Boris Johnson and House of Commons will sit for special meeting on Monday after Prince Philip's death

THE House of Commons will sit for a special meeting on Monday so MPs can pay tribute to Prince Philip.

Parliament will return from recess a day early so respects can be paid to the Duke of Edinburgh, who has died aged 99.

* Read our live blog for the very latest news on Prince Philip's death

Political parties across the UK today announced they're suspending campaigning in light of his passing.

The PM is expected to make a speech of tribute in the Commons chamber, as will other top figures including Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

In an address outside N0 this afternoon Boris Johnson praised the Duke's selfless sense of public service.

He said: "It was with great sadness that a short time ago I received word from Buckingham Palace that His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh has passed away at the age of 99.

"Prince Philip earned the affection of generations here in the United Kingdom, across the Commonwealth and around the world.

"He 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, where he saved his ship by his quick thinking.

"From that conflict he took an ethic of service that he applied throughout the unprecedented changes of the post-war era.

"Like the expert carriage driver he was he helped to steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life.

"He was an environmentalist and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable.

"With his Duke of Edinburgh award 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."

It comes as:

  • Queen shares poignant photo of Philip as she talks of ‘deep sorrow’
  • Prince Philip funeral arrangements are revealed
  • Boris Johnson pays tribute to ‘extraordinary’ Prince Philip
  • Prince Philip’s life in pictures
  • Queen to enter ‘8 days of mourning’ for Prince Philip
  • How Prince Philip’s early years saw him flee Corfu on a warship
  • This Morning taken off air as Queen announces Philip’s death
  • Will there be a Bank Holiday on the day of Philip’s funeral?

The PM added: "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.

"And it's to Her Majesty and her family that our nation's thoughts must turn today, because they have lost not just a much-loved and highly respected public figure but a devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather, and in recent years great grandfather.

"Speaking on their golden wedding anniversary Her Majesty said our country owed her husband a greater debt than he would ever claim or we shall ever know, and I'm sure that estimate is correct.

"So we mourn today with Her Majesty the Queen, we offer our condolences to her and all her family, and we give thanks as a nation and a kingdom for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh."

Tributes also poured in from MPs across the political spectrum.

Saddened MPs said the late Duke of Edinburgh “personified the sense of duty” that makes Brits so proud of the Royal family.

Britain has lost a “dedicated public servant” and the Queen a “loving husband” they said.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said:  “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.

“For more than seven decades, he has been at her side.

“Their marriage has been a symbol of strength, stability and hope, even as the world around them changed – most recently during the pandemic. It was a partnership that inspired millions in Britain and beyond.

“My thoughts are with The Queen, the Royal Family and the British people as our nation comes together to mourn and remember the life of Prince Philip.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak added: "For your humour and positivity, your years of military service, for all the young people you inspired and for the dedication to your duty, the whole nation thanks you."

And defence secretary Ben Wallace said: "His Royal Highness Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was a constant supporter and ambassador of the Armed Forces.

"We celebrate his life of service and offer our condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family."

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "The Duke of Edinburgh was a truly dedicated public servant.

"He devoted his life to our great nation through his service in the Royal Navy and in support of Her Majesty the Queen during her long reign.

"I join the rest of the nation in mourning his passing and remembering a great man."

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "I am saddened by news that the Duke of Edinburgh has died.

"I send my personal and deepest condolences – and those of the Scottish Government and the people of Scotland – to Her Majesty The Queen and her family."

Welsh fire minister Mark Drakeford added: "Incredibly sad to hear of the passing of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

"He served the crown with selfless devotion and will be sorely missed by the people of Wales and the many organisations he supported.

"My condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the family during this sad time."

Northern Ireland's first minister Arlene Foster said her sadness would be "shared by countless others in Northern Ireland and right across the world".

She said: "Prince Philip was widely respected for his active and dedicated service to the country and for his steadfast support to Her Majesty the Queen throughout her reign.

"He had a strong interest in Northern Ireland. He had a profound and positive impact on thousands of our young people who found their purpose, passion, and place in the world through participation in the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

"This inspirational programme is just one example of the many charities and voluntary organisations in which he was involved right up until his retirement from public service at the age of 96.

"I offer my deepest sympathies to Her Majesty The Queen and to all members of the Royal Family at this sad time."

Former PM Tony Blair said the "whole nation will be united in sadness at the passing of Prince Philip".

He said: "He will naturally be most recognised as a remarkable and steadfast support to the Queen over so many years.

"However, he should also be remembered and celebrated in his own right as a man of foresight, determination and courage.

