World pays tribute after the death of Britain’s Prince Philip

Britain's Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, London, August 2, 2017.
Britain's Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, London, August 2, 2017. © Yui Mok, pool, AFP

Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II and a leading figure in the British royal family for almost seven decades, has died aged 99, Buckingham Palace said on Friday, drawing tributes from around the world.


Here are some reactions to Prince Philip's death from major public figures from Britain, the Commonwealth and around the world.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

"We remember the Duke ... 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, and her strength and stay of more than 70 years. And it is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation's thoughts must turn today."

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

"I am saddened by news that the Duke of Edinburgh has died. I send my personal and deepest condolences - and those of @scotgov and the people of Scotland - to Her Majesty The Queen and her family."

Australian PM Scott Morrison

Morrison offered his country’s “deepest sympathies and condolences” to Queen Elizabeth II on the passing of Prince Philip.

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

He added: "She has been there for us over such a long time, let us be there now for you, Your Majesty, and allow us to send our love to you on this, I’m sure, one of your most sad of days.” 

In Canberra, the national flag was lowered to half-mast over Parliament House.

Irish President Michael Higgins

Ireland’s ceremonial president expressed his “great sadness” at the death of Prince Philip and recalled the “historic” state visit Philip and Queen Elizabeth II made to the country in 2011.

Higgins hailed Philip for his more than six decades as an active member of the Royal Family, in which he “served the British people with an unfailing commitment and devotion to duty”. 

Philip was by the Queen’s side in 2011 when she became the first reigning British monarch to visit Ireland since its independence a century ago.

Higgins also recalled “with a special appreciation how welcome” Philip made him feel three years later when he became the first Irish head of state to visit Britain.

French President Emmanuel Macron

He offered via Twitter his “sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Royal Family and the British people upon the death of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, who lived an exemplary life defined by bravery, a sense of duty and commitment to the youth and the environment”.

US President Joe Biden

In offering condolences on behalf of the United States, Joe Biden and his wife Jill hailed Philip’s lifetime of work for environmental causes, the military and young people.

They add Philip’s legacy will live on not only through his family, his children and grandchildren, but in all the charitable endeavours he helped shape.

Former US President Barack Obama

Obama praised Prince Philip for his extraordinary partnership with the Queen during more than a half century on the world stage, through world wars and economic crises.

Obama said in a statement: “Through it all, he helped provide steady leadership and guiding wisdom. It has long been said that the United States and Great Britain have a special relationship — one that has been maintained and strengthened not just by presidents and prime ministers but by the Royal Family that has outlasted them all.”

Obama said the Queen and Philip had welcomed “leaders like Churchill and Kennedy; Mandela and Gorbachev” and recalled his nervousness ahead of a visit with first lady Michelle Obama to Buckingham Palace in 2011.

“As two Americans unaccustomed to palaces and pomp, we didn’t know what to expect. We shouldn’t have worried. The Queen and Prince Philip immediately put us at ease with their grace and generosity, turning a ceremonial occasion into something far more natural, even comfortable.”

Obama continued: “Through his extraordinary example, he proved that true partnership has room for both ambition and selflessness — all in service of something greater.”

Former US President Bill Clinton, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

The statement from the Clintons extended their sympathies to the Queen, her family and the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

“Hillary and I mourn the passing of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, and we join people from all around the world in giving thanks for his remarkable life of service.

“We enjoyed every opportunity we had to visit with him through the years and will always be deeply grateful for the kindness he showed us.

Former US President George W Bush

Former US president George W Bush said the Prince had represented his country "with dignity."

"Throughout his long and remarkable life, he devoted himself to worthy causes and to others," Bush said in a statement. "He represented the United Kingdom with dignity and brought boundless strength and support to the sovereign."

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyatta said he received the news of Prince Philip's death with great sorrow and a deep sense of loss.

“His Royal Highness Prince Philip has been a towering symbol of family values and the unity of the British people as well as the entire global community. Certainly, we mourn a great man who cherished and worked for peaceful co-existence of the human race,” Kenyatta continued.

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa

Mnangagwa sent his condolences to the British Royal Family in a tweet. 

“My deepest condolences to the people of the United Kingdom and the @RoyalFamily on the death of His Royal Highness Prince Phillip. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Indian PM Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi paid tribute to Philip's military career and community work, saying his "thoughts are with the British people and the Royal family".

"He had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives. May his soul rest in peace," the leader of the Commonwealth country tweeted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin

 “Many important events in the modern history of your country are associated with the name of His Royal Highness,” Putin said in a telegram to the Queen, according to the Kremlin. “He rightfully enjoyed respect among the British and international authorities.”

The Russian Embassy in London also posted a condolences message, noting Philip was the great-great-grandson of Russian Tsar Nicholas I.

UK opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer

"The United Kingdom has lost an extraordinary public servant in Prince Philip."

"Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country - from a distinguished career in the Royal Navy during the Second World War to his decades of service as the Duke of Edinburgh."

"However, he will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to The Queen."

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury

"I join with the rest of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in mourning the loss of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, and give thanks to God for his extraordinary life of dedicated service."

"On the occasions when I met him, I was always struck by his obvious joy at life, his enquiring mind and his ability to communicate to people from every background and walk of life. He was a master at putting people at their ease and making them feel special."

Former UK prime minister Tony Blair

Former prime minister Tony Blair said the Queen's late husband was "a man of foresight, determination and courage", paying tribute to his environmental and charity work.

"He was often way ahead of his time in protection of the environment, in reconciliation between religious faiths and... the creation of the Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which remains one of the most innovative and effective programmes for the betterment of young people anywhere in the world."

EU Commission head Ursula von der Leyen

Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter she was "saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness Prince Philip".

"I would like to extend my sincere sympathy to Her Majesty The Queen, the Royal Family and the people of the United Kingdom on this very sad day."

Former King Constantine II of Greece

He said Prince Philip, his relative, was “a remarkable man who dedicated his entire life to duty and service for his country and the Commonwealth.”

Constantine II added in a written statement to The Associated Press: “My sorrow is even deeper because of our close family ties. He will be deeply missed by all of us.”

“He was a man of great character who will be remembered for his forward-thinking, sharp wit and his constant encouraging support to HM Queen Elizabeth II.

(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS, AP and AFP)

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