Published: 12:02, 09 April 2021
| Updated: 20:00, 09 April 2021
Buckingham Palace has announced the death of the Duke of Edinburgh at the age of 99.
He died peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
He had been married to the Queen for 73 years and they have spent most of the last 12 months isolating together in Windsor Castle.
A statement from the Royal Family said: "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.
"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."
In 2017 he retired from public duties and transferred his role of colonel-in-chief of The Rifles in a ceremony in Windsor to the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, last July.
He had spent a month in hospital until March 16 when he returned to Windsor.
Paying tribute, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Like the expert carriage driver that he was, he helped to steer the Royal family and the monarchy so that it remains an institution undisputedly 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.
"We will remember the Duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen."
He visited Kent on several occasions including, in 1958 for the opening of Deal Pier and for the disbandment of 41 Commando on May 20, 1981.
Cllr Michael Conolly, Chairman of Dover District Council said: “We are deeply saddened to hear the announcement of the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and on behalf of communities across Dover District, can I express our great sorrow, and our deepest sympathies to the Royal Family and all the communities who will be affected by this tragic news.
"We will be flying flags at half-mast at Council buildings across the district, as we pay our respects at this important time."
A spokesman for the Port of Dover added: "Our deepest condolences go to the Royal Family following the very sad news that HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh has passed away.
"We will remember with pride the special day in 2006 when HRH celebrated the 400th anniversary of Dover Harbour Board with us by unveiling a plaque currently proudly on display in our Harbour House.
'We will remember with pride the special day in 2006 when HRH celebrated the 400th anniversary of Dover Harbour Board...'
"May His Royal Highness rest in peace."
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: "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.
"The legacy he leaves is enormous. The Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which he founded in 1956, has inspired generations of young people to help others and instilled in them a vision for citizenship and a desire to serve their communities.
"His work with countless charities and organisations reflected his wide- ranging, global interests in topics including wildlife, sport, design, engineering and inter-faith dialogue.
"I pray that God will comfort Her Majesty and the rest of the Royal Family at this time. May His Royal Highness rest in peace and rise in glory."
MP for Gravesham Adam Holloway said: "I met him several times as he was the Colonel of my Regiment, the Grenadier Guards, and later as an MP.
"The last time he spoke to me we were discussing the war in Afghanistan: I was flabbergasted at his detailed knowledge of the Afghan tribal system, and how this was a driver of the war.
"What a wonderful example his life was of duty and service. I am certain that within Gravesham today there will be a great wave of sympathy for the Queen and the Royal family."
The chairman of Kent County Council, Graham Gibbens, has expressed the deepest sympathy of the members and officers of Kent County Council.
He said: “The Duke has been a constant source of support for Her Majesty The Queen during her reign and he has brought much to the UK and the commonwealth.
The Bishop of Dover Rose Hudson-Wilkin
“His ease and good nature with the public when visiting the county, and indeed the many other parts of the UK and the world, will be remembered by many, as will his good humour and love of sports.
“Many young people have benefitted from The Duke of Edinburgh Awards programme, which offers many young people across the world the opportunity to gain the skills and experience to help them build confidence and resilience for their future.
“We pay tribute to The Duke for his unwavering support and service to the United Kingdom and our thoughts and prayers are with Her Majesty and the Royal Family at this most difficult of times.”
Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, said: “Prince Philip was this nation's longest serving royal consort, and was always there to support Her Majesty The Queen wherever she went, either at home or abroad. He was a great character known for his ready wit, and for the delightful manner in which he could put people at ease, no matter what the occasion.
"He will be remembered for his larger-than-life personality, and for way he helped to steer our Royal family through good times and more difficult times. Together with The Queen, he was instrumental in ensuring that we have strong monarchy fit for the 21st century.
“We will not see his like again.
“As a mark of respect flags at Gun Wharf and Rochester Castle are being flown at half-mast."
Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham & Aylesford, said: “Very sad to hear the news of Prince Philip’s death. I have been fortunate enough to meet him on a number of occasions at sporting events and he was always kind, funny and put everyone at ease. While we may grieve the loss of a truly loyal public servant my heart goes out to Her Majesty and the Royal Family who have lost so much more.”
Damian Collins, MP for Folkestone and Hythe, said: "Prince Philip dedicated his life to the service of our country, as consort to The Queen, a war veteran & the champion of many important causes.
"The sorrow of the Royal Family will be shared around the world as we mark with respect the end of a great life."
The Lord-Lieutenant of Kent The Lady Colgrain said:“His Royal Highness has been a loyal and devoted consort and a source of great strength to Her Majesty The Queen throughout their lifetime together.
"The Duke has contributed so much to this nation and the Commonwealth and accompanied The Queen on all of her official overseas visits.
"We remember his many visits to the county, both on his own and at Her Majesty’s side, chatting to the public and displaying an infectious sense of humour.”
“We will always be grateful for all that he has done for this nation, the Commonwealth and our county. Our hearts go out to Her Majesty and all members of the Royal Family at such a sad time.”
Philip – father to the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex – was just two months away from his 100th birthday in June.
He spent much of the Covid-19 crisis staying with the Queen at Windsor in HMS Bubble – the nickname given to the couple’s reduced household of devoted staff during lockdown.
