Queen Re-Emerges To Outline UK Govt’s New Agenda

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) wearing a face covering, stands with his mother Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in the House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday makes her first public appearance since the funeral of her late husband, Prince Philip, to open a new session of parliament and present her newly victorious government’s post-pandemic legislative agenda.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is riding high after the Conservatives’ triumph in last week’s local and regional elections in England, but faces new questions over the UK’s cohesion after pro-independence forces emerged on top in Scotland.

Johnson says his government, after overseeing a successful inoculation campaign against Covid-19, is intent on reopening the economy and “determined that we look forward and get on with fulfilling the promises we have made to the British people”.

Those promises centre on a “levelling up” agenda to bring economic opportunity to left-behind parts of the country, as Johnson exploits his vaccine-boosted popularity to make further inroads into opposition Labour party strongholds.

“Not only will we address the legacies of the pandemic, we will go further to unite and level up the country, fight crime and create opportunities up and down the country for businesses and families to build brighter futures,” he said.

The queen’s speech will set out the government’s plans for the year ahead, including completion of an environment bill to set legally binding emissions targets, as Britain prepares to host the UN’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow in November.

 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales walk behind the Imperial State Crown as they process through the Royal Gallery, before the Queen’s Speech, during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. – The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of informing parliament about the government’s agenda for the coming year in a Queen’s Speech. (Photo by RICHARD POHLE / POOL / AFP)

 

– Row over refugees –
It is also expected to outline new measures against crime, and to deter asylum-seekers coming on boats across the Channel from France.

Tightening immigration rules and securing borders were vote-winning promises of Johnson’s campaign for leaving the European Union in Britain’s 2016 Brexit referendum.

But by differentiating between asylum-seekers who enter by legal channels and those who enter Britain from “safe” destinations like France, the government has provoked anger among refugee groups.

Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, the UK representative for the UN refugee agency UNHCR, said the proposals could breach international law, and would be “expensive and hard to implement”.

“We can’t see them deterring movements of desperate people. And the human consequences will be real and harmful,” she commented ahead of the queen’s speech.

Johnson’s official spokesman insisted: “We abide by all laws.”

The government’s proposals “are about fairness and ending cruel treatment and things like people-smuggling across the Channel”, he told reporters.

 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II reads the Queen’s Speech on the The Sovereign’s Throne in the socially distanced House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. – The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of informing parliament about the government’s agenda for the coming year in a Queen’s Speech. (Photo by Eddie MULHOLLAND / POOL / AFP)

 

– Disunited kingdom –
Normally an annual event replete with five centuries of tradition and pageantry, the monarch’s state opening of parliament has been shorn back because of the pandemic.

Only a select few from the upper chamber House of Lords and lower House of Commons will be allowed to attend, to maintain social distancing, and those present will need to have tested negative for Covid.

The 95-year-old queen is expected to be attended by her 72-year-old son and heir, Prince Charles, as she returns to public duties three weeks after the Duke of Edinburgh was laid to rest.

Prince Philip regularly accompanied his wife to the state opening until he retired from public duties in 2017. He died last month, aged 99.

While the monarch’s role is to stay above the political fray, the very future of the United Kingdom could be at stake after the election results north of the border gave new impetus to the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP).

When Scots last voted on the question of quitting the UK in 2014, Queen Elizabeth issued a guarded remark for voters to “think very carefully about the future”.

They opted against independence then, and Johnson’s flat rejection of SNP demands for a fresh referendum threatens to open up a new constitutional crisis in the queen’s post-Brexit realm.

 

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (R) wearing a face covering, stands with his mother Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in the House of Lords chamber, during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. – The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of informing parliament about the government’s agenda for the coming year in a Queen’s Speech. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP)

 

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said on Sunday that it would be “absurd and completely outrageous” for the UK Supreme Court to have to step in and adjudicate on any referendum’s legality.

 

 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II reads the Queen’s Speech on the Sovereign’s Throne in the House of Lords chamber during the State Opening of Parliament at the Houses of Parliament in London on May 11, 2021, which is taking place with a reduced capacity due to Covid-19 restrictions. – The State Opening of Parliament is where Queen Elizabeth II performs her ceremonial duty of informing parliament about the government’s agenda for the coming year in a Queen’s Speech. (Photo by Chris Jackson / POOL / AFP)

Prince Philip Laid To Rest In Royal Vault At Windsor Castle

Pall Bearers carry the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, followed by members of the Royal family inside St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. Danny Lawson / POOL / AFP

 

Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday bid farewell to her late husband, Prince Philip, at a royal funeral like no other, restricted by coronavirus rules but reflecting his long life of military and public service.

The Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9 at age 99, was interred in the Royal Vault at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle after a 50-minute service attended by just 30 guests.

The Queen, 94, seen for the first time since his death, was dressed in mourning black, with a white-trimmed, black face mask. Close family, also masked, sat socially distanced in the historic 15th-century Gothic chapel.

Philip — described by royals as “the grandfather of the nation” — was Britain’s longest-serving royal consort and was married to the Queen for 73 years.

He was an almost constant presence at her side during her record-breaking reign that began in 1952 as Britain rebuilt from World War II, and as its global empire began to unravel.

His death, which the family said had left a “huge void” in the Queen’s life, has robbed her of the man she called her “strength and stay” and closes a remarkable chapter for Britain’s most famous family, and in the country’s history.

The last high-profile funeral of a senior royal was for the Queen’s mother, who died in 2002, aged 101.

