prince Philip.’

A woman called Elizabeth posted: ‘Am not embarrassed to say I’m crying, and have poured a glass of Fizz to toast his amazing life of service Rest in Peace, Prince Philip.’

Andy Oddy put: ‘Politics aside you have to feel for the Queen as a human being. I recall when my own grandfather died aged 94 – it devastated my Gran after 72 years together.’

A man called Henry added: ‘Love is forever Red heart. No matter what your views are on the #RoyalFamily at this time Queen Elizabeth has just lost her soul mate of 73 years.

‘I can’t begin to imagine how devastated she must be feeling inside right now. Broken heart. Rest in eternal peace #PrincePhilip.’

A former butler to Princes Charles tweeted: ‘I am saddened to learn of the death of HRH Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh. A gentleman who I was proud to have served during my time in the Royal Household. I send my condolences to the Royal Family.’

Royal biographer Ingrid Stewart posted: ‘A very sad day indeed. Sending condolences to Her Majesty The Queen on the passing of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He has been a constant strength and guide during her reign.’

Kate Jamieson put: ‘So, very sad to hear that Prince Philip has died. A man dedicated to Queen and Country in more ways than one. Fair winds and following seas.’

Emma Webb wrote: ‘No words can describe how sad I am to hear of Prince Philip’s death. The absolute model of duty, kindness and good humour. The longest serving consort in British history.

‘When I met him as a nervous child, he made me laugh and I’ve adored him ever since.  A truly Great Man.’

Rebekha Fox said: ‘So desperately sad to hear that Prince Philip has died. Surprised to find myself in tears.’ Matt Dukes wrote: ‘Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh.’ He added: ‘Our thoughts & prayers are with the Queen & the Royal Family at this very sad time.’

Outside of Windsor Castle is pictured as crowds start to gather outside following the announcement that HRH Prince Philip has died

People gather outside the gates of Buckingham Palace in London after the announcement regarding the death of Prince Philip

People stand in line to leave flowers and view an announcement regarding the death of Prince Philip in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace

People paused for a moment of reflection outside the royal household in London today

A woman lays flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in London after an announcement regarding the death of Prince Philip

The scene outside Windsor Castle in Berkshire as the announcement of the death of The Duke of Edinburgh becomes public

Windsor Castle draw huge crowds today as they started to gather outside following the announcement that Prince Philip had died

A woman carries a dog as a man carries some flowers towards Windsor Castle in Berkshire today as they pay tribute to the Prince


Emotional tributes to Prince Philip are written on flowers outside Buckingham Palace (left and right)

A Windsor family left a heartbreaking message on a card to the castle today as they left flowers outside the iconic landmark


Left: A man lays a floral tribute with a horse balloon outside of Windsor Castle today. Right: A woman takes flowers to the castle in Berkshire

Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. Jockeys, owners and trainers stand during a minutes silence after Buckingham Palace announced Prince Philip died

People queue to take pictures and look at a sign hanging on Buckingham Palace after the news Prince Philip had died 

LEADERS PAY TRIBUTE TO ‘MUCH-LOVED’ PHILIP

Tributes have been paid by political and religious leaders to the ‘much-loved’ Duke of Edinburgh after his death at the age of 99.

Speaking on a podium outside Downing Street on Friday, Boris Johnson said Philip would be remembered for his ‘steadfast support’ of the Queen, as well as his awards scheme which ‘inspired’ countless young people. The PM said: ‘He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.

‘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.’ Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said the duke ’embodied a generation that we will never see again’.

‘Australians send our love and deepest condolences to her Majesty and all the Royal family. The Commonwealth family joins together in sorrow and thanksgiving for the loss and life of Prince Philip. God bless from all here in Australia,’ he tweeted.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said Philip was an ‘outstanding example of Christian service’.

In a statement, he said: ‘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.’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the UK has ‘lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip’. He said: ‘He will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to the Queen.’

The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell, highlighted the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as ‘an enormous part of Prince Philip’s legacy’.

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said she was ‘saddened’ by the news and sent her ‘personal and deepest condolences, and those of the Scottish government and people of Scotland, to Her Majesty the Queen and her family’. Irish premier Micheal Martin tweeted: ‘Saddened to hear of the death of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

‘Our thoughts and prayers are with Queen Elizabeth and the people of the United Kingdom at this time.’

Royal household staff placed then removed a framed plaque announcing the Duke of Edinburgh’s death on the front gates to Buckingham Palace at midday.

Crowds queued to read the sign, as four police officers on horses stopped people from gathering.

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 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.

Sam Flemming wrote: ‘Sad news today. Prince Philip served this country in WW2 and continued to serve with various charities and initiatives in peacetime.’

Dr Renier Palland put: ‘I am so shocked. Prince Philip passed away aged 99. Jeez. He lived an insane life. Philip was a world milestone no matter who or what he was/did. My heart is broken.’

