Gun salutes across the UK, in Commonwealth countries and at sea are marking the death of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband and former naval officer, on Saturday.
Cannon batteries were established in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, and other cities to fire 41 rounds at one-minute intervals starting at noon. The Australian Defense Force offered its salute at 5pm local time in front of Parliament House in Canberra, and New Zealand planned to hold an artillery tribute on Sunday.
“His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unwavering sense of duty,” said General Nick Carter, UK Chief of Defense Staff. “From all of us who serve today and have served, thank you.”
Also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, Philip served in the Royal Navy during World War II and once had a promising military career. He joined the Royal Navy as a cadet in 1939 and earned commendations during the war for his service aboard the battleship HMS Valiant at Cape Matapan on Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula. He rose to the rank of commander before retiring from active duty.
THE MILITARY CAREER OF PRINCE PHILIP, THE BRAVE OF WORLD WAR II: A LOOK BACK
Two years after the war ended, Philip married the future queen at Westminster Abbey when she was 21 and he was 26. His naval career came to an abrupt end when King George VI died in 1952 and Elizabeth was converted. in queen.
At the queen’s coronation in 1953, Felipe swore to be the “lord of life and members” of his wife and settled into a life supporting the monarch. The couple had four children: Charles, the heir to the throne, Anne, Andrew, and Edward.
Members of the public left flowers outside Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle on Saturday, ignoring calls from authorities and the royal family to refrain from meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Oh, I think everyone’s in shock,” said Maureen Field, a 67-year-old Staines resident. “I think everyone would like to pay their respects. Because of the virus, a lot of people have to stay away. He didn’t want a big funeral. He wanted a very private moment with his family to say goodbye. So we all have to respect that.”
Felipe and the queen were married for 73 years. The royal family confirmed his death in a statement on Friday.
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“It is with deep regret that Her Majesty the Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Her Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle,” the statement said.
During the closure of the coronavirus in England, he had stayed at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the 94-year-old reigning monarch.
On February 16, Philip was admitted to a London hospital after feeling unwell. On March 3, he underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St. Bartholomew Hospital before being transferred back to King Edward VII Hospital on March 5 and finally discharged home on March 16.
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She is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
Associated Press contributed to this report.