Prince Philip remembered: Boris Johnson leads tributes to Duke of Edinburgh

The British prime minister honored the Duke of Edinburgh, who died Friday at 99

World leaders are paying tribute to Prince Philip, who died Friday at the age of 99 at Windsor Castle.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke of how the Duke of Edinburgh, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband of 73 years, "inspired the lives of countless young people" and gave thanks for his "extraordinary life and work" in a heartfelt tribute at Downing Street in Westminster on Friday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to Prince Philip, who died on Friday. He was 99. 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid tribute to Prince Philip, who died on Friday. He was 99.  (Reuters)

With flags lowered to half-staff, Johnson said the news of Philip’s death was received "with great sadness" and honored his memory as one of the last survivors to have served in World War II.

"From that conflict, he took an ethic of service that he applied throughout the unprecedented changes of the post-War era," Johnson said, adding: "He helped steer the Royal Family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution indisputably vital to the balance and happiness of our national life." 

Johnson continued: "We remember the Duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen." Johnson went on to express that Britain lost a "highly respected public figure" remembered as a  "devoted husband and a proud and loving father, grandfather and in recent years, great grandfather." 

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UK political leaders joined Johnson in paying respect to the late Duke of Edinburgh. Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party, said Britain lost "an extraordinary public servant."

"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," Starmer said.

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Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats of the UK said: "Prince Philip dedicated his life to our country. We will always be grateful for his amazing service. We shouldn’t forget Prince Philip was a much-loved husband, father, grandfather & great grandfather. So our thoughts are with the Queen and the whole family at this difficult time."

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons of the UK, also expressed his condolences with the royal family: "This is obviously a very sad day for Her Majesty, the Royal Family and the whole country. Prince Philip gave his unwavering support to the Queen, both as husband and consort. Today we pause to honour him & to offer our sincerest thanks for his devout faithfulness to our country." 

Mark Drakeford, the first minister for Wales, on behalf of the Welsh government, said in a statement: "Throughout his long and distinguished life, he served the crown with selfless devotion and generosity of spirit. We offer our sincere condolences to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, his children and their families on this sad occasion. He will be missed by the many organizations that he supported as Patron or President over many decades of service."

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted a statement: "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."

First minister of Northern Ireland Arlene Foster said, "He had a profound and positive impact on thousands of our young people who find their purpose, passion and place in the world through participation in the Duke of Edinburgh awards. I offer my deepest sympathies and Condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and to all the members of the Royal Family at this sad time."

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said of Prince Philip: "He embodied a generation that we will never see again," citing his service as a naval cadet in 1939. "He served in war and peace," Morrison said of the Duke's military service before the Queen ascended the throne. 

In the U.S., former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush issued a statement on Twitter:

 "Laura and I are saddened to learn of the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Throughout his long and remarkable life, he devoted himself to worthy causes and to others." 

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Philip had been admitted to a London hospital after feeling unwell on Feb. 16. A few weeks later on March 3, he underwent a procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital before being transferred back to King Edward VII hospital on March 5 and returned home on March 16. He died Friday.

Philip, the longest-serving royal consort in British history, married then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947.