Prince Philip: Wave of tributes in wake of Duke of Edinburgh’s death, as parties suspend campaigning
Tributes have poured in and Scottish political parties have suspended their Holyrood election campaigns, after Buckingham Palace announced this afternoon that the Duke of Edinburgh has died.
In a statement, the Royal Family 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.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the tributes to the Duke of Edinburgh in Downing Street, saying: “By any measure, Prince Philip lived an extraordinary life -as a naval hero in the Second World War, as the man who inspired countless young people through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and, above all, as Her Majest The Queen’s loyal consort.
"Our thoughts are with Her Majesty and her family, who have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figures, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
"We are a kingdom united both in grief and gratitude; grief at Prince Philip’s passing, and gratitude for his decades of selfless service to the country.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “On behalf of the people of Scotland, I would like to express my deepest sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen and the rest of the Royal Family.
“Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time and their grief is shared by people across the country.
“The Duke of Edinburgh had deep and longstanding ties to Scotland, attending school here at Gordonstoun and regularly holidaying at Balmoral Castle.
“From his patronage of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, to his close association with the University of Edinburgh as Chancellor for over fifty years and his commitments to countless charities and organisations, Prince Philip’s long contribution to public life in Scotland will leave a profound mark on its people.
“Online Books of Condolence will open in the coming days to allow people to pay their respects. In line with current restrictions, the Royal Household has requested that members of the public do not leave floral tributes or gather at the Palace of Holyroodhouse or Balmoral Castle at this time. The Palace has suggested that people could donate to charity instead, if they wish to do so.”
It is understood that flags are now flying at half-mast on Scottish Government buildings.
Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour leader, said: “Scotland is today mourning the loss of a dedicated public servant who contributed so much to our country.
“My thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen following the death of her beloved husband and the entire Royal Family, and on behalf of the Scottish Labour Party I offer our sincerest sympathies.
“Prince Philip had a deep love for Scotland and we will now come together as a country to remember his life and mark his distinguished career.”
News of the Duke’s death prompted Scottish Labour to suspend its Holyrood campaign.
Announcing his party would also pause electioneering, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: “In the middle of a political campaign, this is a reminder of what’s most important in life.
“We have lost a tremendous public servant who for decades served his Queen and country. My heartfelt condolences are with Her Majesty and all of the Royal Family.
He added: “We have suspended our campaign effective immediately.”
Ken Macintosh, Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, announced that flags would be lowered outside Holyrood as a mark of respect.
He tweeted: “Very sorry to hear the sad news of the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Flags will be lowered at the Scottish Parliament as we pay our respects.”
Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons in Westminster, said in a statement: “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 his 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.
He added: “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 in our country, and all the nations shall miss him greatly.”