Westminster Abbey will toll its bell 99 times every 60 seconds tonight

Death Gun Salute will be fired at noon today to pay tribute to Prince Philip after Westminster Abbey tolls its bell 99 times in 99 minutes

  • Westminster Abbey tenor bell tolled every 60 seconds, 99 times, on Friday
  • Saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round a minute for 40 minutes today
  • Will be fired at Woolwich Barracks and HM Tower of London in the capital

A Death Gun Salute will be fired at noon today to pay tribute to Prince Philip after Westminster Abbey tolled its bell 99 times in 99 minutes. 

Saluting batteries will fire 41 rounds at one round every minute for 40 minutes at Cardiff Castle, Edinburgh Castle and Hillsborough Castle in Belfast and in Gibraltar, the Ministry of Defence said.

They will be fired at two locations in London – Woolwich Barracks and HM Tower of London. 

There will also be gun salutes at HM Naval Base Devonport and HM Naval Base Portsmouth, and on ships at sea including HMS Diamond and HMS Montrose.  

The gun salutes will take place behind closed doors, but broadcast online and on television, and the public are encouraged to observe them from home, the MoD said. 

It comes after Westminster Abbey tolled its tenor bell every 60 seconds, 99 times, at 6pm following the announcement of Prince Philip’s death yesterday.

A Death Gun Salute will be fired at noon on Saturday to pay tribute to Prince Philip after Westminster Abbey tolled its bell 99 times this evening (file image)

They made up the 99 years of his life.

Gun salutes have been fired to mark significant national events since as early as at least the 18th century.

WHERE WILL THE GUN SALUTES BE HELD? 

Gun salutes will be carried out across the UK by military regiments at noon today to pay tribute to Prince Philip.

They will be held in the following locations and performed by the following regiments:

– Belfast, Hillsborough Castle, 105th Regiment Royal Artillery

– Cardiff, Cardiff Castle, 104th Regiment Royal Artillery

– Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, 105th Regiment Royal Artillery

– Gibraltar, The Royal Gibraltar Regiment

– London, Woolwich Barracks, The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery

– London, HM Tower of London, The Honourable Artillery Company

– HMNB Devonport, HMNB Devonport

– HMNB Portsmouth, HMNB Portsmouth

– Sea saluting stations; ships at sea and safe to fire include: HMS Diamond and HMS Montrose

They were used to mark the deaths of Queen Victoria in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965.

The public is being encouraged to observe the gun salutes, which will be broadcast online and on television, from home.

In London, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will ride out from their base at Napier Lines, Woolwich Barracks, onto the Parade Ground.

There will be 71 horses, 36 of them pulling six 13-pounder field guns dating from the First World War.

The same guns were also fired for Philip’s wedding to the Queen in 1947 and at her Coronation six years later in 1953.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: ‘His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh was a constant supporter and ambassador of the armed forces. We celebrate his life of service and offer our condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the royal family.’

Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter said: ‘His Royal Highness has been a great friend, inspiration and role model for the armed forces and he will be sorely missed.

‘The Duke of Edinburgh served among us during the Second World War, and he remained devoted to the Royal Navy and the armed forces as a whole.

‘A life well lived, His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty. From all of us who serve today and who have served, thank you.’

The Honourable Artillery Company will fire a salute at the Tower of London, the 104th Regiment Royal Artillery will fire from Cardiff Castle, and the 105th Regiment Royal Artillery will fire at Hillsborough Castle, Belfast and Edinburgh Castle.

Ships taking part include the HMS Diamond, HMS Montrose and HMNB Portsmouth, while the Royal Gibraltar Regiment will join the salute from the British overseas territory.  

The Duke of Edinburgh (pictured) spent his final days at Windsor Castle with the Queen after a 28-night stay in hospital having been admitted in mid-February for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition

Philip joined the Royal Navy after leaving school, beginning at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth in May 1939, and was singled out as best cadet. 

During the Second World War, he served on several ships – firstly on HMS Ramillies – and saw active service against German, Italian and Japanese forces.

In March 1941, he was a searchlight control officer on the battleship HMS Valiant and was mentioned in despatches for his part in the battle of Matapan against the Italian fleet.