Romana Tabak said: ‘I am truly sorry to hear this sad news. May God give him eternal rest.’ Tamma Simpson added: ‘My heartfelt prayers to Queen Elizabeth for the death of her husband Prince Philip.’

One man posted: ‘Long live his royal highness. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, husband of the Queen. Rest in Peace.’ 

Another posted: ‘I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of Prince Philip this morning.

‘My thoughts are with the whole Royal Family.’

A woman added: ‘Rest well Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Philip, you will be forever remembered in the nation’s hearts.’

Children add to the floral tributes outside the Henry VIII Gate of Windsor Castle, in Windsor, west of London

Two young girls prepare to leave flowers in front of the gate at Buckingham Palace in London, after the announcement

Members of the public lay floral tributes outside Buckingham Palace on Friday afternoon as they wish their best to the Queen

A message on a bouquet of flowers is seen outside Buckingham Palace, after it was announced that Prince Philip had passed away

Children lay floral tributes outside Buckingham Palace in central London

England captain Joe Root wearing a black arm band as the players take part in a two minute silence in remembrance of His Royal Highness Prince Philip

A member of the public leaves flowers outside Buckingham Palace

Parents took their children to the palace to leave flowers in tribute to the Duke 

The mood was sombre outside Buckingham Palace this afternoon, as floral tributes were left at the gates 

Scores of roses were left outside the palace gates in London by well-wishers 

Flowers were left at the entrance to Windsor Castle in the aftermath of the news 

The gathering outside Buckingham Palace was a socially-distanced affair today 

Will Harry and Meghan come back to the UK after Prince Philip’s death? Couple’s bombshell Oprah interview aired while he was in hospital

Prince Harry is preparing to return to the UK for the first time since leaving Royal duties after the death of Prince Philip – but questions remain over whether Meghan will join him.

Harry’s grandfather’s death comes weeks after they gave an interview to Oprah alleging racism in the Royal Family which aired while Philip was in hospital.

The Sussexes, who faced calls to postpone the interview because Philip was unwell, accused an unnamed royal, not the Queen nor the duke, of raising concerns about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone would be before he was born.

Since then, they have launched a charity, accepted lucrative business deals with Netflix and Spotify, given public talks, appeared on Zoom conferences, and on March 7, they criticised the Royal Family in a sit-down interview with Oprah that was viewed around the world.

Meghan is now pregnant with their second child and due to give birth sometime in the summer but she has not disclosed exactly when. The couple has not commented on any plan to return to the UK.

A source close to the family told DailyMail.com today: ‘Harry will absolutely do his utmost to get back to the UK and be with his family.

‘He will want nothing more than to be there for his family, and particularly his grandmother, during this awful time.

‘Meghan is obviously pregnant so she will need to take advice from her doctors about whether it is safe for her to travel, but I think Harry will definitely go.’

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.

Philip briefly stepped out of retirement in July 2020 when he carried out a rare official public engagement at Windsor.

The duke looked in fine form as he made his way down the steps to the Castle’s quadrangle for a socially distanced ceremony to hand over his Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles role to the Duchess of Cornwall, who was almost 100 miles away at Highgrove.

He showed he had lost none of his mischievous sense of humour when he joked with one of the soldiers about their fitness levels.

Social media tributes continued to pour in throughout Friday. Eddie Webbe posted: ‘RIP. Prince Philip! I’m devastated that he didn’t reach 100 years old. He was an incredible man with full of life.

‘My condolences go to The Queen, The Royal Family and The British Public who loved him. Prince Philip’s legacy lives on. Thank you Prince Philip!’

Jen Son put: ‘My condolences to all of his legitimate & illegitimate children, Grandchildren & of course to HRH Queen Elizabeth, who must be absolutely devastated, after a lifetime together. No matter how expected this may have been, still sad to lose a loved one.’

A woman called Freya wrote: ‘Omg i’m absolutely devastated about prince philip, i think i need a week off of work to mourn.’

Another said: ‘Prince Philip has died-I don’t care about the monarchy, etc, as such-I’m just thinking of Elizabeth losing her husband of >70 years. I know I’d be devastated to lose hubs.

‘Death is something that comes to all of us-but I don’t know what I’d do if he went before me!’

One man tweeted: ‘My heart goes out to Queen Elizabeth, I remember when my grandpa died, my grandma was devastated, and they’d been together 49 years. Elizabeth and Prince Philip were married 74 years.’

Amy Lowe put: ‘Very sad to hear Prince Philip has died at 99. RIP x also the queen must be devastated I hope she will be okay.’

Kirsten posted: ‘With the heaviest heart and genuine tears this is the saddest news. Thinking of my beloved Queen and her family at this time. Wonderful husband – may you rest in peace Prince Philip.’