But unlike then, when more than one million people thronged outside Westminster Abbey in central London to watch the sombre pageant, the public was noticeably absent from Saturday’s ceremony.

The coronavirus pandemic forced hasty revisions to the well-rehearsed plans for the duke’s death, code-named “Operation Forth Bridge”, stripping back public elements to prevent large crowds from gathering.

Government guidelines limited the number of mourners and a quartet performed hymns the duke chose himself in a barren nave stripped of seating.

 

Mark Of Respect

The ceremonial funeral from behind the stately castle walls was broadcast live on television to millions across Britain and the world.

Members of the Royal Family follow the coffin into St George’s Chapel for the funeral service of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP / POOL

 

Beforehand, a military gun fired to signal a minute’s silence, when his coffin, draped in his standard and topped by a wreath of white roses and lilies from the Queen, his naval cap and ceremonial sword were borne by a bespoke Land Rover hearse he designed himself, arrived at the chapel.

Across Britain — on the streets, in shops, railway stations and at sporting events — people bowed their heads with respect.

Flights in and out of nearby Heathrow Airport were stopped for the duration of the ceremony.

Ieuan Jones, 37, travelled to Windsor from his home in the Welsh capital, Cardiff, and called Philip “a strong man, a true hero (who) did so much for this country and the royal family”.

“It’s really a shame that because of the pandemic we can’t pay a wider tribute to the exceptional man he was,” he told AFP.

Despite the restrictions, the stripped-down sendoff for the former Royal Navy commander still combined centuries of royal protocol with pomp, pageantry — and military precision.

Members of the British armed forces, in formal dress, lined the procession route, heads bowed, as the cortege passed, as a minute gun rang out across the grounds and a bell tolled.

The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards carry the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in the quadrangle ahead of the ceremonial funeral procession to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. CHRIS JACKSON / AFP / POOL

 

Philip’s grandsons William, 38, and Harry, 36, joined the procession, in their first public meeting since a reported falling out about Harry’s shock move to California, and his stinging criticism of royal life, including racism in the family.

Harry had to quarantine when he arrived back in Britain for the first time since his move to the United States with his wife, Meghan, last year.

The pair, who as young boys walked behind the coffin of their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997, were separated by their cousin, Anne’s son Peter Phillips, 43.

 

Last Post

The religious service was a simple affair, reflecting the wishes of the straight-talking duke, who was known for his aversion to “fuss”.

In keeping with his wishes, there was no sermon, but the service reflected his love of the sea, and long association with the Royal Navy, including hymns and Bible readings.

The Dean of Windsor, David Conner, paid tribute to his “kindness, humour and humanity”, and devotion to the Queen, who turns 95 next week and is in the twilight of her reign.

“We have been inspired by his unwavering loyalty to our Queen, by his service to the nation and the Commonwealth, by his courage, fortitude and faith,” he said.

The Queen, who had been escorted to the chapel by a lady-in-waiting in the royal Bentley, watched from the chapel choir as her husband was lowered steadily into the Royal Vault by an electric motor.

Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat for the funeral service of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh inside St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP

 

The Pipe Major of the Royal Regiment of Scotland played a lament, and buglers of the Royal Marines sounded The Last Post.

When the Queen dies, he will be transferred to lie alongside her in the King George VI memorial chapel, which houses the remains of her father, George VI, her mother, also called Elizabeth, and the ashes of her younger sister, Margaret.

Lasting Legacy

The funeral comes after eight days of public mourning for the duke, which has seen the Union Jack flown at half-mast and a virtual halt in official government business.

It has also brought renewed focus on the central place of the royals in British life and culture, with the ageing Queen and Prince Philip symbolic of another age.

At Buckingham Palace, the Queen’s central London home, Cardiff-born chef Santosh Singh laid purple tulips to mark the end of an era.

“I love the royals. I think they’re amazing… It’s sad because, in time, all this will change,” the 57-year-old said

Pollsters YouGov in March found that while 63 per cent of the public supported the monarchy, only 37 per cent of those aged 18-24 wanted it to continue.

Of them, 42 per cent said they would prefer an elected head of state.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 16, 2012, Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh salutes as he watches the troops ride past outside Buckingham Palace following the Queen’s Birthday Parade, ‘Trooping the Colour’ at Horse Guards Parade in London on June 16, 2012. LEON NEAL / AFP

 

Yet his death commanded a flood of tributes from across Britain and around the world, including from the remote Pacific island of Vanuatu, where he is revered as a god.

One of his lasting legacies will be the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) scheme for young people, which was set up in 1956 and now operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.

Some 6.7 million young people in the UK have taken part. His youngest son, Edward, Earl of Wessex, has assumed a greater role in the organisation, of which he is a trustee.

He will become Duke of Edinburgh when the Queen dies.

AFP

Funeral Service Held For Queen Elizabeth II’s Husband, Prince Philip

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (C) and Britain’s Princess Anne, Princess Royal, (R) lead the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021.  (Photo by Alastair Grant / POOL / AFP)

 

Prince Philip began his final journey on Saturday, as his coffin was taken to his funeral, followed slowly by his grieving children and widow, Queen Elizabeth II.

The couple’s four children  — Charles, Anne, Andrew, and Edward — walked behind the coffin, borne on a modified Land Rover hearse, through the grounds of Windsor Castle to St George’s Chapel.

Accompanying them were his grandsons, princes William and Harry, and the Queen, who was in a Bentley car.

