Prime Minister Scott Morrison has summed up the feelings of billions of people across the world, describing news of the death of Prince Philip as a "very sad day".

Mr Morrison extended his "deepest sympathies and condolences" to Queen Elizabeth following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh and credited him for a lifetime of duty and service.

He said Prince Philip was widely admired for his "candour, and a unique, forceful and authentic personality".

"With his passing, we say farewell to another of the greatest generation," the Prime Minister said on Saturday morning from Kirribilli House.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference about the death of HRH Prince Philip. Picture: Julian Andrews.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference about the death of HRH Prince Philip. Picture: Julian Andrews.

"But above all, today, we think of our Queen.

"While your strength and stay, your Majesty, may now have passed, Jenny and I pray that you will find great comfort in your faith and your family at this time.

"But we also, your Majesty, say to you as a Commonwealth, let us also now be your strength and stay, as you continue to endure, as you continue to serve so loyally and so faithfully, as you have done over so many generations."

LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME

Prince Philip's children Princess Anne and Prince Edward have revealed "life will be completely different" without him.

The royal family last night was rallying around the Queen, with Prince Charles visiting his mother to comfort her following the passing of her husband of more than seven decades.

And Prince Harry has also paid tribute, as he was scrambling to get to the UK ahead of a modest funeral for his grandfather, who died aged 99 yesterday.

The service to be held in St George's Chapel inside Windsor Castle where Prince Harry and Meghan were married in 2018, is expected to be held on Saturday, April 17.

However, official funeral details were yet to be announced.

The Duke of Edinburgh with the Queen and their children, pictured in 2007. Picture: Getty Images
The Duke of Edinburgh with the Queen and their children, pictured in 2007. Picture: Getty Images

Police had asked mourners to avoid laying flowers at Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace because of coronavirus restrictions, but a steady stream of visitors paid their respects throughout the day.

There were no flowers in the local shops in Windsor for sale about three hours after his death, while an online condolence book was also launched.

Billboards across the UK dropped their advertisements as images of Prince Philip beamed out instead.

Radio stations changed their playlists, with a subdued selection of ballads on pop stations, while radio news bulletins carried only the story of Prince Philip's death on Friday.

Princess Anne, 70, said in a tribute recorded for Britain's ITV News before her father's death that the royal family would be forever changed.

"Without him life will be completely different," she said.

Princess Anne said the proud man grew into the role as the Queen's constant supporter.

"Nobody had thought about what he was going to do. And it took a while to find people who understood he had extraordinary experience and skills that they could make use of. But he also found ways he could make an impact," she said.

Prince Charles, 72, let on how sick his father was when he left King Edward VII's Hospital in London in tears in February.

He drove almost two hours from his home in Gloucestershire, in England's Cotswolds, to be with the Queen at Windsor Castle.

The Queen and Prince Philip have been staying together at the castle with a smaller staff, dubbed HMS Bubble to protect themselves from the coronavirus pandemic.

The pair had both had their coronavirus jabs, however Prince Philip fell ill with an infection and a pre-existing heart condition.

His 28-day stay in hospital, which included a minor operation at St Bartholomew's in central London, raised serious concerns about his health.

Prince Harry and Meghan made a statement on the couple's Archewell charity website.

"In loving memory of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh 1921-2021," the couple wrote.

"Thank you for your service … You will be greatly missed."

United States President Joe Biden highlighted the duke's "decades of devoted public service"

"Over the course of his 99-year life, he saw our world change dramatically and repeatedly. From his service during World War II, to his 73 years alongside the Queen, and his entire life in the public eye - Prince Philip gladly dedicated himself to the people of the UK, the Commonwealth, and to his family," Mr Biden said.

Prince Philip and the Queen spent more time together than usual because of the pandemic.

He had been living alone at Wood Farm, a secluded modest home in the grounds of the Queen's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, since he retired from public life in 2017.

Prince Edward, the Queen and Prince Philip's youngest son, said that his father would be most remembered for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

The charity, founded in 1956, is run in 140 countries and encourages young people to challenge themselves with camping and other outdoor activities.

"For what he has done in his public life for all the organisations he has supported and influenced and obviously as my father and husband to my mother and all the work that he has done there and as a family we will remember that more than anything else," Prince Edward told ITV News.

PHILIP, THE QUEEN'S 'CONSTANT STRENGTH'

Prince Philip, the Queen's "constant strength and guide" was being mourned across the globe last night.

The Duke of Edinburgh died peacefully just two months short of his 100th birthday at Windsor Castle.

He had spent 28 days in hospital battling an infection and heart condition this year, finally succumbing to his illness on Friday evening Australian time.

Britain has entered a national period of mourning, but Prince Philip had previously rejected an offer of a State Funeral, instead asking for a "less fussy", private, military-style send off at St George's Chapel and a burial at Frogmore Gardens, which are both inside the grounds of Windsor Castle.

