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THE PUBLIC REMEMBER: The passing of HRH The Duke of Edingburgh

 

Windsor Castle has become the focus of royal fans wanting to pay their respects.

The Queen is grieving for her beloved husband the Duke of Edinburgh, who has died aged 99.

Buckingham Palace announced Philip’s death just after midday, issuing a statement that spoke about the royal family joining with people across the globe “mourning his loss”.

An international figure since marrying the Queen more 70 years ago, the duke’s death was marked with tributes from world leaders, foreign royal families and charities he supported.

 
 

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.”

No further details were released about the circumstances of his death.

Duke of Edinburgh death
The Queen and Philip were married for more than 70 years (Chris Radburn/PA)

As the monarchy mourn their loss, it is understood there will be no further statements from the family on Friday.

The announcement of Philip’s death reflected tradition and modern times, with the statement tweeted on the royal family account and also a framed notice attached to the railings of Buckingham Palace for a short period.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was one of the first national figures to pay tribute to the duke – the longest-serving consort in British history.

 
 

Speaking from a podium in Downing Street, Mr Johnson 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.

Duke of Edinburgh death
Flowers left outside Windsor Castle (Victoria Jones/PA)

“We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen.”

During the lockdowns, Philip stayed at Windsor Castle with the Queen for their safety, alongside a reduced household of staff dubbed HMS Bubble.

The couple are thought to have spent more time together during the past 12 months, shielding from coronavirus, then they would in a normal year.

Windsor has become the focus of royal fans wanting to pay their respects but it is understood they will be encouraged to donate to a charity they support or one Philip was associated with, rather than leave flowers.

Online books of condolence are expected to be opened later so the public can post their personal tributes.

Philip helped draw up the details of his funeral and was determined there should be a minimum of fuss.

It has long been known the Queen has final approval of the plans, which are expected to be announced in the coming days.

A source has confirmed Covid will have an effect on any arrangements and the public is already being encouraged not to gather to commemorate the duke.

The Duke of Sussex who laid bare his rift with members of his family during his Oprah Winfrey interview is likely to attend his grandfather’s funeral, but it is not known if he will be joined by wife Meghan – who is pregnant.


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