See photos below:

Queen Elizabeth II looks at the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during his funeral service at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP)

 

Queen Elizabeth II takes her seat for the funeral service of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh inside St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by Jonathan Brady / POOL / AFP)

 

Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (L), Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York, (2R) and Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, (R) follow the coffin during the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. – (Photo by Gareth Fuller / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L) and Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walk during the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by Gareth Fuller / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Queen Elizabeth II (L) watches as pallbearers carry the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during his funeral inside St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, (L-front), Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York, (L-centre) and Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (L-back) are seen during the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by LEON NEAL / POOL / AFP)

 

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales walks behind the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during a ceremonial funeral procession to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP)

 

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II arrives in the Royal Bentley at the funeral for her husband, Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021.  (Photo by LEON NEAL / POOL / AFP)

 

Members of the armed forces pay tribute to the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in the quadrangle ahead of the ceremonial funeral procession of to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / POOL / AFP)

 

Royal Marine bandsmen march into position at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021 ahead of the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  (Photo by Kirsty O’Connor / POOL / AFP)

 

Britain’s Prince Charles, Prince of Wales walks during the ceremonial funeral procession of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021. (Photo by HANNAH MCKAY / POOL / AFP)

 

Military bandsmen march into position at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021 ahead of the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. (Photo by Kirsty O’Connor / POOL / AFP)

 

The Royal family march behind the modified Land Rover Defender carrying the coffin of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during the ceremonial funeral procession to St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021.  (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

Military Bands march up the Long Walk to Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London, on April 17, 2021 ahead of the funeral of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.  (Photo by Kirsty O’Connor / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Global News In Photos (10-16 April)

A protester (L) confronts with an anti-riot police officer during a demonstration of restaurant owners and workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses owners on April 13, 2021 at Circo Massimo in Rome, demanding the easing of lockdown restrictions and financial assistance from the government, during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

 

 

This is a selection of news photographs taken around the world this week which includes a 6.0-magnitude quake in Indonesia, Britain’s Prince Philip mourned all over the world, historic factory fires, Police officers clash with protesters after an officer shot and killed a black man in the US, and much more.

 

 

 

(COMBO) This combination of pictures taken on April 10, 2021 shows Saudi folklore dancers performing the art of “Taashir”, a traditional dance of the people of Taif, 750 kilometres west of Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. – Taashir is a war dance performed by carrying a weapon stuffed with gunpowder, which turns into a flame under the feet of the performer when he embraces the sky. The people of Taif still preserve this traditional dance and try to keep it alive among different generations. (Photos by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)

 

 

Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan around the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque complex in the holy city of Mecca, on April 13, 2021. – Saudi authorities said on April 5 only people immunised against COVID-19 will be allowed to perform the year-round Umrah pilgrimage from the start of Ramadan, the holy fasting month for Muslims. (Photo by – / AFP)

 

 

This picture shows the 100 days countdown till the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games displayed on the illuminated Tokyo Skytree in Tokyo on April 14, 2021. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)

 

 

This picture taken in Islamabad on April 15, 2021, shows a lightning flashing over the city during a thunderstorm. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP)

 

 

A loggerhead sea turtle equipped with a GPS tracker is released back into the Mediterranean Sea at Nitzanim beach near the Israeli city of Ashkelon on April 12, 2021. – The 30-kilogramme female loggerhead turtle was released into the Mediterranean after receiving treatment at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center. (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP)

 

 

US President Joe Biden walks through Arlington National cemetary to honor fallen veterans of the Afghan conflict in Arlington, Virginia on April 14, 2021. – President Joe Biden announced it’s “time to end” America’s longest war with the unconditional withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, where they have spent two decades in a bloody, largely fruitless battle against the Taliban. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)

 

 

View of a Christ statue being built in Encantado, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, on April 09, 2021. – The Christ the Protector statue under construction in Encantado will be larger than Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer and the third-largest in the world. (Photo by SILVIO AVILA / AFP)

 

 

This photograph taken on April 10, 2021, shows a helicopter flying as lava is erupting from Piton de la Fournaise volcano, on the southern side of the volcano, on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion. (Photo by Richard BOUHET / AFP)

 

 

A model presents a creation from Spanish designer Ulises Merida’s Autumn – Winter 2021 / 2022 collection during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Madrid on April 10, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)

 

 

Protesters stand on top of a police car as they clash after an officer shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 11,2021. – Protests broke out April 11, 2021 night after US police fatally shot a young Black man in a suburb of Minneapolis — where a former police officer is currently on trial for the murder of George Floyd. Hundreds of people gathered outside the police station in Brooklyn Center, northwest of Minneapolis. Police fired teargas and flash bangs at the demonstrators, according to an AFP videojournalist at the scene. (Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP)

 

 

Police officers take cover as they clash with protesters after an officer shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 11,2021. – Protests broke out April 11, 2021 night after US police fatally shot a young Black man in a suburb of Minneapolis — where a former police officer is currently on trial for the murder of George Floyd. Hundreds of people gathered outside the police station in Brooklyn Center, northwest of Minneapolis. Police fired teargas and flash bangs at the demonstrators, according to an AFP videojournalist at the scene. (Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP)

 

 

A protester (L) confronts with an anti-riot police officer during a demonstration of restaurant owners and workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses owners on April 13, 2021 at Circo Massimo in Rome, demanding the easing of lockdown restrictions and financial assistance from the government, during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

 

 