Philip briefly stepped out of retirement in July 2020 when he carried out a rare official public engagement at Windsor.
The duke looked in fine form as he made his way down the steps to the Castle’s quadrangle for a socially distanced ceremony to hand over his Colonel-in-Chief of The Rifles role to the Duchess of Cornwall, who was almost 100 miles away at Highgrove.
In 2016, KentOnline reported on a man who had cut Prince Philip's hair when they were in the Royal Navy in 1950.
Terrence Holmes was always proud of his royal connection and had kept hold of a sixpence the Duke had given him for the service.
Gillingham resident Mr Holmes, who was 89 at the time, spoke warmly of the duke and their short time together.
Speaking this afternoon, Peter Gregory, 70, who worked at P and R Classic Barbers in Strood High Street with Terence, said his old mate always talked about the link.
He said: "Terry was extremely proud of his connection with Prince Philip and relished in telling customers.
"He kept the sixpence and newspaper cutting."
Terry used to live in Canadian Avenue, Gillingham, before moving to a retirement home in the town. He died about two years ago, aged 94. He started the business in 1967/8.
The Prince visited Chatham Dockyard in 2007 and bosses have also paid tribute to him today:"We are incredibly saddened to hear of the passing of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
"Our thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family.
"As a long-standing member of the Royal Navy, we were honoured to welcome him in 2007 for the dedication of HMS Cavalier and the bronze sculptured plaque at the National Destroyer Memorial."
Members of Sevenoaks District Council have also paid tribute to Prince Philip and will by flying its flag at half-mast as a mark of respect and are opening a book of condolence.
Sevenoaks district chairman, Cllr John Edwards-Winser, and the council leader, Cllr Peter Fleming, both expressed their sadness at the news of his death.
'He was a charismatic man with a great sense of humour who will be sorely missed...'
Cllr John Edwards-Winser said: “Today is a very sad day for the nation and the Commonwealth.
“His Royal Highness served the country with distinction for six decades, serving in the armed forces, representing the nation on the world stage and as consort to Her Majesty The Queen. He was a charismatic man with a great sense of humour who will be sorely missed.
“I would like to express my sincere condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family on behalf of all Sevenoaks District residents at this very difficult time.
Cllr Peter Fleming, added: “His Royal Highness has served the nation and the commonwealth as consort to Her Majesty The Queen, selflessly, with honour and distinction over many decades.
"He was a true public servant. On behalf of my colleagues and officers at Sevenoaks District Council, I extend our thoughts and condolences to Her Majesty The Queen, his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren at this time.”
The mayor of Sandwich also paid tribute to the Duke.
Cllr Paul Graeme said "On behalf of the residents of Sandwich, I send a message of sympathy and condolence to the Queen and the Royal Family. HRH the Duke of Edinburgh worked tirelessly for the good of the country and will be greatly missed."
The town council also confirmed that the flag at its offices, the Guildhall, was now flying at half mast and would stay that way until the day after the funeral.
And the Mayor of Gravesham, Cllr John Caller also paid tribute.
He said: "It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh.
'As a mark of our respect, the Union Flag on the roof of the Civic Centre is being flown at half mast...'
"On behalf of Gravesham Borough Council and the people of our Borough, I offer my deepest condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and her family.
"As a mark of our respect, the Union Flag on the roof of the Civic Centre is being flown at half mast."
The council will also be opening an online book of condolence on its website, click here to find out more.
It will be open from 9am tomorrow, Saturday 10 April and it will remain open until 5pm on the day after His Royal Highness’s funeral.
Once closed, it will be passed to the Kent History and Library Centre where it will be stored in perpetuity.
Swale Borough Council are also flying the flag at its headquarters at half mast.
And Matthew Scott, the current Crime Commissioner for Kent also today paid tribute to the Duke.
He said, “My thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and The Royal Family at this sad time. The Duke gave a long and distinguished service to our country, for which we are all grateful.”
“He fought for us and saw active service in the Second World War and the years after it. And for nearly 70 years he served side by side with the Queen as Consort, representing our country at home and abroad and supporting many great causes.”
And speaking on Dartford Council's YouTube channel, council leader Jeremy Kite said: "It's very sad news isn't it.
"Of course he had a full and fulfilling and long life, and I hope that provided some comfort and compensation to those who knew and love him best.
'The Duke gave a long and distinguished service to our country, for which we are all grateful...'
"For the rest of us of course our reflections about him will be based upon his public persona and his life in public service, and those achievements are great, first of all in his own right serving as a distinguished naval officer, but then latterly in support of the Queen through some of the most extraordinary moments in our history, good and bad."
The chairman of Thanet District Council, Cllr Jason Savage also paid tribute.
He said: “Staff and Councillors at Thanet District Council are deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
“Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family at this difficult time. The council’s Union Flag will be flown at half-mast until the day after the funeral as a mark of respect.
“We appreciate that many people across the district will also be deeply saddened by this news.
"There is an online book of condolence on the website of the Royal Household which we would like to encourage you to sign should you wish to leave a tribute to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh."
Watch KMTV's report on Prince Philip's death