Daisy Churchill added: ‘The Queen has always been a remarkable example, alongside her always Prince Philip, Her Rock. Always been Proud to say ‘This is My Country’, through tears now I repeat them.’   

The Queen and Philip spent a quiet Christmas in 2020 at Windsor alone, except for their staff, and Buckingham Palace announced on January 9 2021, during England’s third national lockdown, that they had both received their Covid-19 vaccinations. Pictured: Buckingham Palace today

A man prepares to leave flowers in front of the gate of Buckingham Palace in London on Friday afternoon

Windsor Castle as crowds start to gather outside following the announcement that HRH Prince Philip has died today

BBC newsreader is left close to tears over Prince Philip’s death

A newsreader was left close to tears announcing the death of Prince Philip this afternoon as the BBC, along with rivals ITV and Sky, interrupted their broadcast schedules to break the news.

The National Anthem accompanied the announcement from Buckingham Palace, while journalists across TV networks switched to black outfits as a mark of respect.

At 12.09pm on BBC One, an episode of Paramedics on Scene was abruptly paused as the screen faded to black, before being replaced by silence and a screen reading ‘News Report’.

Presenter Martine Croxall then told viewers: ‘We are interrupting our normal programmes to bring you an important announcement.’

The newsreader appeared to choke up with emotion as she began reading the official statement from the Palace and the scores of tributes that flooded in subsequently.

Eagle-eyed viewers noticed Ms Croxall donned a black cardigan for the announcement, which she had not been wearing on the BBC’s rolling news channel just minutes earlier when she first broke the news.

She also removed a piece of jewellery she was previously wearing around her neck for the BBC One statement.

The corporation’s Royal Correspondent Nicholas Witchell was also wearing a black suit and tie as he appeared in the studio, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson also in the same colour as he made a statement outside Downing Street.

The special programme was broadcast across both BBC One and BBC Two, while ITV cut short This Morning and cancelled an episode of Loose Women at 12.30pm.

Channel Four and Channel 5 also halted their planned run of lunchtime programmes to announce the news. 

In April 2020, the duke released his first major statement since his retirement, praising key workers including refuse and postal staff, for keeping essential services running during the pandemic.

He was also pictured with the monarch at the Berkshire castle to mark his 99th birthday on June 10, at the secret lockdown wedding of his granddaughter Princess Beatrice on July 17 and with the Queen to mark their 73rd wedding anniversary in November.

On December 18, Philip released a rare public message praising teachers and school staff for their efforts teaching the nation’s children during the pandemic.

The Queen and Philip spent a quiet Christmas in 2020 at Windsor alone, except for their staff, and Buckingham Palace announced on January 9 2021, during England’s third national lockdown, that they had both received their Covid-19 vaccinations.

But the duke was hospitalised for a month from the middle of February, eventually having heart surgery. The royal family has experienced troubled times in recent years.

They had to deal with Megxit, when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit as senior royals in order to earn their own money in the US, following frustrations with their role within the monarchy and Harry’s rift with his brother, the Duke of Cambridge.

Then on March 7, 2021, Harry and Meghan’s explosive two-hour televised Oprah Winfrey interview was aired.

Meghan accused a member of the royal family, not the Queen nor the duke, of raising concerns about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone would be before he was born.

Meghan also told of how she begged for help when she was suicidal, but said the institution gave her no support.

The Queen said the issues were concerning, but that ‘some recollections may vary’ and the matter was a family one that would be dealt with privately, but the royal family was left reeling at the claims.

In November 2019, the Queen and Philip’s second son the Duke of York stepped down from public duties, following his disastrous Newsnight interview about his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Philip survived a car crash when he was 97 near the Sandringham estate early in 2019, emerging unscathed when his vehicle flipped over after colliding with another carrying two women and a baby.

He was initially trapped and had to to be helped out of the sunroof by a passing motorist. Shortly after, he was pictured driving on the estate without a seat belt.

He voluntarily surrendered his driving licence and the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed he would face no further action.   

A family look at flowers outside the Cambridge gate of Windsor Castle in Windsor after the announcement

Flags fly at half-mast outside The Scottish Parliament, Holyrood in Edinburgh, to mark the passing of Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh

Mourners were seen laying flowers at Buckingham Palace after the announcement that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, passed away age 99

Operation Forth Bridge begins: Queen enters ‘eight days of mourning’

The Queen has entered an eight-day period of mourning following the death of Prince Philip today aged 99 – as arrangements for his funeral, codenamed Operation Forth Bridge, have begun. The Duke of Edinburgh drew up the plans himself and in character with his no-nonsense attitude will eschew usual state formalities.

Philip will lie at rest in Windsor Castle for a period of days ahead of his funeral at St George’s Chapel, which is expected to be socially distanced. Royal fans have been told not to attend any part of the events that make up the funeral die to Covid restrictions, or lay flowers.