People drink in the street in the Soho area of London, on April 12, 2021 as coronavirus restrictions are eased across the country in step two of the government’s roadmap out of England’s third national lockdown. – Britons on Monday toasted a significant easing of coronavirus restrictions, with early morning pints — and much-needed haircuts — as the country took a tentative step towards the resumption of normal life. Businesses including non-essential retail, gyms, salons and outdoor hospitality were all able to open for the first time in months in the second step of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)

 

 

Demonstrators use umbrellas to shield themselves against tear gas and pepper balls outside the Brooklyn Center police station as they protest the death of Daunte Wright who was shot and killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 13, 2021. – Tensions have soared over the death on April 11 of African American Daunte Wright near the Midwestern US city, a community already on edge over the ongoing trial of a policeman accused of killing another Black man, George Floyd. (Photo by Kerem YUCEL / AFP)

 

 

A Ukrainian serviceman stands guard at a position on the frontline with Russia backed separatists near small city of Marinka, Donetsk region on April 12, 2021. – Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in clashes with pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine’s war-torn east, its military said on April 12, 2021, as Kiev again accused Moscow of massing tens of thousands of soldiers on its border. (Photo by STR / AFP)

 

 

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a historic factory in Saint Petersburg on April 12, 2021. – Russia on April 13, 2021 detained two people after a huge fire gutted a historic factory in Saint Petersburg, as firefighters continued putting out the blaze. A fire broke out over several floors of the red-brick Nevskaya Manufaktura building in Russia’s second city. The inferno killed one firefighter and left two more hospitalised with serious burns. (Photo by Olga MALTSEVA / AFP)

 

 

Kitesurfers are seen on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 12, 2021. (Photo by Carl DE SOUZA / AFP)

 

 

This picture taken on April 12, 2021 shows tribesmen holding portraits of Britain’s Prince Philip in the town of Yaohnanen, near the town of Yakel, a remote Pacific village on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu that worships Britain’s Prince Philip, following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death on April 9. (Photo by Dan McGarry / AFP)

 

 

Indonesian soldiers and residents check damaged houses in Malang, East Java on April 11, 2021, a day after a 6.0-magnitude quake struck off the coast of Indonesia’s main Java island. (Photo by Juni Kriswanto / AFP)

 

 

A person sleeps next to empty oxygen cylinders while waiting to refill it in Villa El Salvador, on the southern outskirts of Lima, on April 11, 2021, amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. – Relatives of COVID-19 patients are desperate for oxygen to keep their loved ones alive during a fierce second wave of the pandemic in Peru, on the day of the first round of presidential and parliamentary elections. (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP)

 

 

The Death Gun Salute is fired by the Honourable Artillery Company to mark the passing of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the The Tower of London, in London on April 10, 2021, the day after his death at the age of 99. – Military guns will be fired across Britain and sporting events will fall silent on Saturday as part of worldwide tributes to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)

 

 

Children prepare to take part in a training demonstration of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC-PF) vigilante force, in the village of Ayahualtempa, Guerrero State, Mexico, on April 10, 2021. – The CRAC-PF vigilante group trains children as young as five so they can protect themselves from drug-related criminal groups operating in the area, according to their leaders. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP)

Queen Elizabeth II To Bury Her ‘Strength And Stay’ Prince Philip

Queen Elizabeth II’s 99-year-old husband Prince Philip, who was recently hospitalised and underwent a successful heart procedure, died on April 9, 2021, Buckingham Palace announced. (Photo by Leon NEAL / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Queen Elizabeth II bids a final farewell to her late husband, Prince Philip, on Saturday, at a funeral restricted by coronavirus rules but reflecting his long life of military and public service.

The ceremony behind the stately walls of Windsor Castle, west of London, will be watched by an expected television audience of millions, with the public urged to stay away because of the pandemic.

The Duke of Edinburgh — described by royals as “the grandfather of the nation” — died on April 9, aged 99, just weeks after spending more than a month in hospital for treatment of a heart condition and an infection.

Britain’s longest-serving royal consort was an almost constant presence at the Queen’s side during her record-breaking reign that began in 1952 as Britain rebuilt from World War II and as its global empire began to unravel.

His death, after 73 years of marriage, has left a “huge void” in her life, the couple’s second son, Prince Andrew, said last weekend.

The Queen released a touching personal photograph of herself with Prince Philip, both looking relaxed and smiling in the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland in 2003.

Images of key moments in the couple’s marriage were also shared on the royal family’s social media accounts.

Most newspapers reflected on her deep personal loss. “The Queen bids farewell,” headlined The Times.

At the service, the Dean of Windsor, David Conner, will pay tribute to Philip’s “unwavering loyalty” to his wife, who turns 95 next week, the country and the Commonwealth, as well as his “courage, fortitude and faith”.

Government Covid-19 regulations have forced hasty revisions to “Operation Forth Bridge”, the long-rehearsed funeral plans for former Royal Navy commander Philip.

But the stripped-back ceremonial funeral will still feature members of the armed services he was associated with lining a short procession route through the immaculately trimmed grounds of the castle, whose history dates back 1,000 years.

His coffin will be borne to Windsor’s historic St George’s Chapel on a bespoke Land Rover hearse which he designed himself, repainted in military green.

A minute’s silence will be observed across the country on the stroke of 3:00 pm (1400 GMT) before the funeral service begins.

 

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 25, 2009 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (R) and Prince Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (L) watch a bell cast from molten metal during a visit to the Whitechapel Bell Foundry in east London, on March 25, 2009. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / POOL / AFP)

 

– End of an era –
The Queen will lead just 30 mourners, as they pay their respects to the man she once called her “strength and stay”, and whose death closes a remarkable chapter for Britain’s most famous family and the country’s recent history.

