HRH Prince Phillip: 1921-2021

Story BY ALEC WHEELER

HRH Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, died Friday aged 99.

In the official press release Buckingham Palace issued 12pm BST the following statement: 

“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning with his loss”.

The official announcement made by Royal Communications confirming the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. BBC/2020

Normal broadcasting was suspended by the BBC pending the announcement. At noon on April 10, a 41-gun salutes were fired and televised across the United Kingdom. Sporting events observed two minutes of silence. In Canada, from now until sunset on April 17, all flags will be lowered to half-mast on all Government of Canada buildings. A celebration of life is planned to take place at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa, followed by a recital on the Peace Tower carillon. 

PM Trudeau paid tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh, emphasizing his dedication to the service to others: “The Duke always sought out the best in people and challenged them to strive for greater heights. The global program that bears his name-the Duke of Edinburgh Award-has helped empower millions of young people from all backgrounds to realize their greatest potential and is but one example of his contributions to the social fabric of this country and the world. A family has lost a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. The thoughts of Canadians are with Queen Elizabeth II and the members of the Royal Family as they mourn such a significant loss.” 

The Queen and Prince Phillip, visiting Sheridan’s Screen Industries and Research Training Centre in 2010. Torstar/2010

As a senior member of the Royal family, he was a prominent figure in the Commonwealth of Nations, and Canada in particular. During his lifetime, he visited Canada on 28 official occasions, between 1947 and 2013. Twice, these tours brought the Duke to Sheridan College: the first was in October 2002, during the Golden Jubilee tour, when he was present at Her Majesty’s dedication of the newly built SCAET building. The second, while not a stop at the college itself, was 2010, when the royals were treated to a demonstration of 3D production processes by Sheridan’s Screen Industries and Research and Training Centre. 

In the weeks preceding his death, the Duke had been admitted to hospital several times, being discharged from King Edward’s hospital three weeks prior to his death. 

The Queen returned to royal duties this morning. Over his lifetime, they celebrated 74 years of marriage. The Queen, who described Prince Phillip on her Golden wedding anniversary “He has, quite simply, been my strength and stay all these years, has privately expressed that her husband’s death had “left a huge void in her life”. 

The Royal Family will observe a two-week mourning period, with a state funeral to be held Saturday at 3pm. In accordance with COVID-19 protocols, only 30 guests will be permitted to attend the funeral.

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