The Duke of Edinburgh is expected to then be buried in Frogmore Gardens, in the grounds of Windsor Castle. The Queen will not carry out any duties even in private under Covid restrictions, laws will not be given the Royal Assent and affairs of state will also be paused.

Following these eight days, a further period of official Royal Mourning is expected to continue for 30 days. Scores of people will be involved in the days ahead, from military guards and the clergy, to staff at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, who will be making sure the household continues to run smoothly during this traumatic time for the Queen.

TV presenter Matt Barbet wrote on Twitter: ‘I’m sad to hear of the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. I met him once at Buckingham Palace and having been introduced to him already I later found myself standing next to him.

‘Not knowing protocol I put my hand out. ‘I’m not shaking your bloody hand again!’ was his response.’

Another social media user wrote: ‘RIP Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. What a life you’ve led. I don’t think the Queen could’ve done it without you. You were the brightest jewel in her crown.’

Radio presenter Rachel Chew tweeted: ‘Is it just me crying reading the Prince Philip tributes?’

Natasha Brown, from Leeds, added: ‘I’m crying my eyes out, it feels like its your own granddad that has passed. RIP Your Royal Highness Prince Philip. My heart breaks for Her Majesty.’

The duke was the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch. He and the Queen celebrated a poignant personal milestone in November 2017 – their platinum wedding anniversary.

They marked the rare occasion – a first for a British monarch – surrounded by family and friends at a special black tie dinner in Windsor Castle.

In 1997, in a speech to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, the Queen touchingly paid tribute to her husband, summing up his far-reaching influence.

‘He is someone who doesn’t take easily to compliments,’ she said. But he has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, and I, and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.’

The duke had a profound effect on the development of the British monarchy and was a moderniser of The Firm.

He founded The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme in 1956 and before his retirement was patron or president of 785 organisations and charities.

No10 asks mourners not to gather or lay flowers for Prince Philip outside royal residences due to Covid risk

Downing Street has today asked mourners not to gather or lay flowers for Prince Philip outside royal residences due to the risk of Covid.

It comes as hundreds of tributes pile-up at palace gates, including Buckingham, Windsor and Balmoral, following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death this morning, at the age of 99.

However Number 10 has insisted people avoid gathering outside royal palaces today, instead urging mourners to stick to Covid guidelines and ‘avoid meeting in large groups.’

A Cabinet Office spokesperson told MailOnline, said: ‘The sad death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh has been announced by Buckingham Palace. ‘Although this is an extraordinarily difficult time for many, we are asking the public not to gather at Royal Residences, and continue to follow public health advice particularly on avoiding meeting in large groups and on minimising travel. We are supporting the Royal Household in asking that floral tributes should not be laid at Royal Residences at this time.’

He could sometimes appear rude and insensitive and he became famous for his ‘gaffes’ but others found him witty and fun and he was accomplished at breaking the ice on royal visits.

Bouquets of flowers were also spotted outside the gates of Kensington Palace in west London today. One card next to a bunch of lilies and daisies tied to the gate read: ‘To the Queen, your children, your grandchildren and your great grandchildren. God bless. Thinking of you all. RIP Prince Philip.’

Penny Wilson, a 63-year-old retired teacher from Hammersmith, said: ‘It’s very sad, particularly for the Queen. ‘It’s a great loss that the entire nation will feel.

‘A lot of people have lost loved ones this year, and this one will hurt those closest to Prince Philip now he’s gone. I feel very sad for the whole family. I can’t imagine what the Queen is going through. They are an iconic couple and they have worked for the nation for the majority of their entire lives.’

Maria and Ivan Zvirarovich, 23 and 28, were with their children Olga, six, and Fedor, two, a Romanian family who live in west London, who said they had decided to pass by Kensington Palace today to pay their respects.

Maria said: ‘It’s of course very sad. Anyone who’s lost someone knows how hard it can be. He was very old, he was 99 and had health problems, and he lived a very full life. We have a saying in Romania, and this is for the Queen: may God grant her peace and health.’

Kathleen King, 84, a retired teacher from Kensington, said: ‘I think his death is a great loss and I am very sorry for his family.

‘I have no bad feelings towards him. He lived a full and active life but at 99 it was probably his time to go. You don’t want to stay beyond your time.

‘I feel sorry for all the people who knew him. We’ve been very lucky this year that we have not lost anyone close to us, considering the circumstances, so I am sorry to those who have not been quite so lucky.’   

