Tributes to Prince Philip poured in Friday from across Britain and around the globe following his death aged 99, with condolences offered to Queen Elizabeth II after she lost her husband of seven decades.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the nation’s condolences, acclaiming Philip’s “extraordinary life and work” and noting he had “earned the affection of generations” at home and worldwide.
Mr. Johnson said despite his many achievements, including serving in the Royal Navy during World War II, the Duke of Edinburgh would be best remembered for his “steadfast support” for the queen.
“Like the expert carriage driver that 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,” the British premier said from Downing Street.
Leaders from across Britain and the political spectrum echoed Mr. Johnson – including tributes from every living former prime minister. Tony Blair said the 99-year-old should be remembered and celebrated “as a man of foresight, determination and courage” while John Major praised him as “modest to the core” and epitomising “the British spirit”.
David Cameron called his death “desperately sad news,” and Theresa May added, “the nation and the entire Commonwealth owe Prince Philip an extraordinary debt of gratitude for a distinguished life of service”.
The UK’s devolved governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland sent condolence messages to the monarch. Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford said he had “served the crown with selfless devotion”.
Meanwhile, prominent opposition Labour leader Keir Starmer hailed his 73-year marriage to the queen “a symbol of strength, stability, and hope”.
“It was a partnership that inspired millions in Britain and beyond,” he added.
Campaigning by all political parties for the 6 May local elections was suspended as a mark of respect.
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said he was praying God would comfort the queen, the head of the Church of England.
Praising Philip for providing “an outstanding example of Christian service”, he said he leaves behind an “enormous” legacy, including the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme for young people and charitable and conservation work. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, head of the Catholic church in England and Wales, added he was praying for the royal family and “the repose of the soul” of the duke “at this moment of sadness and loss.