The congregation will mostly be close family, including the couple’s four children: heir to the throne Prince Charles, 72, Princess Anne, 70, Prince Andrew, 61, and Prince Edward, 57.

Also present will be Charles’ eldest son William, 38, who will be joined by younger brother, Harry, 36, after he jetted back last weekend from the United States, where he now lives.

All eyes will be on the brothers — whose mother was Charles’ first wife, princess Diana — after a reported falling out over Harry’s move to California with his American wife, Meghan, and their stinging criticisms of the royals.

Meghan, heavily pregnant with her second child, was advised not to travel on medical grounds.

The brothers, who as young boys walked behind their mother’s coffin at her funeral in 1997, will follow the procession on foot, but not side-by-side.

Between them will be their cousin, Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips, 43, which will likely fuel further rumours of the rift, even if it reflects royal protocol.

 

An ardent Royals supporter pays tribute outside Windsor Castle, in Windsor, west of London, on April 9, 2021, following the announcement of the death of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP)

 

– Masks and social distancing –
Funerals of senior royals are normally grand public affairs, honed over years of planning, combining pomp, pageantry, and a guest list that is a who’s who of world dignitaries.

The last major royal funeral — of the Queen’s mother, also called Queen Elizabeth — in 2002 cost more than £5.4 million ($7.4 million).

More than one million people thronged outside Westminster Abbey in central London to watch the sombre pageant.

More than 200,000 people had previously filed past her coffin, as it lay in state over four days.

Saturday’s ceremony will be a more modest affair but a royal send-off like no other, with two-metre social distancing in place inside the 15th century Gothic chapel.

All guests — in mourning black — are required to wear black face masks before, during and after the ceremony. Harry has had to quarantine since arriving from Los Angeles.

Royal officials and the government have urged the public not to congregate at palaces to pay their respects, although a steady stream of well-wishers have ignored the calls.

The slimmed-down formalities, however, may have appealed to the straight-talking prince, who had an aversion to “fuss”, according to his family.

At the end of the funeral, led by the Dean of Windsor with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, the duke will be privately interred in the Royal Vault of St George’s Chapel.

When the Queen dies, he will be transferred to lie alongside her in the King George VI memorial chapel, which houses the remains of her father, George VI, her mother, and the ashes of her younger sister, Princess Margaret.

Premier League, Other Sports Events Moved Due To Prince Philip’s Funeral

In this file photo taken on July 22, 2020 Britain’s Prince Philip (C), Duke of Edinburgh takes part in the transfer of the Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles at Windsor castle in Windsor on July 22, 2020. Photo by Adrian DENNIS / POOL / AFP)

 

Racing’s Scottish Grand National as well as football and rugby fixtures in the United Kingdom are to be moved “as a mark of respect” to avoid a clash with the funeral of Prince Philip on Saturday.

Scotland’s premier jumps race will be run on Sunday while 32 English Football League games will be moved from their 1400GMT kick-off slot.

Prince Philip’s funeral is due to begin at 1400GMT, and a national minute’s silence will be held at the same time.

“As a mark of respect for the funeral ceremony of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, it has been agreed that no racing will take place in Great Britain between 2:45pm and 4:15pm on Saturday 17 April,” said the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) in a statement.

“As a result, the Scottish Grand National fixture at Ayr and the Spring Trials fixture at Newbury will now be moved from Saturday 17 to the afternoon of Sunday 18 April.”

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The English Football League said it “will now work with its clubs to determine at what time the matches will be played”.

In the Premier League, there are talks about moving Wolverhampton Wanderers’ home game against Sheffield United which is due to get underway at 1400GMT.

In cricket, the nine County Championship matches scheduled on Saturday will be paused between 1350 and 1510GMT.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has also asked all recreational cricket clubs to do the same.

In Scotland, there are six Scottish Cup fourth-round matches scheduled around the time of the funeral, including the high-octane clash between Rangers and holders Celtic at 1500GMT.

The Scottish Football Association says it is has “entered dialogue with the relevant stakeholders” regarding those fixtures.

The FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Manchester City at Wembley is at 1630GMT.

Premiership Rugby has changed the kick-off times of all four of its matches on Saturday so they do not clash with the funeral.

AFP

UK Lawmakers Set For Prince Philip Tributes

In this file photo taken on May 09, 2012, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, proceed through the Royal Gallery in the Palace of Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament, in London on May 9, 2012, during the State Opening of Parliament. PHOTO: LEON NEAL / POOL / AFP

 

Lawmakers across the UK are set to pay tribute to Prince Philip Monday, whose death last week aged 99 has left a “huge void” in the life of Queen Elizabeth, according to her son.

Parliaments in London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Belfast will convene to pay their respects to Philip, who spent 73 years at the side of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

Prince Andrew said Sunday his 94-year-old mother was “incredibly stoic” but had been hit hard by the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

“She described it (his death) as having left a huge void in her life,” Andrew said after a church service at Windsor Castle, west of London.

The queen and Philip’s second son described his father as “the grandfather of the nation” and said close family were “rallying round” his mother.

Andrew has been rarely seen in public since stepping back from royal duties in 2019 over his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The Duke of York’s younger brother, Edward, Earl of Wessex, called his father’s death “a dreadful shock”, despite his recent illness.