A police officer speaks to members of the public holding floral tributes outside of Windsor Castle on Friday afternoon

Mounted police are seen as media and members of the public arrive in front of Buckingham Palace in central London today

The electronic billboard at Piccadilly Circus displays a tribute to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in central London

Maria and Ivan Zvirarovich, 23 and 28, were with their children Olga, six, and Fedor, two, a Romanian family who live in west London


Alan Whiting, 71, is sad for the Queen and thought the Duke wasn’t afraid to say his opinion. HE is worried how Prince Harry will be dealing with the news. Helen Ordish, 52, wasn’t too suprised by the news, she was sad he didn’t make it to 100. She thought he was loyal to the Queen

Shada Kosir, 53, said she was surprised and saddened by the news. She thought the Duke was a character and came out with some great one liners

Parliament will be recalled from its Easter recess to allow MPs and peers to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh as Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle says he ‘served his country with distinction’

Parliament will be recalled from its Easter recess to allow MPs and peers to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh.

Downing Street and parliamentary officials confirmed the move to reconvene the House of Commons on Monday, a day earlier than had been scheduled.

The House of Commons is expected to meet from 2.30pm on Monday.

The House of Lords was already scheduled to return from recess on Monday at 1pm, but officials said they were finalising arrangements and any adjustments to business.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle said: ‘This is obviously a very sad day for Her Majesty, the royal family and the whole country.

‘The Duke of Edinburgh has given his unwavering support to the Queen, both as a husband and as a consort. Described by Her Majesty as ‘my constant strength’, he served this country too, first with distinction during the Second World War and selflessly throughout eight decades during peacetime.

‘Prince Philip has performed wide-ranging official roles, carrying out thousands of engagements and overseas visits on behalf of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. He will be remembered for his loyal devotion to service and his leadership of hundreds of ideals and causes close to his heart.

‘Most notably, of course, is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which helps millions of young people around the world to achieve their full potential as team members and future leaders in their chosen fields. His 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.’ 

Philip was the youngest child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece, an officer in the Greek army, and Princess Alice of Battenberg.

Although he was a Prince of Greece, he had no Greek blood and his complex background was in fact Danish, German, Russian and British. He was born on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10 1921.

In the early 1920s, Greece was politically unstable and Philip’s family fled in exile. King George V ordered that a Royal Navy ship should evacuate them, and 18-month-old Philip was carried to safety in a cot made from an orange box in December 1922.

The family settled in Paris but Philip later went to stay with relatives in Britain, where he attended boarding school.

Although they had met previously, the 18-year-old Philip, and 13-year-old Princess Elizabeth – both great-great-grandchildren of Queen Victoria – had their first publicised meeting in July 1939 at Dartmouth Naval College.

The tall, blond, good-looking and athletic prince impressed Lilibet by jumping over the college tennis nets.

Philip was a dashing naval officer in the Second World War and saw active service against German, Italian and Japanese forces.

He married Princess Elizabeth in a fairytale wedding in the austere world of post-war Britain in November 1947.

Their idyllic life as a Royal Navy husband and wife was shattered when King George VI’s health began to fail.

He died in 1952 and the Queen acceded to the throne.

The royal couple had four children: Charles, Anne, Andrew and Edward.

When the duke celebrated his 90th birthday in June 2011 he insisted on no fuss, but the Queen bestowed on him a new title – Lord High Admiral, titular head of the Royal Navy.

He was at the Queen’s side when she became the nation’s longest-reigning monarch in 2015, and when she marked her own 90th birthday in 2016.

In May 2017, it was announced that the duke was preparing to retire from public duties and tributes were paid to his decades of service.

On the day he retired, August 2 2017 at the age of 96, he rounded off his lengthy royal service with a trademark quip during his final official public engagement.

Chatting to Royal Marines who had just completed a gruelling trek, he told them, on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace: ‘You all should be locked up.’

He underwent a hip replacement operation in April 2018, but was well enough to walk unaided when he attended Harry and Meghan’s wedding in Windsor just over a month later.

Standing across the road from Windsor Castle a charity worker said: ‘I came today because I live locally, but also because I’ve met Prince Phillip before’

The Norwich Gates at Sandringham is very sombre on the day it is announced that Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has passed away

A child lays flowers outside of Windsor Castle in Berkshire on Friday afternoon and the youngster paid tribute to the late Prince

Taxis queue on The Mall towards Buckingham Palace following the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip on Friday morning

Jeremy Corbyn is hit with furious backlash for posting tweet about event celebrating election in Bolivia just 40 minutes after Queen announced death of Prince Philip

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has posted a tribute to Prince Philip hours after he was slammed for the ‘dreadful’ timing of a Tweet and for staying silent on the news of the royal’s passing.

The politician responded to the news by talking about the ‘heartbreak’ of losing a loved one. He wrote: ‘Losing a loved one, as so many families have this past year, is always heartbreaking. My thoughts are with Prince Philip’s family and all who loved him.’

It comes only hours after in a now-deleted Tweet, the MP posted a link to an event inviting people to ‘support the Bolivian people’ less than 40 minutes after the news of his death was announced. Celebrities and public figures have all paid tribute to the Prince, described as the Queen’s ‘strength and guide’ throughout their 73-year marriage and her 69-year reign.

