London, Apr 10 (EFE).- Guns salutes marking the death of Prince Philip were fired from London’s Tower Bridge and elsewhere across the United Kingdom on Saturday.
The Duke of Edinburgh, husband to Queen Elizabeth II forever 70 years, died on Friday morning at Windsor Castle, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace. He was 99, two months shy of his 100th birthday.
The UK paid tribute to its longest-ever serving consort with gun salutes up and down the country, including from the iconic Edinburgh Castle, in the overseas territory of Gibraltar and from Royal Navy ships at sea. Philip served in the Navy during World War II.
Pope Francis on Saturday became the latest in a long list of world figures to pass on his condolences over the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.
“Saddened to learn of the death of your husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, His Holiness Pope Francis offers heartfelt condolences to Your Majesty and the members of the royal family,” a statement from the Vatican said.
Prince Philip had recently spent a month in hospital and was released on March 16 after undergoing surgery for a pre-existing heart condition. That was the last time he was seen in public.
The father of the heir to the Crown, Charles the Prince of Wales, born in 1948, Philip had three other children with Elizabeth II: Princess Anne (1950), Prince Andrew (1960), and Prince Edward (1964).
He was born into a traditional European royal family: his father was Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, and his mother, Princess Alice, was the great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
Leading British political figures have mourned his death, including prime minister Boris Johnson, who said the Duke of Edinburgh had “inspired” several generations of Britons.
“We are a kingdom united in both grief and gratitude; grief at Philip’s passing, and gratitude for his decades of selfless service to the country,” he said in a statement.
The leader of the opposition, Labour’s Keir Starmer, said that with the Duke’s death “an extraordinary public servant” has been lost, while Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said she was “saddened” by the news and conveyed her “personal and deepest condolences” to Queen Elizabeth II. EFE