"He was often way ahead of his time in protection of the environment, in reconciliation between religious faiths and of course in 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.

"My condolences and prayers and those of my family are with Her Majesty the Queen and all the Royal Family.”

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, said: "This is obviously a very sad day for Her Majesty, the Royal Family and the whole country.

"The Duke of Edinburgh has given his unwavering support to The Queen, both as a husband and as a consort.

"Described by Her Majesty as ‘my constant strength’, he served this country too, first with distinction during the Second World War and selflessly throughout eight decades during peacetime.

"Prince Philip has performed wide-ranging official roles, carrying out thousands of engagements and overseas visits on behalf of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

"He will be remembered for his loyal devotion to service and his leadership of hundreds of ideals and causes close to his heart.

"Most notably, of course, is the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award which helps millions of young people around the world to achieve their full potential as team members and future leaders in their chosen fields."


Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “The Duke of Edinburgh personified the sense of duty that makes us so proud of our Royal Family and so proud to be British. Thank you for your service to our country and RIP.”

Defence Minister Jonny Mercer said the death is “tragic news” and the UK has lost “a true patriot”.

Tory MP John Lamont said: “Dreadfully sad news. The Nation has lost a dedicated servant. The Queen has lost her beloved husband. My thoughts and prayers are with the Queen and the entire Royal Family.”

Tory MP Maria Miller said: “ Prince Philip was the longest serving consort in British History, his was a life of service to our country. May he rest in peace.”

Labour frontbencher Jess Phillips said: “How sad for the Queen losing her husband of so many years my thoughts are with her especially. What a life, I hope that is a comfort.”

Tributes also poured in from overseas.

EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: "I am 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."

The Royal Family announced that the Duke, who had been married to the Queen for 73 years and described as her constant strength, passed away at Windsor Castle this morning.

In a statement it said: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced 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.

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

A statement from Buckingham Palace said: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced 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."

The royal was taken to London’s King Edward VII Hospital on February 16 after feeling unwell.

Two weeks later, he was transferred to St Bart’s Hospital for treatment for an infection and heart condition.

Buckingham Palace then announced on Tuesday, March 16 he had been released from hospital and was in "good spirits" and "comfortable".

Philip had dedicated his life to the Queen and tragically died just before his 100th birthday in June this year.

And his death comes after a turmoil-filled 12 months for the royals after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry quit the royal family. 

Prince Philip has been one of the hardest working royals – since 1952 he attended 22,219 solo engagements and 637 overseas tours in a career marked by his famous gaffes, wit and wisdom.

He had retired from his public duties at the age of 96 in 2017 after 65 years of public life.

But despite retiring, the Royal last year issued a message of thanks to NHS workers facing the coronavirus pandemic.

He also made a rare appearance in public to pass on his role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifles to Camilla Parker Bowles.

In recent years, the duke had recently struggled with ill-health, spending time in hospital before Christmas in 2019 following a fall.

He was also involved in a car crash in January 2019 after his vehicle collided with another vehicle near the Sandringham estate.

His health scares have included heart problems, arthritis, abdominal surgery and bladder infections. 

In April 2018 he had a hip replacement operation but had recovered well for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding a month later.

The royal was born on the Greek island of Corfu on June 10, 1921, to parents Princess Anne of Battenberg and Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark.

Soon after his birth, his family was banished from Greece and as a baby he was carried onto a British naval vessel in an orange crate.

He then went onto be educated at The Elms then onto Cheam School before going to school in Germany.

Philip then became a cadet at the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth before making his way up the ranks in the Royal Navy.

In 1942, he became first lieutenant of HMS Wallace, and at 21-years-old was one of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy

He married Elizabeth in 1947 at Westminster Abbey, described as her "constant strength", after the pair met at the wedding of Princess Marina of Greece and Denmark and Prince George, Duke of Kent, in 1934.

The royal pair then went on to have four children together – Charles, Prince of Wales, born 1948; Anne, Princess Royal, born 1950; Andrew, Duke of York, born 1960; and Edward, Earl of Wessex, born 1964.

They have eight grandchildren: Prince William, Prince Harry, Peter Phillips, Zara Phillips, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louse Windsor, and James, Viscount Severn.

They have another eight great-grandchildren including Savannah Phillips, Isla Phillips, Prince George, Mia Tindall, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Lena Tindall, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and August Philip Brooksbank.

Their latest great-grandson August, the son of Princess Eugenie and husband Jack, was given the middle name Philip in honour of the Duke of Edinburgh.

Source: Read Full Article