But around half an hour after the news of his death broke, instead of commenting on the Prince’s passing, Mr Corbyn chose to share his support for the Bolivian people. He posted on his official Twitter page: ‘The people of Bolivia have chosen a path of social change, which puts people and planet before private private. Join me, @BoliviaFriends and Bolivian speakers on April 19th to show our solidarity.’

The post lead viewers to a link to an event to mark six months since the Left’s election win in the country. But his post was met with a furious backlash online as people slammed him for his poor timing of the Tweet and criticised his silence over the death of the Prince.

One person said: ‘A man died who did some much for this nation and Jeremy would rather tweet about Bolivia….. speaks volumes.’

Another slammed his ‘great timing’, while others told him to ‘read the room Jeremy’ and ‘Put the news on mate’. ‘Bro said no to Phillip and yes to Bolivia,’ one person on the social media platform said.

Some people defended Mr Corbyn, MP for Islington North, and said it was likely a timed Tweet that was organised prior to its posting and the death of Prince Philip. ‘Whoever managing your socials needs to pull further scheduled tweets boss,’ one person joked.    

Standing across the road from Windsor Castle was charity worker James Elliott who said: ‘I came today because I live locally, but also because I’ve met Prince Phillip before.

‘I was part of the 12th Windsor Scout group and he came to visit our hall. It was the personal touch which was quite nice. I was about 15 but this news has hit me quite hard.

‘It’s a sad day for the whole nation but for me because I grew up doing his Duke of Edinburgh programme. My parents are at work but they will come down this evening to see the flowers and pay their respects,’ the 23-year-old added.

Rebecca Gittins, whose two children had just laid flowers at the Castle gates, said: ‘It is really sad, more so at the moment with what they are all going through.’

The 42-year-old said she believed Prince Philip’s role in supporting the Queen had helped to preserve the monarchy in the UK, something that ‘makes us different and sets us apart. It also brings in a lot of money from tourism for this country’.

Jason, a soldier in the Household Cavalry who was reluctant to give his surname, said: ‘The Duke took his attitude for service from World War II into the rest of his life. He was a role-model for a lot of military people.’

He added: ‘He had a fantastic job and was successful in his own right. He made an immense sacrifice for the Queen, it was such a large sacrifice for him personally.’

Several of the people gathered at the castle said that they felt Prince Philip’s death put into perspective the Queen’s age.

Lucy Childs, 36 years, said: ‘I just hope the Queen is okay. It really puts into perspective her age. He lived such a varied and eventful life with so many different facets. He always dressed smartly and worked hard.’

The Hart family praised the Duke for his outspoken views. One of them said: ‘He was such a character. We loved that he was outspoken and a bit of a rebel.

‘He stood by the Queen and made a real difference. It is really sad.’

Paul Chapman and his children, one of whom had recently embarked on the Duke of Edinburgh Award’s scheme, were just passing-by when they heard the news. The 52-year-old father said: ‘It is huge for the family.

‘He has just always been there really. He was always discreet but he was right behind the Queen and doing his job. I am sure it must be really hard for the Queen.’

Mr Chapman, who works with children in care, added: ‘What about Megan and Harry, will they be able to come back?’

Tammy King, who was with her family, at the castle said: ‘It is tragic. He stuck by the Queen and he did his duty, he really brought some charm to the monarchy. He will be much missed.’

Aubrey, 90, a retired teacher who was walking in Kensington with her friend Jean, said: ‘I don’t personally feel sad. He’s not one of my relatives.

Prince Philip’s incredible bond with his grandchildren – supporting Harry and William after their mother’s death and coming out of retirement for Eugenie and Beatrice’s weddings

Described by Prince William as a ‘legend’ and Princess Eugenie as ‘incredible’, the Duke of Edinburgh was a much-loved grandfather to his ten grandchildren.

Looked up to as the patriarch of his family, Prince Philip – who has died aged 99 – became a mentor for younger royals who continued to turn to him over the years.

Among the Duke’s key involvements in Prince William’s life was when he convinced him to walk in the funeral cortege at his mother Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997.

And it is no doubt a source of huge sadness to new mother Princess Eugenie that he is not thought to have been able to meet her newborn son August – his great-grandson – after describing her grandfather as the family’s rock.

The same will be true of Zara and Mike Tindall who on March 21 welcomed their baby son Lucas Philip Tindall – with Philip in honour of both Mr Tindall’s father as well as Zara’s grandfather the Duke of Edinburgh.

He retired from public life in 2017 and has rarely been seen at major events since, but has made exceptions for his beloved granddaughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice.

‘He was old. He was 99. I feel sad for her. For her, it’s a great sadness.