 

The royal family announced Prince Philip’s death via social media. Picture: Instagram
The royal family announced Prince Philip’s death via social media. Picture: Instagram

 

The Queen revealed her "deep sorrow" at the passing of her husband of 73 years.

Last night, flowers were being laid at the gates of Windsor Castle amid an outpouring of grief for a man that has been a constant in the lives of millions of people across the Commonwealth.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was among the first world leaders to pay tribute to the man who had a long association with Australia, including opening the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956.

In a statement, Mr Morrison paid tribute to Prince Philip as embodying "a generation that we will never see again".

"For nearly 80 years, Prince Philip served his Crown, his country and the Commonwealth," Mr Morrison said.

"His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was, in the words of Her Majesty, her 'strength and stay'.

"He embodied a generation that we will never see again."

Mr Morrison said Philip was "no stranger to Australia, having visited our country on more than 20 occasions".

"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. Flags will be lowered in honour of His Royal Highness."

The news was announced at 9pm Australian time (midday in London), after months of concern about the duke's health.

"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," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

"His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.

"Further announcements will be made in due course."

 

Prince Philip, pictured in Melbourne in 1945, was a regular visitor to Australia. Picture: AP
Prince Philip, pictured in Melbourne in 1945, was a regular visitor to Australia. Picture: AP

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the Duke as a hero of the Second World War.

"By any measure, Prince Philip lived an extraordinary life," the UK Prime Minister said.

"Our thoughts are with Her Majesty and her family, who have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure, but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather."

Australia's High Commissioner to the UK George Brandis said: "We send our love and deepest condolences to Her majesty The Queen and all members of the royal family."

Jo-Ann Long-Turner, from Melbourne, visited Windsor after hearing the news of Prince Philip's death.

"He's someone who's always existed, it's quite bizarre," she said in the shadows of Windsor Castle.

"I feel very sorry for the Queen, it's very hard losing a partner. She has had quite a bad year."

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who controversially knighted Prince Philip in 2015, paid tribute to a Duke of "character" and "service".

Mr Abbott said "the world seems a little emptier" without the late Prince Phillip.

"Prince Philip has been a part of our lives for so long that it's hard to grasp that he's gone," he said.

"He's lived a long life of duty and service - to the whole Commonwealth but above all to his Queen.

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard praised Prince Philip's "sense of fun".

"I have fond memories of spending time with Prince Philip during his visit to Australia at the time of CHOGM in Perth," she said.

"His loss will be mourned by the Queen, his family and millions around the world."

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also paid tribute to the late Duke.

"Farewell Prince Philip - always charming to this republican. But never more so than at Malta 2015 when he relived his young life with his young wife not yet a Queen. He spoke of love, adventure, eyes sparkling, he banished time. And we could see how he won Elizabeth's heart."

Buckingham Palace announced the Duke's death late last night.

"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," the palace said in a statement.

"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 statement was released at midday, London time (9pm AEST). Prince Philip had been isolating along with the Queen at Windsor Castle during the pandemic. Both had received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in January.

 

The ailing prince had been taken to King Edward VII Hospital in London in February, where he underwent heart surgery. He remained in hospital for 28 days.

His health had been a cause of concern for years, and he had been admitted to the same hospital in December 2019 for observation and treatment. Philip would have turned 100 on June 10.

The Duke of Edinburgh's death has plunged the United Kingdom into mourning and will be felt right across the globe, including the 53 nations of the British Commonwealth, where flags were being lowered to half mast.

"For nearly 80 years, Prince Philip served his Crown, his country and the Commonwealth," Mr Morrison said.

"His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was, in the words of Her Majesty, her 'strength and stay'.

"He embodied a generation that we will never see again."

Mr Morrison said Philip was "no stranger to Australia, having visited our country on more than 20 occasions".

"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. Flags will be lowered in honour of His Royal Highness."

PHILIP'S INCREDIBLE LIFE

The Duke and the Queen were married in 1947 and celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary on November 20, 2020.

Prince Philip retired from public life in August 2017 but was occasionally seen at events with the Queen, and attended the May 2018 wedding of grandson Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, just weeks after undergoing a hip replacement.

The 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth will be devastated at the loss of her loyal husband, who has been her companion throughout her entire adult life and with whom she has four children - Princes Charles, Edward, Andrew and Princess Anne.

 

The Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November 2020.
The Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November 2020.

An outspoken, proud and gruff man, he often chafed at the restrictions placed upon him by royal life, but has supported the Queen in her public life for almost seven decades and walked three steps behind her in public, as royal protocol dictated.

In January 2019, he survived a serious accident outside the Queen's private home, the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

 

The Duke was driving his Land Rover out of a side road when he collided with another car coming along the A149, the impact destroying his car and throwing it onto its side. A passer-by helped the shaken but conscious Prince Philip climb out of the wrecked car via the sunroof, and he was driven into the Sandringham Estate, where a doctor declared him uninjured but placed him under observation. Two women in the second car received minor injuries.