Princess Anne, the queen, and Prince Philip’s only daughter, said her father was her “teacher, my supporter, and my critic”, and she tried to emulate “his example of a life well-lived and service freely given”.

“We will miss him but he leaves a legacy which can inspire us all,” said Anne, who was considered particularly close to her father.

The queen’s eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, on Saturday paid his own heartfelt tribute to his “dear Papa”, saying he and the royal family missed him “enormously”.

The comments came as the highest-ranking cleric in the Church of England that the queen heads led prayers at a memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh.

“For the royal family, as for every other, no words can reach into the depth of sorrow that goes into bereavement,” said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

Other senior faith leaders paid tribute to Philip, whose support for the queen has been seen as crucial during her 69-year reign.

 

– Brothers reunited –

Prince Philip’s death triggered eight days of national mourning, which ends with his funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday.

Well-rehearsed plans for his funeral — codenamed “Operation Forth Bridge” — have had to be hastily revised because of coronavirus restrictions.

Public elements of the ceremony have been eliminated to avoid crowds gathering, while the congregation at the chapel is limited to just 30.

That sparked huge speculation about whether the duke’s grandson Prince Harry will attend after he and his American wife Meghan quit royal duties last year.

Buckingham Palace on Saturday confirmed Harry’s attendance but said Meghan, who is heavily pregnant with the couple’s second child, would not travel on medical advice.

The couple, who now live in the United States, have launched a series of broadsides against the royal family, including charges of racism and not looking after Meghan’s mental health.

The service, which will be televised, will be keenly watched for signs of strain — or reconciliation — between Harry, 36, and his brother, William, 38, after a reported rift.

The brothers had been expected to meet in July for the first time since Harry moved to the US at the unveiling of a statue of their late mother, princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday.

The Sun on Sunday newspaper said the pair would walk behind their grandfather’s coffin in a funeral procession in the castle grounds, as they did as young boys at their mother’s 1997 funeral.

The Sunday Telegraph newspaper said Harry rushed to find a flight as soon as he heard of his grandfather’s death and was expected to return to the UK as soon as Sunday.

 

– Shared grief –

Britain’s former prime minister John Major said the funeral was an “ideal opportunity” to repair the relationship between the brothers, because of their shared grief at the loss of their grandfather.

“I hope very much that it is possible to mend any rifts that may exist,” he told BBC television.

Despite requests for the public not to pay their respects at royal palaces, a steady stream of well-wishers turned up at Windsor, and at the queen’s Buckingham Palace home in central London.

Police on Sunday erected barriers at the palace to further discourage people gathering outside.

At the palace, well-wisher Carl Sonnermann said Philip was “a major figure” and it was a “shame” people could not pay their respects publicly.

“I think he probably deserves a broader honour, but I think it’s just the circumstances these days, and it’s the right thing to do,” he told AFP.

AFP

Husband’s Death Has Left ‘Huge Void’ For Queen Elizabeth II – Son

In this file photo taken on May 09, 2012 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, proceed through the Royal Gallery in the Palace of Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament, in London on May 9, 2012 during the State Opening of Parliament. (Photo by Leon NEAL / POOL / AFP)

 

Queen Elizabeth II has been left bereft at the death of her husband, Prince Philip, one of the couple’s sons said on Sunday, as prayers were said at memorial services across Britain.

Prince Andrew said his 94-year-old mother was “incredibly stoic” but had been hit hard by the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99 on Friday.

Last year the couple celebrated 73 years of marriage.

“She described it (his death) as having left a huge void in her life,” Andrew told broadcasters after a church service at Windsor Castle, west of London.

He described his father as “the grandfather of the nation” and said close family were “rallying round” the queen in support.

Younger brother Edward called his father’s death “a dreadful shock,” despite his recent illness.

The comments came as the Church of England’s highest-ranking cleric led prayers at a memorial service for the Duke of Edinburgh.

“For the royal family, as for every other, no words can reach into the depth of sorrow that goes into bereavement,” said Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

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The queen is head of the Church of England.

Other senior faith leaders paid tribute to Philip, whose support for the queen has been seen as crucial during her 69-year reign.

The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, told Vatican Radio the prince had a “cheerful sense of duty” and provided “stability” to queen and country.

The queen’s eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, 72, on Saturday paid his own heartfelt tribute to his father, saying he and the royal family missed him “enormously”.

“My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him, and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that,” he added.

– Brothers reunited –
Prince Philip’s death triggered eight days of national mourning, which ends with his funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Saturday.

Well-rehearsed plans for his funeral — codenamed “Operation Forth Bridge” — have had to be hastily revised because of coronavirus restrictions, and to confirm to government guidelines.

Public elements of the ceremony have been eliminated to avoid crowds gathering, while the congregation at the chapel is limited to just 30.

That has sparked huge speculation about whether the duke’s grandson Prince Harry will attend, after he and his American wife Meghan quit royal duties last year.

 

In this file photo taken on December 25, 2017 (L-R) Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle and Britain's Prince Harry (R) arrive to attend the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
In this file photo taken on December 25, 2017 (L-R) Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, US actress and fiancee of Britain’s Prince Harry Meghan Markle and Britain’s Prince Harry (R) arrive to attend the Royal Family’s traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

Buckingham Palace on Saturday confirmed Harry’s attendance but said Meghan, who is heavily pregnant with the couple’s second child, would not travel on medical advice.

The couple, who now live in the United States, have launched a series of broadsides against the royals, including charges of racism and not looking after Meghan’s mental health.