‘It would have been nice for him to have reached 100. It would have only been June, I believe, for him to reach that milestone. I think Harry and Meghan should come back for the funeral. I presume they will, but if they don’t.

‘I had a brother-in-law that knew him [the Duke] because he was at a naval college with him. They used to come up to London and have great parties together.

‘So he was invited to the wedding, but my sister was pregnant so she couldn’t go. My mother went and she said it was absolutely wonderful. They had great seats just off the aisle to the left.

‘He wrote on and off, Philip to my sister, because of the connection. He was a very kind man. I know he’s known for jokes and off-colour comments, but he was a great man and a very kind man. Considering the childhood he had, he did very well in life.’

Peter Campbell, 72, an illustrator from Chiswick, west London, said: ‘At the end of the day, an old man of 99 has died. Not being a royalist, I’m not anti-royal, it just doesn’t affect a lot of people. It’s inevitable.

‘I think of him as okay. He had a lot of criticism for his semi-racial jokes at times, but as a person I thought he was fine.

‘He was in the Navy, he had a military career. Not being a royalist, he was an old man and vulnerable to lots of issues. It could be any man.

‘To be honest, I know a publisher and they had books ready six, seven, eight months ago. I’m sure obituaries were written 10 years ago.

‘He was royal, he was a man of his time. It’s no great shock. I’m sure a lot of publishers are pleased they can finally sell the books.’

Alex Maughan, a 35-year-old construction worker from Kingston, said: ‘You’ve got to feel sorry for the Queen, don’t you? She’s a tough bird, but it’s going to be hard for her.

‘She’s had a lot of problems this year with Harry and Meghan chatting to the press running down the family any chance they get. I watched The Crown with the missus and didn’t realise how much he went through.

‘Anyone who’s gone through that is going to have a dark sense of humour. You’ve got to respect that he’s a man who came from a certain time and lived in a certain way and that’s just how it went.

‘It doesn’t effect me, personally, but I’m sure people close to him will be upset.’   

‘A very sad day for our country’: Susanna Reid, Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden and Phillip Schofield lead stars paying a heartfelt tribute to Prince Phillip after his death was announced at the age of 99

  • Stars including Phillip Schofield, Piers Morgan and Eamonn Holmes took to social media to share their sympathies to the Royal Family after the Duke Edinburgh’s death was announced on Friday
  • Her Majesty announced death of her husband of 73 years at midday and joins ‘the world in mourning’
  • Philip was in Windsor after being treated for an infection and pre-existing heart condition for 28 nights
  • After retiring, Philip spent much of his time at Windsor and at Queen’s private Sandringham estate in Norfolk
  • Duke was the longest-serving consort in British history and the oldest serving partner of a reigning monarch

Piers Morgan has joined a slew of stars paying tribute to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, after his death was announced on Friday at the age of 99.

After Buckingham Palace announced his passing on Friday, celebrities took to social media to reflect on Prince Phillip’s life and offer their sympathies to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II. 

Leading the pack was Piers who described it as ‘a very sad day for our country,’ while Eamonn Holmes, who had been presenting This Morning when the news broke, simply wrote: ‘HRH Prince Phillip has died #RIP.’

Piers tweeted: ‘RIP Prince Philip, 99. A truly great Briton who dedicated his life to selfless public duty & was an absolute rock of devoted support to Her Majesty, The Queen, as the longest-serving royal consort to any British sovereign. A very sad day for our country. Thank you, Sir.’ 

Moving: Piers Morgan has joined a slew of stars paying tribute to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh , after his death was announced on Friday at the age of 99

Tragedy: After Buckingham Palace announced his passing on Friday, celebrities including Phillip Schofield took to social media to reflect on Prince Phillip’s life and offer their sympathies to his wife, Queen Elizabeth II

Tragic: Buckingham Palace announced the death of Prince Philip at just after midday on Friday – and described the Queen’s ‘deep sorrow’

Phillip Schofield shared an image of his own experience meeting Phillip, writing on Instagram Stories: ‘Farewell to a remarkable man, terrifying to attempt to interview but great fun to be with.’

The Apprentice star Karren Brady tweeted a snap of the Duke, writing: ‘Very sad to hear that the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip has passed away. My thoughts are with HRH & the Royal Family.’

Countdown presenter Carol Vorderman reflected on her own experience meeting Prince Phillip several years earlier, tweeting: ‘I went for a private lunch with The Queen at Buckingham Palace quite a few years ago. They were both in their 80s and Prince Philip and she were flirting with each other madly and laughing. Theirs was a love and a marriage of more than 73 years. Deepest condolences Ma’am.’

Geri Horner, who had Phillip’s son Prince Charles in the past, also tweeted: ‘Very sad news about Prince Philip. He was a character. Like a very naughty grandfather. RIP. God Bless The Queen!’ 

