As Prince Philip dies at 99, tributes pour in for husband of Queen Elizabeth II – NBC News

LONDON — Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, led the tributes to Prince Philip on Friday as the country — and the world — reacted to the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband at the age of 99.

Speaking outside his home in London’s Downing Street, Johnson said that Philip had “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 said that Philip “was an environmentalist, and a champion of the natural world long before it was fashionable,” adding that he had “inspired the lives of countless young people” with his Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme.


“We remember the duke for all of this and above all for his steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen,” he said. “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 is 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.”

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Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the U.K.’s opposition Labour Party paid his respects to the royal, saying in a statement that the U.K. had “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,” he said.

“However, he will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to the Queen.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that she was “saddened by the news,” while Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement that Philip “embodied a generation that we will never see again.”

Philip had visited Australia more than 20 times, Morrison said, adding that his countrymen sent their “love and condolences to her Majesty and all the royal family.”

A mourner lays down a bouquet of flowers outside Buckingham Palace after it was announced that Britain’s Prince Philip has died at the age of 99.Hannah McKay / Reuters

In the U.S. former President George Bush and his wife, Laura, offered their condolences to the monarch and the entire royal family.

“He represented the United Kingdom with dignity and brought boundless strength and support to the sovereign,” Bush said in a statement. “Laura and I are fortunate to have enjoyed the charm and wit of his company, and we know how much he will be missed.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also called Philip a “man of great purpose and conviction” on Twitter. He added that the royal “contributed so much to the social fabric of our country.”

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said Philip “lived a long life of service to his country,” and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that the royal “had a distinguished career in the military and was at the forefront of many community service initiatives.”

Ireland’s premier Micheal Martin said he was “saddened by the news,” and European royal families also offerred their condolences.

The official Twitter account of the Royal House of the Netherlands said that King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima and Princess Beatrix said Philip left and “unforgettable impression.” King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden said in a statement that Philip remained “an inspiration to us all” and the Belgian Royal Palace said it was “deeply saddened” by Philip’s death.

Caroline Radnofsky, Bianca Britton, Sara Mhaidli and Matthew Mulligan contributed.