The service, which will be televised, will be keenly watched for signs of strain — or reconciliation — between Harry, 36, and his brother, William, 38, after a reported rift.

The brothers had been expected to meet in July for the first time since Harry moved to the US at the unveiling of a statue of their late mother, princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday.

The Sun on Sunday newspaper said the pair would walk behind their grandfather’s coffin in a funeral procession in the castle grounds, as they did as young boys at their mother’s 1997 funeral.

The Sunday Telegraph newspaper said Harry rushed to find a flight as soon as he heard of his grandfather’s death and was expected to return to the UK as soon as Sunday.

– Shared grief –
Britain’s former prime minister John Major said the funeral was an “ideal opportunity” to repair the relationship between the brothers, because of their shared grief at the loss of their grandfather.

“I hope very much that it is possible to mend any rifts that may exist,” he told BBC television.

Despite requests for the public not to pay their respects at royal palaces, a steady stream of well-wishers turned up at Windsor, and at the queen’s Buckingham Palace home in central London.

At the palace, well-wisher Carl Sonnermann said Philip was “a major figure” and it was a “shame” people could not pay their respects publicly.

“I think he probably deserves a broader honour, but I think it’s just the circumstances these days, and it’s the right thing to do,” he told AFP.

AFP

Harry But No Meghan At Scaled-Down Funeral For Prince Philip

 In this file photo taken on December 25, 2017 (L-R) Britain's Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle and Britain's Prince Harry (R) arrive to attend the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England. Adrian DENNIS / AFP
In this file photo taken on December 25, 2017 (L-R) Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, US actress and fiancee of Britain’s Prince Harry Meghan Markle and Britain’s Prince Harry (R) arrive to attend the Royal Family’s traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, eastern England. Adrian DENNIS / AFP

 

The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip, will take place next week, Buckingham Palace said on Saturday, announcing a stripped-back ceremony due to coronavirus restrictions, and a return for exiled royal Prince Harry but not his wife, Meghan.

The announcement came as the couple’s eldest son, heir to the throne Prince Charles, 72, paid a heartfelt tribute to his “dear Papa”, and said he and the royal family missed him “enormously”.

“My dear Papa was a very special person who I think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him, and from that point of view we are, my family, deeply grateful for all that,” he added.

“It will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time.”

The Duke of Edinburgh – the 94-year-old queen’s husband of 73 years — died peacefully on Friday just two months short of his 100th birthday, triggering eight days of national mourning.

Royal officials said his funeral, which will be televised, will take place at 1400 GMT on Saturday, April 17 in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, west of London.

It will be preceded by a national minute’s silence.

Government guidelines restrict mourners to just 30 people and close attention has been paid to the pared-down guest list for the funeral, particularly whether the duke’s grandson Harry would attend.

Palace officials confirmed he would but his American wife, Meghan, who is pregnant with their second child, had been advised against travelling from the United States on medical grounds.

The couple, who quit frontline royal duties last year, have launched a series of broadsides against the royals, including accusing them of racism, and of failing to treat Meghan’s mental health.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will also not be attending the funeral because of Covid restrictions, Downing Street said.

“The Prime Minister has throughout wanted to act in accordance with what is best for the Royal household, and so to allow for as many family members as possible will not be attending the funeral on Saturday,” a spokesperson said.

Gun salutes

Gun salutes earlier echoed around the United Kingdom on Saturday as the armed forces paid solemn tribute to the duke.

The coordinated 41-round volleys to the former Royal Navy commander were fired at a rate of one per minute from 12:00 (1100 GMT) in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, as well as at naval bases, from warships at sea, and in the British territory Gibraltar.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 09, 2012 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, proceed through the Royal Gallery in the Palace of Westminster, home to the Houses of Parliament, in London on May 9, 2012 during the State Opening of Parliament. (Photo by Leon NEAL / POOL / AFP)

 

Similar salutes — the most according to military protocol — were also held in Canberra and Wellington, as the Queen is head of state in Australia and New Zealand.

At the Tower of London, a crowd of more than 100 onlookers kept a respectful silence as they watched the Honourable Artillery Company fire shots on the banks of the River Thames.

One onlooker, Heather Utteridge, said she had come to show her respects “for a superhuman”.

“It’s a great loss to not just the Queen, but actually to the country. He represented stability for all of our lives,” the 65-year-old told AFP.

Alexander Beaten, 30, said the royal couple had been an integral part of British identity and culture.

“We can disagree with the government… but the Queen and Prince Philip are just such a constant,” he said.

Sporting events, including Premier League football matches, English county championship cricket, and the Grand National horserace, held silences as part of worldwide tributes to mark the death of the duke, during a period of national mourning.

The death of the duke, the longest serving royal consort in British history, is a profound loss for the Queen, who once described her loyal husband as her “strength and stay” throughout her long reign.

Flags at half-mast

Flags were flying at half-mast on government buildings and will do so until the morning after his funeral.

The well-rehearsed protocol for the duke’s death — codenamed “Forth Bridge” — has been hastily revised because of the coronavirus pandemic, eliminating public events where crowds could gather.

Parliament will be recalled on Monday for lawmakers to pay tribute, but the duke will not lie in state, nor will there will be military processions.

British television stations cleared their schedules for special broadcasts looking back on his life on Friday, although the BBC said it had received complaints about the blanket coverage.

Westminster Abbey, where the couple married in 1947, tolled its tenor bell 99 times on Friday, once for each year of the prince’s life.

