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Royal Family mourns

Tributes for Prince Philip who has died aged 99

Duke of Edinburgh: married to the Queen for 73 years

Buckingham Palace today announced the death of Prince Philip at the age of 99.

The Duke of Edinburgh spent his final days at Windsor Castle with The Queen after a 28-night stay in hospital.

He was admitted in mid-February for an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.

His death, announced at mid-day, plunges the Royal Family into mourning, and brings to an end Philip’s lifetime of service to Britain and to Elizabeth, to whom he has been married for 73 years.

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.”

The Queen is expected to enter an eight-day period of mourning. She 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. 

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There will be no state funeral. Buckingham Palace is 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. This will adhere to Covid restrictions. 

A coffin with the Duke of Edinburgh’s body is expected to be moved at some point over the next few days to Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace in London.

Campaigning for the Scottish elections is expected to be temporarily suspended as a mark of respect.

Addressing the nation outside Number 10, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the royal family “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. 

Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, said: “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. 

“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.

There were also tributes from the business community. Tony Danker, CBI Director-General, said: “Today we mourn the passing of the Duke of Edinburgh. He was a great advocate for UK enterprise around the world spanning much of his lifetime.

“He will be warmly remembered by the UK business community.”

There was speculation over a possible return to the UK by  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for the first time in a year, weeks after their controversial interview son US television which aired while Prince Philip was in hospital. 

The couple left the UK in March 2020, quitting ‘senior’ royal duties to pursue a ‘private life’.  

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