Across the UK, Gun salutes to mark the Duke of Edinburgh’s death are taking place in Gibraltar and from warships at sea. Saluting batteries are giving 41 rounds firing in cities comprising London, Edinburgh and Cardiff, and Hillsborough Castle in County Down. Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II’s husband of 73 years, passed away on Friday at Windsor Castle. He was 99.
The Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex went to see the Queen ahead of the salutes.
It is believed that Prince Charles went to Windsor Castle to visit his mother on Friday afternoon.
Royal Navy ships at sea, containing HMS Diamond and HMS Montrose, are also firing the salute in respect of the duke. He functioned as a naval officer during World War II and held the office of Lord High Admiral.
Several people lined Tower Bridge in London, where the Honourable Artillery Company fellows fired rounds from guns facing the Thames. The noise of the rounds resounded from Edinburgh Castle, where more than 100 people assembled as the gun salute began.
The salutes are being aired online and on TV, and the public is requested to observe them from home.
Pronouncing the duke’s death on Friday, Buckingham Palace mentioned: “It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty the Queen announces the death of her beloved husband. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
On Saturday, a photograph of the Queen and her husband was shared on the Royal Family’s Twitter account along with a quote from a speech she delivered on their golden wedding anniversary in 1997 in which she spoke about him as having been her “strength and stay all these years”.
First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Tony Radakin, the most senior officer in the Royal Navy, acclaimed the duke’s “empathy, affection and engagement” with the navy.
“His deep understanding of our values, standards and ethos made him such a close friend to the service for over eight decades,” he said.
Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, who was in charge of the position from 2009 to 2013, shared with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that Prince Philip was an “extremely talented sailor” who was “never shy” when it came to telling first sea lords where he thought they were going wrong.
Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, Sir Mark’s precursor, said to BBC Breakfast that Saturday’s military tributes were “away you say goodbye to great sailors”.
The duke was “constantly modernising” and “a great believer that the services have to reflect the society they serve”, he further added.
General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, mentioned the duke had been a “great friend, inspiration and role model” for the armed forces.
“A life well-lived, His Royal Highness leaves us with a legacy of indomitable spirit, steadfastness and an unshakeable sense of duty,” Sir Nick mentioned.
Like this, salutes were fired to mark Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 and Winston Churchill in 1965.
A 41-gun salute was fired to mark Prince Philip’s death outside Parliament House in Canberra, Australia. The New Zealand Army will also pay tribute in the same manner at Point Jerningham in Wellington on Sunday.
Final details of the duke’s funeral are also projected to be shared this weekend.
The funeral will take place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, but the provisions have been amended considering the coronavirus pandemic, the College of Arms mentioned in a statement. The duke will not have a state funeral, and there will be no lying-in-state, as per his wishes, it added.