Shortly afterwards, he was awarded the Greek War Cross of Valour.

He rose rapidly through the ranks, earning promotion after promotion, with some believing he could have become First Sea Lord – the professional head of the Royal Navy.

But the Duke stepped down from his active role in the forces to fulfil his duty as the Queen’s consort.

In recognition of his long-standing connection with the Royal Navy, the Queen conferred the title of Lord High Admiral on the Duke to mark his 90th birthday in June 2011.

The Duke of Edinburgh spent his final days at Windsor Castle with the Queen after a 28-night stay in hospital having been admitted in mid-February for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.

Her Majesty announced her husband’s death at midday as the Union Flag was lowered to half-mast outside Buckingham Palace, in Downing Street and on public buildings across the UK and Commonwealth. 

Westminster Abbey (pictured) tolled its tenor bell every 60 seconds, 99 times. at 6pm following the announcement of Prince Philip’s death yesterday

Westminster Abbey is paying tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh by tolling its tenor bell 99 times, once for every year of his life.

Following Prince Philip’s death, the abbey announced it would toll the bell every 60 seconds, from 6pm on Friday.

A small crowd of onlookers stood to observe as the abbey began its tribute, with the historic building’s flag flying at half mast.

The duke had a long association with Westminster Abbey, located just minutes from Buckingham Palace, which is where he married the Queen in 1947.

The couple also celebrated their silver, golden and diamond wedding anniversaries with services in the abbey.

The Union Flag flies at half-mast from Victoria Tower over the Houses of Parliament with Westminster Abbey (left) in the foreground in central London following the announcement of Prince Philip’s death

The duke was president and chairman of the Westminster Abbey trust, set up in 1973 to raise funds for the restoration of the exterior of the building.

The tenor bell is the largest of the abbey’s 10 bells and is traditionally tolled upon the death of a member of the royal family, according to the abbey.

Westminster Abbey said it would be open from Friday until Sunday for private prayer and worship following the duke’s death.

In tribute, the Dean of Westminster said: ‘It is with profound sadness that we learn of the death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, who served HM The Queen and our nation with an unwavering commitment.

‘We remember, above all, a self-effacing sense of duty that has been a benchmark of moral purpose in public life for so many years.

‘We note with deep gratitude his contribution to the military, charities and young people.

‘We are also deeply thankful for his support of our abbey church, including his work to raise funds for the restoration of the abbey.’ 

The bell that will ring this evening is located at the same church where Prince Philip and the Queen married 73 years ago and where Her Majesty was coronated in June 1953 (pictured)

A frail Philip was last seen leaving hospital for Windsor on March 16. 

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

The couple shared their 73rd wedding anniversary last November and he was due to turn 100 on June 10 this year. 

Hundreds gathered in the spring sunshine at the palace and in Windsor, where many hugged and wiped away tears as they laid flowers in his memory – and left messages of love and support for the Queen and her family.

The tenor bell at Westminster Abbey also tolled at Princess Diana’s funeral in 1997. Pictured left to right: Prince Philip, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles at Princess Diana’s funeral 

But as the crowds grew yesterday the Government urged people to stay away and not to leave bouquets for public health reasons because Britain remains in lockdown due to Covid-19. 

The notice announcing the Duke of Edinburgh’s death at the gates of Buckingham Palace even had to be removed to maintain social distancing, officials said.

His funeral will be a small family service at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle before the duke is buried in Frogmore Gardens, where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were laid to rest. The date has not been set.

The bell also tolled 101 times at the funeral of the Queen Mother in 2002. Pictured left to right: Prince Andrew, Prince Charles, Prince Philip, Princess Anne and Prince Edward at the Queen Mother’s funeral

More details will emerge in the next few days, with the plan nicknamed ‘Operation Forth Bridge’, but the public have already been urged to stay away to avoid spreading Covid-19 and watch it on TV at home instead. 

A state funeral including a flotilla of boats on the Thames to mark her husband’s life looks impossible due to covid restrictions, but the Duke was said to have disliked the idea because he ‘didn’t want the fuss’.

The cause of his death has not been made public, but Philip had his first Covid-19 vaccination with the Queen on January 9, with his second one due around a week ago. It is not known if it was administered.

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