Prime minister Boris Johnson has paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh for his “steadfast support for Her Majesty the Queen … her strength and stay for more than 70 years”.
In a statement outside the door to 10 Downing Street, Mr Johnson hailed Prince Philip’s service in the Second World War, his work with young people through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme and the support he gave the Queen in maintaining the institution of the monarchy as a central part of British life.
But he also spoke of the Duke’s role as a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather in a marriage which spanned more than seven decades.
“It is to Her Majesty, and her family, that our nation’s thoughts must turn today,” said the prime minister.
“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.
“Speaking on their golden wedding anniversary, Her Majesty said that our country owed her husband ‘a greater debt than he would ever claim or we shall ever know’ and I am sure that estimate is correct.
“So we mourn today with Her Majesty The Queen, we offer our condolences to her and to all her family and we give thanks, as a nation and a Kingdom, for the extraordinary life and work of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.”
Mr Johnson led a stream of tributes from leaders of UK political life to the Duke.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer hailed him as “an extraordinary public servant”, whose partnership with the Queen “inspired millions in Britain and beyond”.
“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,” said Starmer.
“However, he will be remembered most of all for his extraordinary commitment and devotion to The Queen.