UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday mourned the death at the age of 99 of the Duke of Edinburgh, who “inspired” and won the “affection” of generations of Britons.
His role as a member of the royal family has contributed for decades to the British monarchy “remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life,” said the head of government in a speech outside his official residence in Downing Street.
Johnson stressed that the husband of Queen Elizabeth II was “the longest serving consort in history, one of the last surviving people in this country to have served in the second world war at Cape Matapan, where he was mentioned in despatches for bravery and in the invasion of Sicily.”
The Prime Minister stated that Prince Philip “earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world.”
“We remember the Duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen. Not just as her consort, by her side every day of her reign, but as her husband, her ‘strength and stay’, of more than 70 years,” Johnson said in a speech he delivered in a suit and black tie.
“He was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable,” added Johnson.
Both Elizabeth II and the rest of the royal family have lost not only a “highly respected public figure,” but “a devoted husband, a proud and loving father, a grandfather and, in recent years, a great-grandfather,” the Prime Minister said.
The leader of the opposition in the United Kingdom, the Labour Keir Starmer, said that with the death of the duke “an extraordinary public servant” has been lost.
“Prince Philip will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to The Queen,” Starmer said in a statement.
The marriage of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip was a union that “inspired millions in the United Kingdom” and beyond Britain’s borders, the Labour leader added for his part.
Starmer sent his condolences to the head of state and the British royal family, as well as to the people of the United Kingdom who this Friday “unite” to remember the life of Prince Philip.
Scotland’s Chief Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, expressed her “sadness” and expressed her “deepest condolences” to Queen Elizabeth II and the British royal family.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, primate of the Church of England, today expressed in a statement his sorrow at the death of the duke and highlighted his “extraordinary” life dedicated to public service during his loyalty to Queen Elizabeth II.
“Consistently, (the duke) put the interests of others above his own and, in doing so, was an example of Christian service,” the archbishop stressed.