Sad: His death plunges the nation and the Royal Family into mourning, and brings to an end Philip’s lifetime of service to Britain and to Elizabeth, the Queen who adored him since her teens

Upset: Eamonn Holmes, who had been in the midst of presenting This Morning when the news broke, tweeted the news

Upsetting: Stars including Carol Vorderman, Geri Horner and Dan Wootton also tweeted their own tributes to His Royal Highness following the news of his death

BBC Sport presenter Gabby Logan shared an image of Phillip to her Instagram Stories, writing: ‘Whatever you think of the instituaton you can still recognise a decent husband. The definition of backbone, support and selflessness. Rest in peace Prince Phillip.’

80s singer Boy George tweeted: ‘Very sad news about Prince Philip. He was a character. Like a very naughty grandfather. RIP. God Bless The Queen!’ 


Defiant: Gabby Logan shared her own post for Phillip on Instagram Stories, saying he can always be recognised as a ‘decent husband’

Alison Hammond wrote: ‘RIP Prince Phillip, our thoughts are with the Queen and family!!’ 

Myleene Klass shared a snap of her experience meeting Prince Phillip while she was a member of the band Hearsay, writing: ‘Just had to cross over to the newsroom to deliver the sad news of the passing of Prince Phillip.’

On Instagram Georgia Toffolo wrote: ‘I am so sad to hear that Prince Phillip has died. Married to our Queen for more than 70 years, what a wonderfully special union they had. He kept up his public service well into his 90s, showing the world the true definition of duty. RIP.’ 

Her Majesty The Queen announced her husband’s death at midday on Friday. 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’.  

His death plunges the nation and the Royal Family into mourning, and brings to an end Philip’s lifetime of service to Britain and to Elizabeth, the Queen who adored him since her teens.  

Her Majesty is now expected to enter an eight-day period of mourning. She will not carry out any duties, even in private, while laws will not be given the Royal Assent and affairs of state will also be paused. A further period of official Royal Mourning is expected to continue for 30 days.

Officials at Buckingham Palace are now preparing for a royal ceremonial funeral at Windsor Castle in Berkshire in keeping with Philip’s wishes, with a military procession also expected in London – Covid laws permitting.

The Queen is in ‘deep sorrow’ following her husband’s death. 

‘He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years,’ Her Majesty said at their Golden Wedding banquet in 1997. ‘I and his whole family, and this and many other countries, owe him a debt greater than he would ever claim, or we shall ever know.’

The quizzical, witty, faithful – and often controversial – the Duke was the Queen’s greatest source of support, her confidant and the man she relied on above all others.

Until his death, Philip was the longest-serving consort in British history and the oldest partner of a reigning monarch, who despite his ill health took part her first royal engagement of 2021 last week.

He was a great-grandfather of ten, with the most recent addition to his wider family being Zara and Mike Tindall’s baby son Lucas Philip Tindall on March 21 – soon after Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s son August, who was born on February 9. 

Philip’s lifelong role was to ensure that he never let The Queen down and their long-lasting marriage was one of the world’s best known relationships.

Reflecting their love in her Diamond Jubilee speech to Parliament in 2012, the Elizabeth said: ‘During these years as your Queen, the support of my family has, across the generations, been beyond measure. Prince Philip is, I believe, well-known for declining compliments of any kind. But throughout he has been a constant strength and guide.’

The couple married in November 1947 – she a 21-year-old sheltered princess, he a swaggering Royal Navy officer with Greek and Danish royal blood, who had only recently seen active service during World War Two.

From that moment, the day Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten became the Duke of Edinburgh, Philip – a private, enigmatic man of strong character – was always there, one step behind, ready to lend the Queen a helping hand.

Following his retirement from public life in August 2017, he kept a low public profile.

In recent months the couple have lived through the coronavirus pandemic together, at Sandringham in Norfolk, during a summer break at Balmoral Estate in Scotland and latterly in what was dubbed ‘HMS Bubble’ at Windsor Castle from October 2020.

The pair received their coronavirus inoculations together at Windsor in January, and the virus was quickly ruled out as the cause of his admission to London’s King Edward VII hospital on February 16.

Buckingham Palace had initially said it was a precautionary measure because the Duke was feeling unwell, and his grandson Prince William said after a week of treatment that he was ‘OK’ but doctors were ‘keeping an eye on him’.

The palace then revealed the Duke was being treated for an ‘infection’, with his youngest son Prince Edward adding that the Royal Family were ‘keeping our fingers crossed’.

But concerns grew when, after two weeks at the private King Edward VII, Philip was transferred to St Bartholomew’s NHS hospital in central London with the palace saying he would ‘undertake testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition’.

He then underwent a heart operation and was transferred back to King Edward VII’s, before eventually leaving on March 16 and returning to Windsor Castle by car following 28 days in hospital.

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