The accident sparked a debate about why he was still driving at the age of 97, but he was also praised for being so independent at such a grand age.

Philip was forced to give up driving after the incident.

Until his death he still drove a horse and carriage on private land from time to time.

Distant cousins, Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Prince of Greece and Denmark, first met as children, and again in 1939 when the princess was 13 years old, when she accompanied her father King George VI to a visit at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. A cadet at the school, Prince Philip was dispatched to entertain the young princess with a game of croquet.

Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, later HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947. Picture: Getty
Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, later HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, in 1947. Picture: Getty

They exchanged letters, and by 1946, became secretly engaged when Prince Philip asked King

George VI for his daughter's hand in marriage. The King agreed, providing the young couple kept it a secret until the Queen's 21st birthday the following year, and the engagement was announced in July 1947.

The wedding was held on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey.

 

In preparation, Philip converted from the Greek Orthodox Church to become a member of the Church of England and renounced his Greek and Danish titles. He also changed his name to Philip Mountbatten, from his British mother's side of the family, and was granted the titles of His Royal Highness and the Duke of Edinburgh. He also gave up his naval career, after serving throughout World War II.

The wedding, despite coming so close after the end of the war, was a marvellous spectacle: Princess Elizabeth had eight bridesmaids and the wedding party was transported in horse-drawn carriages through the streets of London as hundreds of thousands turned out to cheer and wave.

Despite his royal upbringing - born in Greece on June 10, 1921, the youngest child and only son of Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice - Prince Philip's early life was not easy.

Prince Philip, as a toddler in July 1922, had a difficult childhood. Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Prince Philip, as a toddler in July 1922, had a difficult childhood. Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

He was exiled to France as a baby after a revolution in Greece, and was essentially raised by his British relatives after his mother was committed to a mental institution after suffering a breakdown, and his father moved in with his mistress.

Neither the Queen nor the Duke were given to outward displays of emotion, which makes the

comments she made about him at their 50th anniversary more than 20 years ago so significant. She described him as "my strength and stay'' and said she owed him a great debt.

"Yesterday I listened as Prince Philip spoke at the Guildhall, and I then proposed our host's health.

"Today the roles are reversed,'' she told a group gathered to celebrate their anniversary.

Prince Philip and the Queen, on their honeymoon in Hampshire, had the longest marriage of any British sovereign. Picture: Getty
Prince Philip and the Queen, on their honeymoon in Hampshire, had the longest marriage of any British sovereign. Picture: Getty

"All too often, I fear, Prince Philip has had to listen to me speaking. Frequently we have discussed my intended speech beforehand and, as you will imagine, his views have been expressed in a forthright manner.

"He is someone who doesn't take easily to compliments 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.''

 

Former Buckingham Palace press secretary Dickie Arbiter said the Queen had made known several times how important Prince Philip had been in her life.

"(It was) made clear she couldn't have done the job without his support and wise counsel,'' Mr Arbiter told News Corp.

"He's not let her down.

"Their marriage is a true love story - there are not many of those about today.''

Majesty magazine managing editor Joe Little agreed, and told News Corp the Queen couldn't have done everything she had in her extraordinary career without the support of Prince Philip.

"She couldn't really have done it without him,'' he said.

"They have their moments but one most definitely needs the other.''

Prince Philip and the Queen in 1951 with their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne. Picture: PA/PA Wire
Prince Philip and the Queen in 1951 with their children Prince Charles and Princess Anne. Picture: PA/PA Wire

As for Prince Philip's famous gaffes - such as telling British students that if they stayed in China too long they'd get "slitty eyes" - Mr Little and Mr Arbiter both believe less offence had been caused than the media coverage would suggest.

"A lot of it (was) Philip's way of relaxing people,'' Mr Little said.

"When the Queen is appearing at an event a lot of people get very nervous. He (would) say something to lighten the mood.''

Mr Arbiter agreed, saying most people saw the funny side in his comments.

He said the 1986 comments to the Scottish students in China had been "laughed off'' by China, who "couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.''

He also caused a minor uproar in 2002 when he asked a group of indigenous Australians: "Do you still throw spears at each other?"

His rudeness and lack of political correctness aside, there was one controversy that dogged Prince Philip and the Queen, and that was the perception of links to the Nazi party.

This related to family links and not through any sentiments expressed by the Prince himself: indeed, he fought for the Allies against the Nazis during the war, and had a distinguished military career.

Mr Little said of the Nazi link, "if you can call it that, was that his sisters were married to German princes, some of the princes had been members of the Nazi parties to various degrees.

"When they were married in 1947 his sisters were not able to attend the wedding, it was too soon after World War II.''

Prince Philip had four older sisters, and three of them, Cecile, Sophie and Margarita, were married to members of the German royal family who were high-ranking members of the Nazi Party.

 

Originally published as 'Beloved husband': Queen's sorrow after Philip's death



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