‘Deep sorrow’

Philip had been ill for some time, and spent more than a month in hospital from February 16 being treated for a pre-existing heart condition and an infection.

Despite looking frail on his release from hospital on March 16, hopes were raised for his recovery.

But the Queen announced Philip’s death at Windsor Castle “with deep sorrow” on Friday.

‘Farewell, my beloved’

The duke’s death dominated Britain’s newspapers on Saturday. “We’re all weeping with you Ma’am,” The Sun tabloid said on its front page.

The Daily Mail splashed a picture of the Queen looking at her husband along with the headline “Farewell, my beloved” on the front page of its 144-page souvenir edition.

Tributes poured in from home and abroad, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving “thanks, as a nation and a kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip”.

Political and faith leaders in Britain, and from the United States, Europe and Commonwealth countries including Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and Pakistan also paid their respects.

Global royalty also paid their respects, while Pope Francis praised the prince’s “devotion” to his family and marriage, and sent his “heartfelt condolences” to the Queen.

Flowers discouraged due to Covid

Philip retired from public duties in 2017 at the age of 96, declaring “I’ve done my bit”.

The couple had been living largely in isolation at Windsor because their age put them at heightened risk from Covid-19.

He was last seen at a staged appearance at a military ceremony at Windsor in July, days after attending the wedding ceremony of his granddaughter Princess Beatrice.

On Saturday members of the public continued to pay their respects outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor, despite royal family requests not to gather at royal residences because of the restrictions.

Hundreds of flowers that had been laid outside the Queen’s official residence in central London on Friday have been moved to Windsor, apparently to discourage further gathering.

An online book of condolences on the royal family’s official website has been put in place rather than conventional public tributes.

 

AFP

Pope Praises Prince Philip’s ‘Devotion’ To Marriage And Family

Pope Francis delivers his Urbi et Orbi Blessing, after celebrating Easter Mass on April 04, 2021 at St. Peter’s Basilica in The Vatican during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / POOL / AFP)

 

 

Pope Francis on Saturday saluted Prince Philip, the late husband of Queen Elizabeth II, as a man devoted “to his marriage and family.”

In a message to the British monarch, the 84-year-old Argentine pope offered “heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty and the members of the Royal Family.”

He praised the prince, who died on Friday aged 99, for his “devotion to his marriage and family, his distinguished record of public service and his commitment to the education and advancement of future generations.”

Francis concluded his message by invoking “the Lord’s blessings of consolation and peace” for the queen and for “all who grieve (Prince Philip’s) loss.”

 

Prince Philip’s Death, The End Of An Era – Buhari

(FILES) In this file photo taken on June 10, 2011, Britain’s Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, attends a reception for the Action on Hearing Loss charity at Buckingham Palace, in central London, on June 10, 2011. John Stillwell / POOL / AFP

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday extended his condolences to Queen Elizabeth II over the death of her husband, Prince Philip.

He sympathised with the Queen in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

“The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is the end of an era,” the President said in his tribute to the longest-serving Queen’s consort.

He added, “Prince Philip was one of the greatest and publicly recognisable international figures whose contributions to the Commonwealth will be remembered for generations to come.

“Prince Philip was a great man in his own right who made enormous contributions to philanthropic activities and charities, especially for wildlife conservation and youth development programmes in more than 130 countries.”

President Buhari described the late Duke of Edinburgh as a remarkable husband who had been happily married to the Queen since 1947, saying such union was an impressive record for any marriage at any level.

He also commiserated with the government of the United Kingdom and members of the Commonwealth for the death of Prince Philip, whom he said was a royal and global icon.

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The President’s tribute comes hours after Buckingham Palace announced the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, aged 99.

He was the longest-serving royal consort in British history after getting married to Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen.

In a tweet via its official handle on Friday afternoon, the Palace said, “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

“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.”

Fears over the health of the Duke of Edinburgh, as he was formally known, had been heightened after he was recently hospitalised for a month.

He was first admitted on February 16 on the advice of his doctor after he complained of feeling unwell.

After what was described as a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition and treatment for an unspecified infection, Prince Philip left the hospital on March 16.

He was due to turn 100 in June.

EPL Players To Observe One Minute’s Silence To Honour Prince Philip

prince-philip
Prince Philip was 99 years old. Photo: [email protected] League

 

Premier League players are to wear black armbands and observe one minute’s silence before kick-off at all league games this weekend in honour of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip who died on Friday. 

“As a mark of respect, players will wear black armbands and there will be a minute’s silence before kick-off at all Premier League matches played tonight and across the weekend,” the Premier League said in a statement shared on its social media platforms.

While expressing sadness over the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, the EPL condoled with The Queen and The Royal Family over the development.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Her Majesty The Queen, The Royal Family and all those around the world mourning the loss of His Royal Highness,” it added.

Royal Family Mourns

Prince Philip was the longest-serving royal consort in British history after getting married to Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen.

The Palace announced the death of the late monarch via its official Twitter handle on Friday afternoon.

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“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,” it said in a statement.

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

“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”

Fears over the health of the Duke of Edinburgh, as he was formally known, had been heightened after he recently spent a month in hospital for treatment.

He left the hospital on March 16 following what was described as a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition and treatment for an unspecified infection.

He was first admitted on February 16 on the advice of his doctor after he complained of feeling unwell.

Philip had returned to Windsor Castle, west of London, where he had been isolating with the queen — Britain’s longest-serving monarch — since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.